Garry Oldman Almost Became This Iconic 'Star Wars' Villain

Garry Oldman Almost Became This Iconic 'Star Wars' Villain
Image credit: Legion-Media

The legendary British actor revealed that he almost starred in the last part of the George Lucas prequel trilogy, but was forced to withdraw due to union problems.

Oscar-winning Gary Oldman is certainly a force to be reckoned with – having begun his career in the 1980s, the actor went on to star in dozens of acclaimed films, including 'Leon', 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' and 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'. Oldman's vivid charisma and ability to completely morph into his character made him the perfect choice for the part of almost any villain, and his mastery of the role is still unmatched by anyone working in movies today. So, it was no surprise that Lucas decided to hire the actor for the role of General Grievous in 'Revenge of the Sith'.

But, as almost every 'Star Wars ' fan knows, Oldman never appeared as the four-limbed cyborg in the film, much less in the 'Clone Wars' animated series, with Matthew Wood voicing the character instead. So, what happened to this potentially iconic casting choice?

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Oldman revealed the real reason for his departure from the film, stating that it was not due to creative differences or his unwillingness to play the role.

"Well, I did a voice for 'Star Wars'... was it General Grievous? What happened was something to do with union stuff and non-union stuff. I was not going to be the poster boy for [breaking union rules]. [Lucas] directed me the whole thing; yeah, he was terrific," Oldman said.

To many people, this whole union business sounds like rocket science, and one Twitter user decided to thoroughly explain what Oldman meant by that statement.

"For those who don’t know, Lucas is famously not part of the directors’ guild, so guild directors and actors were prohibited from working with him. It’s why Spielberg wasn’t allowed to direct Return of the Jedi despite mutual interest," – @plandefeld410.

But of course, fans are still very much in love with Wood's take on General Grievous, despite Oldman's potentially even greater work.