Oscar Isaac Replaces Javier Bardem In A Most Violent Year


Despite giving a few very solid performances over the past couple of years, only now is actor Oscar Isaac starting to breakout. With a starring role in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, and several upcoming projects that have us very excited (Mojave, The Two Faces of January), Isaac is finally starting to get the recognition that he deserves.

It’s clear that Hollywood is beginning to sit up and take notice of the gifted actor and now, relatively new but very promising director J.C. Chandor has cast Isaac in his upcoming film, A Most Violent Year.

The period drama currently has Jessica Chastain set for the female lead and co-starring alongside her was supposed to be Javier Bardem. Due to a disagreement over the script though, he dropped out and now Isaac is being called in to replace him.

THR caught up with Chandor at the Gotham Awards the other night and he had this to say about the casting choice.

“It was very sad, after eight months of working on the script with Bardem, for that to fall apart,” Chandor told THR. “We just never could get there.” But, he added, “As I was having these problems with Bardem, the answer was right in front of my eyes.”

“It’s really neat because Jessica was pushing Oscar because they were classmates at Juilliard,” Chandor added. “And he literally is this character,” the filmmaker said of the actor, who was born in Guatemala to a Guatemalan mother and Cuban father who immigrated to America and raised him in Miami, and who, in the film, will be playing a Hispanic man who immigrates to America and winds up a very successful businessman. What does the film’s title mean? “The film is set in 1981, which, statistically speaking, is one of the most violent years on record,” Chandor explained.

Though we haven’t heard anything in the way of an official plot summary just yet, a while back it was rumored that the film would follow “an ambitious businessman who is forced to deal with a corrupt establishment in 1980s New York.” Again, we’re not sure if that’s the official plot but it does sound like it could make for a solid film, especially with the trio of Isaac, Chastain and Chandor behind it. All three are incredibly talented individuals and the prospect of them making a film together has me very excited.

A Most Violent Year will begin shooting in New York at the end of January. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.