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SAG Rule One force is strong with Oldman

Actor will not voice Star Wars character

Gary Oldman has refused to turn to the Dark Side.

Thesp has walked away from “Star Wars” impresario George Lucas’ offer to voice the role of the nefarious General Grievous in the upcoming (and possibly final) “Star Wars” pic, “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

Oldman’s manager Doug Urbanski said the star was unwilling to break the Screen Actors Guild regulation known as Global Rule One.

Global Rule One ensures that SAG members retain the protections of SAG contract provisions wherever they work.

Lynn Hale, head of publicity for Lucasfilm, insisted Oldman was never contractually hired,but did say that the film is a non-SAG shoot lensing in the U.K. and Australia.

“We did urge Lucas to ask SAG for special permission for Gary to do the movie, but they became very annoyed and I know they are still annoyed,” said Urbanski. “We’re quite puzzled by the whole thing. But out of respect for and solidarity with the other (SAG) members, he could not and would not consider violating the rules of his union.”

SAG is delighted, having stepped up efforts to enforce Global Rule One since 2002. Flouting Rule One cuts contributions to SAG’s pension and health plans.

“This is a strong statement from one of the world’s leading film artists that the protections provided by Global Rule One for actors working abroad are indispensable,” said Seth Oster, a spokesman for the union. “SAG applauds Gary Oldman for taking this strong stand.”

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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