It’s been a good couple years for the intensely talented Oscar Isaac. Following some solid supporting work in Drive, and surviving the unfathomable catastrophe that is Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch, in 2011, 2013 brought him into the spotlight with his emotionally wrecked, exquisitely melancholic performance as the titular folk singer in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, followed by an excellent turn in J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year, a better-than-average Sidney Lumet riff from 2014.
2015 proved his biggest year yet, however, with a starring role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and, more importantly, a hypnotic performance in Alex Garland‘s hugely promising debut, Ex Machina. As the face of the male intellect run amuck, Isaac was at once seductive, frightening, and darkly funny under Garland’s direction, and according to Tracking Board and CS, they’re looking to recreate the magic in Garland’s next film. Isaac is now set to appear in Garland’s Annihilation, the filmmaker’s adaptation of the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach series of novels.
Isaac would be the first male to be cast in Annihilation thus far, with Natalie Portman being cast in the lead earlier this year, followed quickly by announcements of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Creed‘s Tessa Thompson, and Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez joining her. In terms of casting, this would make Annihilation one of the most hugely anticipated films of 2017 already, and Garland is exactly the brand of director to craft an alluring, thoughtful aesthetic for them to perform in and around. Those who have seen Ex Machina will know that the thematic core of Garland’s film involved mankind’s manipulation, use, and abuse of women for their own advancement and unsettling pleasures. Hopefully, Annihilation will prove to be a bit less mordant and more complexly drawn and chaotic in its characterizations, as Isaac’s character proved to be the most fascinating creation in Ex Machina by a mile and a film filled with characters as strange and complicated as him would elevate Garland’s reputation considerably.