EXCLUSIVE: Oscar Isaac Drops Out of Spielberg’s ‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’

Oscar Isaac is one of the industry’s most sought after actors at the moment. It was reported that Steven Spielberg had cast him in his upcoming project “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara,” a project that had the makings of a true Oscar player. A source has revealed that Isaac has dropped out of the project due to “personal reasons.”

While Isaac’s career has taken off with powerhouse roles in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “A Most Violent Year,” the actor has had some unfortunate circumstances over the past month. Isaac’s mother passed away in mid-February and he has been spending a lot of time with family the source says. While a contributing factor, it is not the main reason for Isaac’s exit from the project.

The Weinstein Company distributed film was set to shoot in the coming weeks, where Academy Award winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) was also set to star, based on a screenplay by Tony Kushner. “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” tells the story of the treatment of a young Jewish boy, who is forcibly raised as a Christian in 19th century Italy. He creates a furor, which pits the Papacy itself against the forces of democracy and Italian unification.

Spielberg’s focus has now moved towards his recently announced film “The Post” starring Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Deadline first reported that the film is set to begin filming in May, with the picture slated for this upcoming Oscar season. “The Post” is written by Liz Hannah and tells the true story of the explosive Pentagon Papers, which changed the course of the Vietnam War. Spielberg is currently completing his long awaited adaptation of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One,” slated for release March 30, 2018.

There’s still plenty of Oscar Isaac projects slated for this year, all of which are high-profile. The most prominent will be his return as the hunky Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” from Rian Johnson. He’s also had roles in the George Clooney-directed thriller “Suburbicon” and is re-teaming with his “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland for his science fiction film “Annihilation.”

Isaac will also be returning to the theater stage, opposite Keegan-Michael Key in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Previews begin June 20 in New York.

Neither “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” or “The Post” have release dates as of yet.

Awards Circuit began releasing its official Oscar Predictions for 2018 on March 1, where “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” was predicted in several categories including Best Actor for Oscar Isaac. The predictions have been updated to reflect the latest changes.

UPDATE (March 12, 2017 @ 7:01 pm ET) – Oscar Isaac’s team has claimed that parts of this story were “inaccurate” but would not confirm if he was still attached to the project. Further, a source has stated that Isaac was never “officially attached” to the project, and had only been “in talks” since it was previously reported in July 2016.

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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