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Oscar Isaac in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For many audiences, Oscar Isaac will forever be remembered (hopefully in a fond manner) as Poe Dameron: the Galaxy’s most skilled pilot from the Rebel Alliance. However, there are also people like me who discovered him from other roles prior to his casting in the Star Wars movies, such as a father desperate to outrun his criminal past in Drive, a reclusive tech guru in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, and the talented, but cynical, title character of Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel and Ethan Coen’s love letter to the Greenwich Village folk music scene. These are the characters I will more likely remember Isaac for and why I am anticipating what lies next in store for his career.

Now, in addition to his stint as Poe Dameron, which even extended to voicing the character in video games and on the animated series Star Wars Resistance, the 41-year-old Golden Globe-winning actor (from the 2015 HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero) has been known to dip his pen in both kinds of ink: low-key dramas and big-time blockbusters. 

For instance, some of Oscar Isaac’s most notable films in between his Star Wars releases were X-Men: Apocalypse (in which he played the titular villain), George Clooney’s dark period piece Suburbicon, his reunion with Alex Garland on the high concept sci-fi epic Annihilation, and a surprise post-credits cameo as the voice of Miguel O’Hara (better known as Spider-Man 2099) in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Considering the mixed critical and commercial reception of those films, he seems to be handling a pretty healthy balance of each of these worlds.

This is good news because, when browsing through the titles he has listed as “upcoming” in his filmography, it appears that Oscar Isaac has yet to put a stop to that pattern of “small, big, small, big” among his choices of acting roles. Just see for yourself for the following seven projects, including one program made for TV, in which you can expect to see him. How about we start off small before we get to the bigger stuff?

Brian Petsos and Oscar Isaac in Revenge for Jolly!

Big Gold Brick (2020)

The name Brian Petsos may not ring a bell, but the writer, director, producer, and actor is actually someone whom Oscar Isaac has called a friend and frequent collaborator on several relatively smaller projects since they starred alongside each other in the star-studded dark comedy Revenge for Jolly!, which Petsos also wrote, in 2012. Eight years later, the buddies seem to have, essentially, revived that same sort of ensemble dramedy approach for Pestos’ feature-length directorial debut, Big Gold Brick, which chronicles the bizarre problems that arise after the middle-aged Floyd Deveraux (Andy Garcia) enlists writer Samuel Liston (Emory Cohen) to pen his biography. 

Isaac also serves as producer on the film, the first feature financed by Oceana Studios that is expected for an unspecified 2020 release, as well as acting in it opposite Megan Fox, Lucy Hale, and 2013’s Evil Dead star Shiloh Fernandez.

Oscar Isaac in Dune

Dune (October 1, 2021)

And now we move on to the big (or, in this case, pretty freaking massive) stuff in store for Oscar Isaac with the highly anticipated adaptation of author Frank Herbert’s 1965 literary sci-fi epic from director Denis Villeneuve, the visionary Quebec-born filmmaker behind Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. While a newcomer to this saga may infer that playing Poe Dameron would have served as some helpful preparation for Dune, Isaac’s role as Leto, duke of the House of Atreides, is a bit of a royally drastic departure from his Star Wars character despite both having plenty of experience on sandy planets from distant galaxies, so to speak. Leto is also the father of Paul Atreides, the central protagonist of the film played by Timothée Chalamet, who leads a stellar cast that also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, and Dave Bautista, just to name a few.

Oscar Isaac and Charlize in The Addams Family

The Addams Family 2 (October 8, 2021)

Oscar Isaac will actually become the second to portray Duke Leto Atreides after German actor Jürgen Prochnow in the 1984 adaptation of Dune from director David Lynch, but he became the eighth known for bringing Gomez Addams to life in any capacity in the animated big screen adaptation of The Addams Family from 2019. Now, Isaac is set to be the first actor since the late Raul Julia in director Barry Sonnenfeld’s films from the early 1990s to reprise the character for the big screen in a sequel to the surprise hit, which grossed more $200 million worldwide. 

