Actor Oscar Isaac is heading into another major franchise!
Isaac first made a splash when he joined Disney’s “Star Wars” sequel trilogy starting with 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” Although he was supposed to meet a grisly end, he convinced director J.J. Abrams to keep his character alive, and Isaac later reprised his role in 2017’s “The Last Jedi” and 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Isaac made it clear that he wanted to leave big film sets behind to focus on more character-driven projects, which is why many were surprised to see him jump into Disney’s Marvel franchise, taking on the titular role of “Moon Knight.”
Oscar Isaac Calls ‘Moon Knight’ ‘My Baby’ In 2022 SAG Award Interview
On Sunday night, Isaac was nominated for his role in HBO’s “Scenes From A Marriage,” in which he starred opposite Jessica Chastain. Although he failed to score a win, he did talk to Extra about his upcoming superhero role.
“It comes out March 30 on Disney+,” Isaac said of the show. “I’m so excited. It’s turned out to be my baby. I put everything into it. I hope it blows people’s minds.”
In a separate interview with Empire Magazine, Isaac admitted that he did have hesitations about returning to a major franchise like Marvel after finishing up with “Star Wars” so recently.
“My initial thought was ‘No, I don’t want to go back into that kind of machinery.’ I did that already,” Isaac recalled. “The last thing I want is to be on a massive set [thinking], ‘What am I doing here?’”
“Often on these big movies, it can feel like you’re building the plane on the runway,” he explained. “The idea of getting back to ‘handmade’ films, character studies… I was desperate for that feeling.”
However, he was able to take some creative control over his character of Marc Spector, who suffers from multiple personality disorder in the comic book and the series. Isaac decided to turn his role into “an experimental thing” to really bring Marc’s experience to life on the big screen.
“How can we make this an experimental thing, so we’re inside the eyes of the character, living in his state of fear and the unknown?” Isaac asked. Marc’s inner conflict is something he wanted to portray to the audience.
Although some fans have welcomed his return, others have rejected Isaac’s casting based on Marc Spector’s Jewish background.
Alan Zelenetz Says ‘I Don’t Care’ That Oscar Isaac Is Not Jewish
Although Marc may be Jewish, Oscar Isaac is not. The actor admitted that he has some connection to Judaism through his father but also admitted that his father raised him in a “very Christian” household.
Marvel Studios had reportedly been looking into actors like Daveed Diggs and Nick Kroll to play the lead before they eventually settled on Isaac. After his casting, many fans wondered if they would still portray the character as Jewish, or just cut that aspect of his character out of the storyline entirely.
In an interview with an American Jewish media outlet called The Forward, comic book writer Alan Zelenetz shared his thoughts about the casting controversy. According to the “Moon Knight” creator, Marvel is “certainly not bound by any origins” when they chose to convert a comic book hero into a live-action TV series.
Zelenetz seemed to sum up the online discourse by saying:
“Moon Knight has to be Jewish — ‘Oh, we’re watching Marvel! The boycott is around the corner.’ I can smell blood in the water already! ‘How could they not make him Jewish? Oscar Isaac is not Jewish, even though he has the name ‘Isaac.’ And they’ve got an Egyptian director — what’s going on here?’”
He also pointed out that the character of Arthur Harrow, who is being portrayed by Ethan Hawke in the series, is also very different than the character he created.
“And Arthur Harrow won’t be the character I created. So what?” Zelenetz asked. “If he’s not Jewish because there’s a good artistic reason he’s not Jewish, that’s perfectly OK. I don’t care.”
However, Zelenetz thinks the series “would be a great place to explore an ancient Egyptian God and a Jew” and ventured that “Maybe the ancient Egyptian God wants to make up for all those ancient Egyptians who couldn’t keep up with Moses! That would be a good storyline.”
The first episode of “Moon Knight” will be available to stream on March 30 on Disney+.