Actor Oscar Isaac may be winning fans over with his current role in Marvel’s Moon Knight, but he hasn’t always had a positive experience in Marvel movies. Marvel fans likely remember that the Star Wars actor had a brief and not-so-celebrated turn in an X-Men film, and now he’s talking about it. In an interview with The New York Times, Isaac is recalling his time as an iconic Marvel villain, even as his career has come around to playing Marc Spector/Steven Grant and their supernatural counterpart in another Marvel franchise.
The 43-year-old Guatemalan-born actor admits he has mixed feelings about his appearance in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Oscar Isaac played Apocalypse, an ancient mutant buried away in an Egyptian pyramid for centuries, only to be awakened with a thirst for world domination. Reviews were mixed, as MovieWeb reported, with many Marvel fans hating the film for missing out on the full potential of Apocalypse in an X-Men film. Still, Isaac won’t disown the film, although he is quick to voice regrets. “No, I don’t disown it,” he told the Times. “I know exactly what I went in there wanting to do and the reasons why. I collected X-Men growing up, and I loved Apocalypse, I just found him such a freaky, weird character. And then you get there and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got all these prosthetics on. I’ve got a suit on. I can’t move. I can’t see anybody.”
The fan backlash against the Apocalypse film and Oscar Isaac’s character began just as soon as the first images from the set hit the internet. Fans were absolutely livid over the look of the Apocalypse character, who is such a dominating villain to the X-Men in the comic books. Many mocked Isaac’s look in the makeup, saying he looked like a Power Rangers villain. In the film, Professor X (James McAvoy), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and the rest of the X-Men must stop Apocalypse and his allies Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) from destroying humanity. Isaac relished the idea of being among such an impressive cast, but it didn’t work out the way he expected. “All these actors I wanted to work with — I can’t even see who they are,” Isaac said, who still counts Apocalypse as a positive experience, despite the downs. “I still think back to that time with fondness. I wish it would have been a better film and that they would have taken care of the character a little better, but those are the risks.”
Apocalypse was followed by the abysmal X-Men: Dark Phoenix, effectively ending the film series on a sour note and leaving it ready for a reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Still, the X-Men films carry a lot of support among Marvel fans. The original Bryan Singer films, beginning with X-Men in 2000, were well received by fans, although most will admit they aren’t perfect films – and don’t even get us started on X-Men: The Last Stand. The prequel films, starting with 2011’s X-Men: First Class and 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, were solid, until the series fell apart. It lives on – in a way – as Patrick Stewart has been all but confirmed to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, although it’s safe to say Oscar Isaac will likely never appear as that multiverse’s version of Apocalypse ever again. At the very least, the reception to his role in Moon Knight has been positive, although his future in the role depends on how this season’s story unfolds.