A release date and title was announced for X-Men: Apocalypse months before last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past even hit theaters. And despite Days of Future Past including the largest cast of mutant characters we’d ever seen on screen together, seeing the return of original franchise actors and their younger counterparts from 2011’s X-Men: First Class, Apocalypse is said to be even bigger.
Over the last few months, as new and surprising additions to the film’s cast continue to be revealed, we’re starting to see how this can be true in the sheer number of mutants alone. X-Men: Apocalypse benefits from an entirely new timeline and continuity thanks to the events set in place in its predecessor, giving director Bryan Singer, writer-producer Simon Kinberg, and the film’s creative team the freedom to take the series in an entirely new direction, even if that means exploring the cosmic side of the Marvel Comics they own the film rights to.
And there’s no better place to begin planting seeds for that than next summer should Kinberg and co. be keeping Apocalypse’s (real name: En Sabah Nur) origins from the comics intact. From the X-Men: Apocalypse footage that played at San Diego Comic-Con (official trailer may release alongside The Martian), we know certain details from the source material are indeed being adapted. This version, as we know from the post-credits button of X-Men: Days of Future Past, sees En Sabah Nur’s origins in ancient Egypt where in the comics he was born thousands of years ago as the world’s first mutant. His odd appearance saw him abandoned until he was picked up and raised in a culture that ruthlessly embraced the concept of survival of the fittest, an ideology Apocalypse forces upon the people of the world himself in the modern era.
He’s not just an all-powerful, seemingly immortal mutant though. In the comics, Apocalypse comes across an alien starship and tech which grant him much of his power, and if this piece of concept art shared by Bryan Singer earlier this year is of any indication, that element of En Sabah Nur’s past may translate into the X-Men movie franchise:
This image appears to depict an alien ship with Apocalypse standing near its entry ramp. If that wasn’t enough of a hint of an alien connection, then Simon Kinberg’s explanation of Apocalypse’s unique and outlandish costume in the film should be. First responses to imagery revealing how Oscar Isaac would appear in X-Men: Apocalypse as its titular god-like villain were mixed. Unlike any other mutant design or attire seen in the franchise, and obviously too advanced to be crafted in ancient Egypt, there had to be something else to Apocalypse’s design and Kinberg hints that there is in an interview with MTV.
“I feel like we have been, the X-Men franchise, has been growing a little bit more into science fiction. I think Days of Future Past with time travel and the Sentinels took us into a slightly broader, more science fiction world than the films had occupied in the past. We felt like the movies were ready for something that was slightly more, let’s say, cosmic. Once we made the decision for Apocalypse to be the villain at the center of the movie, we wanted to be true to the comics, which are sort of, like you, say, not costume, but it’s not just a guy in a helmet. It is more cosmic.”
More science fiction. More cosmic. Sounds like Apocalypse’s costume, and hence, some of his abilities, may indeed from come alien technology just as it does in the books. That would certainly explain his over-the-top design and how his four horsemen have similar, exaggerated and colorful costumes.
And it plays nicely to another plot point that grabbed our attention months ago, when Singer revealed a behind-the-scenes photo of the parents of Scott Summers a.k.a. Cylcops (Tye Sheridan) and Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok (Lucas Till) – confirming they are brothers – and at the time Kinberg teased that there could be some fun details from the comics regarding this that may play into the future of the X-Men series. Of course, in the comics, the Summers’ father is actually taken into space where he becomes a literal space pirate. If X-Men: Apocalypse is starting to explore the cosmic side after Guardians of the Galaxy proved that fans are ready for these sorts of stories, why stop at En Sabah Nur…
And until proven otherwise (this leaked image helped), the apt comparisons of Apocalypse’s costume to that of Ivan Ooze’s from Power Rangers remain appropriate and entertaining:
Apocalypse partying with his Horsemen pic.twitter.com/Wx6afIyEVw— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) September 11, 2015
Want to see X-Men movies tell space stories from the comics? Is this also the obvious way to bring back the Fantastic Four again? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.