Harry Potter, Get Ready To Meet Count Dracula

Gary Oldman in talks to portray Sirius Black in next installment of kid wizard series.

Harry Potter, get ready to meet Count Dracula.

Gary Oldman ("Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Hannibal") has been offered the role of Sirius Black in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," the third installment in the kid wizard series.

"They've asked him to do 'Harry Potter' and I know he's really seriously looking at it," said Oldman's manager, Douglas Urbanski, who stressed that a deal has yet to be finalized. "He's delighted to have been offered the role, especially because he's got kids — he's a full-time single dad."

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is scheduled to begin production in February. Chris Columbus, who directed the first two films — "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) — will serve only as co-producer on "Azkaban," having handed over the directing reigns to Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón ("Great Expectations," "Y tu mamá también"). Daniel Radcliffe will continue to handle the lead role for the series, which has been a huge success at the box office.

In English author J.K. Rowling's book, Sirius Black is the escaped "Prisoner of Azkaban," who eventually turns out to be Potter's godfather. Black also appears in the fourth book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

Oldman is best known for his chameleon-like ability to slip into bizarre characters — like late punk icon Sid Vicious ("Sid & Nancy," 1986); dreadlocked drug dealer Drexl Spivey ("True Romance," 1993); strangely coiffed bloodsucker Prince Vlad Dracula ("Bram Stoker's Dracula," 1992); and more recently, revenge-obsessed cannibalism victim Mason Verger ("Hannibal," 2001).

Warner Bros. is reportedly eyeing a June 2004 release for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."