OSCAR ISAAC Talks Playing APOCALYPSE

Apocalypse
Credit: Marvel Comics

Sure, right now it seems like Benedict Cumberbatch is in every high-profile genre-related film. Quietly waiting in the wings to take the crown, however, is Oscar Isaac. After some critically acclaimed low budget and indie takes, the actor is poised for a major rise in profile, with lead roles in both December 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and May 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. While on the press circuit for his next (and much sooner) release, A Most Violent Year, the actor has started dropping some hints about those genre films in his future.

Oscar Isaacs in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer
Oscar Isaacs in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Speaking with IGN, Isaac said he’s already started talking with Bryan Singer about Apocalypse, the thousands of years old mutant villain obsessed with survival of the fittest. His comments show a deep knowledge of the comic book source material, but he says some things will have to be changed to adapt the character to film.

"In the early conversations we talked a lot about that [Apocalypse's distinct point of view and agenda]. Of course, you read the comic book, and [Apocalypse is] not so shaded with gray -- except his face. [Laughs] That's the only thing gray about him,” Isaac said. “Just as Bryan's done with the other films, I think he seeks to find something a little more interesting than the archetypal aspects of the characters, which work really well in print, but for a film I think you want to see a bit more of the -- for lack of a better word -- humanity in him; because ultimately this is a story about humans."

The actor actually compared how he’ll approach Apocalypse to how he approached Llewyn Davis, in a roundabout way, of course.

”With this character I am incredibly interested in the challenge of finding someone that's psychologically interesting and compelling, and actually the spiritual aspects of the character... For me, that's what I'm interested in, in any character that I do. It's a meditation on 'What's their engine? What's their spirit?' Whether that's about Llewyn Davis or Apocalypse, there's an aspect of 'What is it that makes them run? What's their spirit like?’”

He referenced both the classic storyline of Apocalypse’s rise to power and manipulation of Angel into Archangel, and also the alternate-reality tale of Age of Apocalypse as stories he particularly enjoyed featuring the character.

”There are so many different comics, so many different storylines -- particularly with Age of Apocalypse, how there's this alternate universe. So I like that there's a malleability to what the stories can be."

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