Gary Oldman to Direct Eadweard Muybridge Biopic ‘Flying Horse’ (Exclusive)

The actor-turned-director is courting past co-stars Ralph Fiennes and Benedict Cumberbatch to star

Having wrapped the "Dark Knight" and "Harry Potter" franchises, Gary Oldman is planning to direct a biopic of photographer Eadweard Muybridge titled "Flying Horse," two individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Muybridge is famous for pioneering technological advances in photography and motion-capturing imagery, which were essential in the development of motion picture filmmaking.

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Oldman has already written the script, which focuses on the courtship and love affair between Muybridge's wife, Flora, and Harry Larkyns, a famous theater critic killed by Muybridge. 

Oldman aims to cast his recent co-stars Ralph Fiennes as Muybridge and Benedict Cumberbatch as Larkyns. While Fiennes has discussed the project with Oldman and is interested in the role, neither actor is officially attached to "Flying Horse" at this time, according to their respective representatives.

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However, a fan's chance encounter with Oldman, recounted here, claims that Oldman told her that Fiennes is onboard. 

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch, who worked with Oldman on "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," is attached to star in Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak," which could prove an obstacle as it is scheduled to start production early next year, when Oldman is aiming to start shooting provided the financing comes together.

Oldman may also play a small role as Dennis Spencer, the district attorney that prosecuted Muybridge. Muybridge wound up being acquitted of the crime.

Oldman's manager Douglas Urbanski will produce the indie movie, which the actor-turned-director has been planning for some time. Last year, Oldman told the New York Times he was reading Rebecca Solnit's biography "River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West."

Oldman made his directorial debut in 1997 with the critically-acclaimed family drama "Nil by Mouth," which starred Ray Winstone and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The movie also won BAFTA awards for Oldman's original screenplay and Best British Film, which the director shared with fellow producers Luc Besson and Urbanski. More recently, Oldman directed "Jack White: Unstaged," a concert film that was sponsored by American Express.

On the acting front, Oldman will soon be seen alongside Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford in Robert Luketic's thriller "Paranoia," which Relativity opens Aug. 16. He recently wrapped Sony and MGM's remake of "RoboCop" and is currently filming Matt Reeves' sequel "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." He's repped by APA, DMG and Loeb and Loeb.