The words “Star Wars” and “independent film” are rarely spoken alongside one another, but that’s exactly how “best frickin’ pilot in the galaxy” Oscar Isaac describes making “Episode VIII” to the Los Angeles Times. The interview was officially held to in relation to Isaac’s eponymous role in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” but his days of talking to virtually anyone without being asked about “Star Wars” are probably long over. (Get used to it, Poe Dameron.)
Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, given that the as-yet untitled next installment is directed by Rian Johnson, who first made a name for himself at Sundance with “Brick” before moving on to big-budget fare like “Looper.” “Rian is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.” Isaac told the Times. “For me, it’s so fun getting to explore different things that I wouldn’t have expected in this universe…In some ways it feels like we’re making an independent film.”
Along with directors lined up to direct several Marvel movies, this should come as good news to fans of independent cinema who are usually allergic to tentpole fare. Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) is handling “Black Panther,” “Cop Car” director Jon Watts is directing the next “Spider-Man” film and “Thor: Ragnarok” will be helmed by Taika Waititi (“Eagle vs Shark”).
Isaac is no stranger to the indie world himself, of course. Before being cast in two of the world’s biggest franchises, he was cutting his teeth in considerably more low-key fare: “Drive,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “A Most Violent Year.” Virtually all details related to “Episode VIII” are being kept under wraps, but we do know that it’s being released on December 15 of next year — one day shy of a year after the forthcoming “Rogue One.”
For more of everyone’s current favorite actor, watch the “Inside Llewyn Davis” trailer: