X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters earlier this year – and despite a lukewarm critical and box office reception, it would be hard to argue that it wasn’t the biggest X-film yet in terms of scale. With a world-ending villain who is so powerful he essentially makes Magneto a henchman, it takes old, new, and old-but-newly-reintroduced X-Men to save the day.
These mega-budgeted, tentpole superhero extravaganzas don’t come without a fair amount of planning – a careful pruning of the ideas that, however cool, may not work for the picture being filmed. For every concept that makes it to the big screen, there are many more that we only get glimpses of after the fact.
Some examples of concepts that both made the cut and didn’t come courtesy of Toronto-based illustrator, Bartol Rendulic, who has shared some of the conceptual images he created for the planning of Apocalypse. These include looks at the classic Cyclops visor seen at the film’s end and a look at Professor X sporting his Cerebro headgear. We get a glimpse of various iterations of the devices used to contain and transit Nightcrawler from his early scenes as a gladiator-style slave. There is also an unused pilot uniform worn by Beast, which is labeled as a Trask pilot design.
The descriptor from Beast’s image (“Trask’s Plane”) further confirms the involvement of the Trask character in early iterations of X-Men: Apocalypse. Previously-released conceptual work from Rendulic had already confirmed that the X-Men: Days of Future Past antagonist was once involved in the followup film. This would suggest that either it was originally Trask that captured the young mutants (as opposed to Weapon X), or Trask was established as a founding member of the Weapon X organization.
After the events of Days of Future Past, it would make sense that Trask would have a vendetta against the mutants. It’s possible that he was removed to limit the sheer number of balls that the Apocalypse story was attempting to juggle – or Peter Dinklage may simply not have been available to return, when production on Apocalypse got underway.
X-Men: Apocalypse is now available on Digital HD and debuts on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD & DVD on Oct. 4, 2016.
Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017, March 2nd, 2018, and June 29th, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.