Along with Isaac, the tentatively titled The Addams Family 2 (which is set to release just a week after Dune on October 8, 2021), will also see Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Nick Kroll returning to voice other members of the “creepy and kooky” family, with Javon “Wanna” Walton stepping in for Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley Addams.

Oscar Isaac in Triple Frontier

The Card Counter (2021)

Also currently set for a theatrical release in 2021, is a film that is sure to be a far cry from the kid-friendly hijinks of The Addams Family by the involvement of producer Martin Scorsese alone - not to mention First Reformed director Paul Schrader at the helm. The Card Counter stars Oscar Isaac as former serviceman William Tell, whose new life as a career gambler is interrupted by bitter young man named Cirk (fellow X-Men star Tye Sheridan in a role Shia LaBeouf was originally attached to), who enlists his help in a revenge plot against a military official (Willem Dafoe) whom they both have a mutual connection to. Comedian Tiffany Haddish also has a role in the dark drama that was temporarily shut down earlier in 2020 due to Covid-19 related concerns, but is now in post-production.

Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

Armageddon Time (No Set Release Date)

Currently in pre-production is writer and director James Gray’s smaller scale follow-up to his somber 2019 space odyssey Ad Astra, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Pitt as an estranged father and son separated by the deep stretches of outer space. Separation anxiety will also be a heavily explored theme in Armageddon Time: a coming-of-age period drama which the filmmaker described (via The Film Stage) as “very simply kind of a memoir” that borrows from his own experiences as an adolescent in 1980s Queens, New York, and even key narrative elements from foreign-language classics like The 400 Blows or Federico Fellini’s Anacord. At the moment, there are no specific details regarding what role Oscar Isaac’s character will play in the film, which also stars such as A-listers as Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Robert De Niro, and Donald Sutherland.

Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea

Scenes From A Marriage (No Set Premiere Date)

Speaking of separation, there seems to be a recent trend in projects centered on breakups, such as Marriage Story, writer and director Noah Baumbach’s Netflix original starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as the couple enduring a painful split. The film earned comparisons to Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer and Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, which The Affair co-creator Hagai Levi is adapting into a miniseries for HBO. The six-part, English-language update of the 1974 Swedish miniseries will star Oscar Isaac and Academy Award-winner Michelle Williams, who will both executive producing as well, as spouses on their way toward divorce.

Marlon Brandon in The Godfather

Francis And The Godfather (No Set Release Date)

The news of Oscar Isaac revisiting a television classic from the early 1970s is especially fascinating in reference to his recent casting in a film about the making of The Godfather, the first installment of the beloved franchise based on Mario Puzo’s Mafia-based novel. Director Barry Levinson reportedly tapped Isaac to play Francis Ford Coppola, the helmer of the original film, in the aptly titled biopic Francis and the Godfather, along with Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Evans, who was the studio head of Paramount Pictures at the time. Coppola himself has even expressed his approval of the project to Deadline, even claiming that anything that Levinson puts his name on is “interesting and worthwhile.”

Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina

Honorable Mentions

Unsurprisingly so, Oscar Isaac is a pretty busy guy (or at least he will be once the threat of the Covid-19 outbreak clears up) and there are a couple of other projects that he is reportedly involved in that we felt we should squeeze into this piece. He will both produce and star in the Ben Stiller-directed thriller London, based on a short story by The Snowman author Jo Nesbo, and The Great Machine, about a superhero turned mayor of New York, which is inspired by the Brian K. Vaughan comic book Ex Machina, which has no connection to the 2015 Alex Garland film starring Isaac.

Does an actor of Star Wars fame like Oscar Isaac portraying George Lucas’ filmmaker buddy Francis Ford Coppola sound like a perfect match, or do you believe it should have gone to someone closer to the Godfather helmer, such as Nicolas Cage, perhaps? Joking aside (or am I?), let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the the legacy and future of the Latino actor, as well as even more inside looks at the upcoming movies and TV shows that you can expect to see soon enough (or so we hope) from your favorite celebrities, here on CinemaBlend.

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