As the X-Men: Apocalypse premiere date slowly inches closer, fans are finally learning more about what to expect from the highly anticipated movie. Fox released a detailed official synopsis for the upcoming Bryan Singer-directed flick, and it sheds new light on what exactly our favorite mutants will be up against in their latest battle. Here’s a look at everything we know so far.
1. The main cast
Apocalypse will mainly center on the superhero cast first introduced in X-Men: First Class: James McAvoy’s Professor X, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast.
“I will say that [X-Men: Apocalypse] is definitely the close of a trilogy for those First Class characters, which isn’t to say we won’t see them in future movies, hopefully we will, but it’s a completion of an arc for them,” producer Simon Kinsberg told Collider.
The complicated friendship between Erik and Charles, an element that Kinsberg says has “always been so integral to the franchise,” will reportedly be a focal point of the upcoming movie.
Lawrence’s Mystique will play an especially key central role (which may make a nice swan song, as this will reportedly be the actress’s last time in the role). The film will delve deeper into the relationship between her and Beast and will also explore the different ways in which both Erik and Charles have impacted her. “She grew up with Charles and then she sort of became a woman with Erik, so her being the cross-pollination, if you will, of those two philosophies and those two men is something we can explore in the movie too,” Kinsberg said.
2. The setting
As we’ve known for some time now, the movie takes place in 1983. That place it a decade after the events of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. “We’re having a lot of fun with the idea of the ’80s,” Kinsberg told Collider. “It’s a decade that Bryan and I both grew up in and so the music, the style, the aesthetic, the legacy of ’80s movies is something we’re really having fun with.”
3. The story
After months of vague teases, the official synopsis for Apocalypse was finally released at New York Comic Con in October, revealing significant new details about the villainous Apocalypse.
The synopsis reads, “Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible.
Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven ( Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”
Update 12/30/15: Singer has revealed that audiences can expect to see Magneto’s power grow greatly as a result of him joining forces with Apocalypse. “One of Apocalypse’s many powers is he can imbue other mutants with greater ones,” the director told Entertainment Weekly. “Magneto is demonstrating a small taste of what he can do now. Magneto is already enormously powerful…. Now Apocalypse gives him powers far beyond what we’ve seen before.”
Update, 4/4/16: A new trailer that features the Four Horsemen can be seen below.
4. The returning characters
In addition to the central cast, several other actors are set to reprise their X-Men roles in Apocalypse. Evan Peters will return as Quicksilver (above), as seen in the trailer below. Lucas Till will also reprise his role as Havok while Rose Byrne and Josh Helman will return to the franchise as Moira MacTaggert and William Stryker, respectively.
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will also probably make an appearance, although it has yet to be officially announced. However, at San Diego Comic Con in July, director Bryan Singer strongly suggested that Jackman will most likely have a cameo in Apocalypse (as everyone pretty much expected). Further supporting this theory? Le Journal de Montreal is reporting that the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse will return to Montreal for reshoots after Christmas (as is often required with big blockbuster) and Jackman is expected to be “on hand.”
Update 4/12/16: According to a report from Heroic Hollywood, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will have a role in Apocalypse. The character’s involvement was confirmed in the final trailer, which showcases Wolverine’s claws getting ready to do battle.
5. The villain
First introduced in X-Factor #5 in 1986, Apocalypse is a mutant originally named En Sabah Nur aka “The First One.” He has various powers including flight, invulnerability, superhuman strength, teleportation, and telekinesis. In the comic books, Apocalypse enlists the aid of the four mutants — usually by force – and uses them as soldiers to help him carry out his evil plans. He gives them the names Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.
Oscar Isaac will play the character (seen above) in the upcoming film, which will pick up right where Days of Future Past left off in the post-credits scene. In that final scene, the Horsemen appear as four concealed figures riding on horseback in Egypt alongside a younger version of Apocalypse. As Singer teased last year, the beginning of X-Men: Apocalypse will expand on that scene, kicking off with “a sprawling battle” involving the Four Horsemen at smoking ruins near the Nile.
As Kinsberg explained, “Bryan [Singer] and I just locked into this idea of seeing Apocalypse at the height of his power and glory, which is what we imagined would have been in Egyptian times. [The post-credits scene] was just to give a tease of, ‘This guy is super-powerful, and there was a moment in time when he was essentially treated as a god, and he’s going to rise again in X-Men: Apocalypse.’”
Update 4/19/16: A new fictional documentary video released by 20th Century Fox purports to explain the ancient origins of Apocalypse.
6. The new faces
The returning cast will also be joined by newbies Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Alexandra Shipp (Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B), and Tye Sheridan (Mud). The three young stars have been tapped to play younger versions of the iconic mutants, Jean Grey (above, left), Storm, and Cyclops respectively.
Newcomer Lana Condor will play Jubilation Lee aka Jubilee, who has the power to generate pyrotechnic plasma orbs from the palms of her hands. She’s one of the youngest to join the mutant team and will also make her on-screen debut in Apocalypse.
Kodi Smit-McPhee will play a young Nightcrawler, a blue mutant with teleportation abilities. We don’t know much about the exact role he’ll play in the film just yet, but this will be the second time the character has joined the franchise. Alan Cumming previously portrayed the character in X2: X-Men United.
Actor Ben Hardy will be playing the second big screen version of Warren Worthington aka the mutant, Angel. In the comics, Angel is recruited by Apocalypse and ends up becoming one of the villain’s Four Horsemen, the Horsemen of Death. Update 5/6/2016: Check out more recently released footage of Angel in the video above.
Also joining the Apocalypse roster? As seen in the previous slide, Olivia Munn will play Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock aka Psylocke, a skilled martial artist with the power of telekinesis. This will be the character’s first appearance in an X-Men movie. Update 5/6/2016: The studio recently revealed a closer look of Psylocke in the video above.
[Update 5/2/16:] For several months, there’s been speculation that Taylor Swift will make a cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse and now, Turner has reignited that rumor. The actress shared a photo from the film in which she, Cyclops, and Jubilee are record shopping and find an album by Dazzler, a mutant with the ability to generate light blasts who also happens to be a pop star. The photo caption calls Dazzler “our favorite singer’s album (pre-1989 of course).” Since 1989 is the name of Swift’s hit album and the image on the record looks kind of like Swift, some have began wondering whether the singer will actually be playing Dazzler. Unfortunately for Swift fans, it seems the cameo was just a rumor. Per a Taylor Swift rep cited by Gossip Cop, the pop singer does not have a cameo as Dazzler in the upcoming X-Men movie.
7. Its impact on the X-Men universe
While we still don’t know for sure whether Lawrence and some of the other First Class team will be return to the franchise after Apocalypse, Kinsberg did insist that the events of this latest movie will have an important effect on the coming X-Men films, regardless of who remains in the cast. “Things that happen in one film are acknowledged by the other movies,” Kinberg told IGN. “The result of the aftermath of Apocalypse is something that will impact the course of history in the world in much the same way that the end of Days of Future Past did. From 1973 forward, the world knew about mutants. A mutant took a football stadium and dropped it on the White House. That’s not the history we were raised on. So, instead of ignoring it, all of the movies that come after that in the timeline acknowledge it and embrace it, and it becomes part of the complicated reality of X-Men history on film.”
X-Men: Apocalypse is set to hit theaters on May 27, 2016.
More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
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