The villains in the X-Men franchise have been, to date, as famous as the heroes. When you cast the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence to play Magneto and Mystique, respectively, you can understand why nabbing a high-profile star is important. So X-Men: Apocalypse needed to swing for the fences when nabbing the right actor to play Apocalypse, and they sure have made an interesting choice.
Variety reports that Oscar Isaac will play Apocalypse in Bryan Singer’s next X-Men movie, due in theaters on May 27, 2016. Isaac, of course, will be coming off a mysterious role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He also recently generated Oscar talk for his role in Inside Llewyn Davis, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
This apparently answers a question we brought up on an old episode of Hero Blend as to whether Oscar Isaac’s experience on Star Wars: The Force Awakens would whet his whistle for more big-budget, effects-driven spectacle, or if it would drive him back to the loving arms of the independent film world, where he stars in films like A Most Violent Year. Isaac could have continued to attract roles in Coen Brothers films. Or he could have made the leap to the blockbuster side of the pond, and possibly use the money earned in tentpoles to fund his own interesting experiments.
Though Tom Hardy’s name was recently in play for the role of Apocalypse, most of the chatter surrounding the sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past swirled around who would play younger versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Those decisions remain a mystery, though at least we now know who the mutant heroes will be fighting.
There’s no question that Oscar Isaac’s a terrific actor. His frame and physicality, however, do not suggest the hulking behemoth that is Apocalypse. I wonder if this means that Isaac will be using some form of motion-capture to replicate the villain, in much the same way that James Spader is playing Ultron, or Andy Serkis plays Caesar in the Planet of the Apes movies. There’s still a lot to figure out when it comes to the next X-Men movie, but key details are starting to drop. What do you think of the Oscar Isaac casting?
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.