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The Star Wars Movie Character Gary Oldman Almost Played

When looking at the overall "Star Wars" franchise, it's astounding just how many legendary actors have left their mark on it. From the icons of yesteryear like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to galaxy far, far away newcomers such as Christopher Lloyd and the late Carl Weathers, the saga is full of remarkable talents. What's also intriguing is those who, despite being Hollywood favorites, have yet to make it into a series entry. Take, for instance, Academy Award winner and potential near-future retiree Gary Oldman, who almost played a major character in a "Star Wars" film.

During the making of "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," Oldman was brought in to voice the cyborg leader of the Separatists' droid army, the ever-coughing General Grievous. He shared as much on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, recalling, "Well, I did a voice for 'Star Wars'...was it General Grievous?" Unfortunately, union rules in Australia prevented his voice from making it into the final film, and the last thing he wanted to do was go against union regulations. Still, he was more than happy to work on the feature — his only "Star Wars" effort to date, with online claims of his involvement in the sequel trilogy being unfounded. "[Director George Lucas] directed me the whole thing; yeah, he was terrific...No regrets about that but the other stuff is rumors," Oldman said.

Ultimately, tenured Lucasfilm sound editor Matthew Wood became the voice of General Grievous instead of Oldman, with quite a fun story behind his casting as well.

In a wild turn of events, Matthew Wood became General Grievous instead of Oldman

With Gary Oldman unable to become General Grievous on the big screen, Matthew Wood has earned his place in history as the premier actor behind the villainous Jedi hunter. Beyond "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," he has voiced Grievous in everything from "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" to "Star Wars: Tales of the Empire" — a series that importantly makes Grievous scary again — to "Disney Infinity." All of this is pretty miraculous considering that Wood scored the role by accident after putting in an anonymous audition tape that George Lucas thought was perfect.

"It was an advantage that I knew what George wanted as I heard him talk to actors about Grievous, so I did give it a try. [Dialogue editor Chris Scarabosio] recorded me and I put the tape under an anonymous name with the rest," Wood shared in a 2005 interview, explaining that soon enough, producer Rick McCallum asked him about his tape, as Lucas wanted to get in touch with whoever left it. Wood fessed up, McCallum told Lucas, and, much to Wood's surprise, he wasn't in trouble at all. "George called me then and asked me to come over and record it. It was fun, because I don't have any shyness around George. I didn't tell anybody about it. Finally, when the film was printed I told everybody," he added.

While it stands to reason that Gary Oldman would've nailed the General Grievous role, considering how he landed the part and how well he has done in it, it's safe to say it was destined for Matthew Wood all along.