Oscar Isaac (Sucker Punch) has signed on to play the male lead in Still I Rise. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis star as “two frustrated mothers who team up to transform an inner-city public school.” Variety says Isaac will play a “sexy, ukulele-playing teacher” (is there any other kind of ukulele-playing teacher?) who romances and inspires Gyllenhaal’s character. Director Daniel Barnz (Beastly) is now polishing a rewrite of the original Brin Hill screenplay. Production on the Walden Media/Fox collaboration begins next week in Pittsburgh.
Isaac will next be seen among the impressive likes of Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston in Drive when the movie opens September 16. Later in the year, Isaac will appear as one of the high school reunionites in the ensemble drama Ten Year; the role features a performance of a song Isaac wrote exclusively for the film. (Prior to his acting career, Isaac was the lead singer and guitarist for The Blinking Underdogs.) Finally, Isaac has a role in W.E., the romantic drama co-written and directed by Madonna.