Gary Oldman is getting back in the director’s chair. Oldman is developing a biopic of photographer Eadweard Muybridge called Flying Horse that he intends to direct early next year, should the financing come together. Muybridge was a pioneer in the world of photography, as he focused on the studies of photography in motion and paved the way for the very first motion-picture; the Englishman literally made movies possible. It’s Muybridge’s personal life, though, that will be front and center in Flying Horse. Upon learning that his young wife’s friend, a theater critic named Major Harry Larkyns, may have fathered their seven-month-old son, Muybridge tracked Larkyns down and said, “Good evening, Major, my name is Muybridge and here’s the answer to the letter you sent my wife,” before shooting Larkyns point-blank and killing him. A nice gentleman, no doubt.
Hit the jump for more on the project, including which actors Oldman hopes will star in the film.
The folks over at The Wrap report that Oldman is seeking out Ralph Fiennes to play Muybridge and his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy co-star Benedict Cumberbatch to play Larkyns. Neither actor has officially signed on to star, but they remain the top choices for the roles. Oldman wrote the script for Flying Horse and may also take on a small role in the film as Dennis Spencer, the district attorney that prosecuted Muybridge. The photographer was eventually acquitted of the crime due to “justifiable homicide,” which was apparently a thing in the mid 1800s.
While Fiennes and Cumberbatch would no doubt make great co-stars for the film, Cumberbatch is due to film Guillermo del Toro’s ghost story Crimson Peak early next year, which is the same time that Oldman had earmarked for filming to begin on Flying Horse. Hopefully the schedules work out and Cumberbatch is able to do both films.
This isn’t Oldman’s first time behind the camera, as he previously helmed the 1997 drama Nil by Mouth, which was received warmly by critics. As an actor, Oldman will be seen later this year in the thriller Paranoia opposite Harrison Ford, and stars in two highly anticipated 2014 studio films: the RoboCop remake and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.