Somehow, despite the experience of making the Star Wars sequels – which certainly had their highs and lows – Oscar Isaac hasn’t been entirely put off big-budget franchise roles. Among his upcoming projects are Marvel’s Moon Knight and video game adaptation Metal Gear Solid. He also recently appeared in Denis Villenueve’s successful Dune, a role which he actively lobbied for.
When Isaac heard many years ago that Villeneuve was attempting a new adaptation of Dune, he wrote to the director; “Yeah. I wrote to him when I heard he was doing it, and I said, “Hey, I’m a big fan of the book, just letting you know,” and he said, “Oh, interesting. Okay, good to know.” Then, years later, he sent me the script. I was familiar with it. I’d read the book. Obviously, I didn’t know what the script was going to be like” Isaac told the Hollywood Reporter.
Isaac would potentially have been a good fit for Duncan Idaho (played by Jason Momoa) or Gurney Halleck (played by Josh Brolin).
It wasn’t immediately obvious that Isaac would play Leto Atreides, father of Timothee Chalamet’s Paul (especially as they’re only 15 years apart in age); “Funny enough, when he (Villeneuve) sent it (the script) to me, he wasn’t sure what part exactly. I think he had a sense, but then I looked at it and it just was clear that that was a role for me.” Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we’ll be seeing much of Isaac in Dune Part Two.
Since graduating from Julliard in 2005, which he attended at the same time as Jessica Chastain, Isaac has appeared in a wide variety of genres and size of film. One of his first roles was as Prince John in 2010’s Robin Hood. In 2011, he had a supporting role in Drive and in 2013 he got his first leading role – in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. In 2014 he starred in the science fiction movie Ex Machina and the gangster film A Most Violent Year (with Chastain).
This year he has received critical acclaim for his roles in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter and the HBO mini-series Scenes from a Marriage (with Chastain), as well as for the part he played in Dune.