The X-Men may still be fresh in your memory given that it was only last summer when Days of Future Past opened in theaters to set box office records for the long-running superhero movie franchise while also winning over fans and critics. That, Deadpool stealing our hearts with each new piece of marketing material, and the fact that DOFP is getting a special edition release next week, but more on that later.
The studio behind the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies, Twentieth Century Fox, was so confident in the plans and ideas of Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer that they had announced a title and release date for a fast-tracked sequel for two years later, before X-Men: Days of Future Past even released in theaters. The next film is titled X-Men: Apocalypse, and Singer and company promised to show up at San Diego Comic-Con today to bring something special to show fans. And that they did.
Timed very well with the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut – available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD July 14, 2015 – which screened during the convention, is this first marketing push for Apocalypse. What we got in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center yesterday evening (based on just five weeks of shooting in Montreal) is what we expect to be the first teaser trailer released later this year. It offers at brief glimpse at most of the characters in the film, including dialogue and look at the new big bad villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) who was revealed earlier this weekend in posters handed out at the convention. The entire cast of X-Men: Apocalypse was on stage for this.
- The footage begins with young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) having nightmares, visions of an apocalyptic future as Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) calms her down, reminding her that it’s just a dream. But it’s not.
- We hear Apocalypse speak for the first time, reflecting on his long and storied, god-like history: “I’ve been called any things over many lifetimes, Ra, Krishna, Yahweh…”
- Then we see Moira Mactaggart (Rose Byrne) who returns from X-Men: First Class speaking to Xavier: “Ever since the world found out about mutants there have been secret societies, cults, who see them as some kind of second coming or sign of god.” She’s been “tracking” the first of them (Apocalypse) and says “They believe that tens of thousands of years ago an ancient being was born. The world’s first…” Xavier interrupts and completes the sentence: “Mutant.”
- Sizzle-reel style shots throughout the teaser of familiar characters including blue and non-blue Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till) in the X-base, new Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) in costume, and young Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) featuring the same lines and design as the X-Men 2 version played by Alan Cumming.
Apocalypse voiceover continues throughout the teaser, and the rest of it goes like this:
“I was there to spark and fan the flame of man’s awakening. To spin the wheel of civilization…”
We see Magneto with old soldiers in the forest.
“You are all my children and you are lost, because you follow blind leaders…”
We see Apocalypse and Mohawk-rocking Storm enter what looks to be the underground lair of the Morlocks where a ragged Magneto (Michael Fassbender) stands with other mutants. Magneto turns and looks at Apocalypse and retorts “Who the f**k are you?” Apocalypse is there to recruit Magneto as one of his four horsemen and says “Come and see.”
This is where we get our first look at Apocalypse’s costume. It’s extremely outlandish and his face is blue with a patterned design. There are prosthetics on his scalp and around his shoulders. The arms show detailed patterns and overall the design looks more alien than mutant. It’s very strange how small Apocalypse appears relative to other characters since he’s massive (and can change size) in Marvel Comics. We expect that may still be the case in other scenes of the complete movie.
“Everything they’ve built will fall and from the ashes of their world we’ll build a better one…”
More sizzle reel shots: Cyclops blasting at a roof, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) running super-speed through the halls of the X-base, Psylocke (Olivia Munn) in her actual comics costume.
We see Apocalypse and the four horsemen (Magneto, Storm, Angel, and Psylocke) in the X-base and Magneto lifts Professor X and his chair in the air and pulls it towards them with his powers. We see Mystique early in the footage, with a rocker leather jacket and later again, seemingly reuniting with Charles and saying “Mutants are being hunted,” but that she’s there to help, there to fight since there’s a storm approaching.
“What do you see?”
Professor X is using Cerebro, speaking about Apocalypse by saying “He can’t control all of us.” We see him potentially horrified and later when we’re back to this shot we see a tear roll down his face. The next shot of him with the Cerebro helmet sees his eyes turn black and he says “I’ve never felt power like this before.”
The final shot sees an X-base door open and James McAvoy finally has bald Xavier in the chair and wearing a nice suit. It then shows a close-up of him as he looks at the camera and fade to black.
Note: there are very few VFX shots since X-Men: Apocalypse is still in principal photography so most if it is focused on Apocalypse’s voice, and then the Mystique/Xavier/Magneto trio and just showing the character designs. Wolverine was not in any of the footage but Hugh Jackman’s banter with Bryan Singer before the panel would make it seem he may appear, especially given Singer’s words about acknowledging the fact that Wolverine has appeared in every X-Men movie to date in the 16 years the series has existed.
Also note: Elements of this description could be out of order. It’s just my memory we’re working from, but you get the larger idea. Prepare for Apocalypse was the theme of the teaser and those words were shown during it as well.
Singer describes Apocalypse as the “true birth of the X-Men” while at the same time hinting that the film will heavily feature mass-scale destruction. More importantly, it will serve as a launching point for new stories based on a younger cast playing the original characters from the first X-Men movie – characters who may one day share the screen with the rebooted Fantastic Four.
Excited for X-Men: Apocalypse to close out the First Class trilogy? Ready to see another generation of mutant heroes and villains take over the series going forward?
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12th, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27th, 2016, Gambit on October 7th, 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3rd, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on June 9th, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13th, 2018. New Mutants is also in the work without a release date.