With the success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, we are nearing the completion of Fox’s X-Men “Prequelogy” with the upcoming X-Men Apocalypse. For the most part, the primary villain of these three movies has been Magneto, who wants to ensure that mutants are the dominant species, along with various human factions attempting to punish and regulate the existence of mutants.
X-Men Apocalypse will give us a new villain in the form of Apocalypse: an incredibly powerful mutant who has absolutely no gray area of humanity (unlike Magneto), and simply believes in complete domination. Set in the 1980s, this film will show Apocalypse as he awakens from hibernation and decides to end humanity, and only the X-Men will be able to stop him. Because he is such a classic villain, the bar is very high for what we can expect from this movie.
Nevertheless, here are 10 Things We Want to See in X-Men: Apocalypse!
10. Apocalypse’s Backstory
This film has to give Apocalypse a proper backstory. This means that we need to either start the film in 5000 BC and see him as the first mutant, or we need to have an extensive flashback during the film that will display his upbringing during that time. It would show him being abandoned as an infant, and then raised by Baal who instilled him with the “survival of the fittest” ideology. We also need to see him gaining and learning how to use his near-omnipotent powers, as well as the beginning of his conquests throughout history.
The first trailer does state that he has existed throughout time, so it would be great also to see how he has impacted history: whether it be having various cultures worship him as a god, or just references to his attempted conquests. It would also be interesting to see him utilize the Celestials, a powerful alien species who Apocalypse has worked with in the comics. We could even see him turn Nathaniel Essex into Mr. Sinister. Those would be great Easter eggs for long-time fans of the comics.
9. The Recruitment of the Four Horsemen
Throughout the comic books, Apocalypse has had four individuals who serve him and do his bidding, known as the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. The individuals have changed, but they have always been given the title of Famine, War, Pestilence, and Death. Apocalypse has given them powers in addition to whatever powers they had previously, and they carry out his wishes.
In X-Men: Apocalypse, the horsemen will be Storm, Psylocke, Archangel, and Magneto. How will he go about recruiting these individuals to join his cause? It’s assumed that he’ll probably recruit Archangel as he did in the comic books: with the false promise of removing his wings, only to give him metallic wings and brainwashing him to join his cause. Storm will be interesting because, at this age, she was a pickpocket in the streets of Cairo, so for her it may be a matter of survival. Psylocke might not have the same origin story as her comic book counterpart (as it would require too many characters whose movie rights belong to Marvel and Disney), so who knows what’s in store for her.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apocalypse recruits each of them. Will he pray on their weaknesses? Will he promise them power? Many of the Horsemen eventually become members of the X-Men, so it’s assumed that they will eventually betray him, but whether that happens now or in a future installment, only time can tell.
8. Magneto’s Conflict
Magneto is the real wild card of the Four Horsemen. Even though he was the villain of many of the X-Men films and comic books, he always operated in a gray territory: he wasn’t purely evil, he was simply fighting for mutants’ rights.
Given his history as a survivor of the Holocaust, he vowed that the same thing would not happen to mutants that had happened to him when he was young. It would be hard to see how Magneto would go from being the victim of a genocidal dictator to then join a genocidal madman like Apocalypse, whose mission is to destroy those he believes to be weak. Will Magneto have some inner conflict with what he is involved in, or will Apocalypse fully bring him to the dark side? If so, how? Could Magneto become brainwashed when he becomes one of his Horsemen, or will he do this willingly and completely become a villain in the film?
7. Storm Will Finally Get an Origin Story
Storm is a character that was one of the leaders of the X-men in the comic books. In the previous X-Men films, she has always been a supporting character to Wolverine and Jean Grey, but now she has the chance to be at the front and center of the X-Men universe.
This is good news because she had one great origin story: In her early life, she went from being daughter of a priestess, to an orphan, to a pickpocketing thief, to a Goddess, to an X-Man. There’s a lot of rich material from the comic books that never has been touched in the films. Everything from her claustrophobia, to her “punk” look, to her eventually leading the X-Men. Her reduction in the films might be based on behind-the-scenes drama between actress Hallie Berry and director Bryan Singer, but now, with new actress Alexandra Shipp, there is a chance to make another correction to the original films.
We have the opportunity to give Storm some history and some depth. Her character will start out in this film as one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse, but hopefully will be able to rebel against him and join the X-Men, eventually becoming one of their leaders.
6. Can We Have an Improved Cyclops?
In the comic books, Cyclops was another leader of the X-Men. In the films, he was reduced to a secondary character. As a result, we never got a true version of Scott Summers, who was criminally underutilized in the original X-Men films. He only served to be a roadblock in Wolverine and Jean Grey’s love affair, and was killed way too early (and for no reason) in X-Men: The Last Stand.
With the timeline being reset in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the filmmakers have the chance to create a proper origin story with some decent character development for Cyclops. We will get to meet Cyclops as a child: one who is unsure of himself and his newly discovered powers. Hopefully, this film will give Cyclops the ability to branch out and actually show audiences what he is capable of.
It would be great if, during the climax of the film, he is shown to be the one who comes up with a strategy to overcome Cyclops. Perhaps he can work with those of the Four Horsemen that are unsure of Apocalypse’s plan, and be able to convince them to join the X-Men and formulate a plan on taking Apocalypse down. This way, he can overcome his doubts and establish himself as the leader of the X-Men for further films.
5. Professor X’s Growth (and his hair loss)
Professor X has been the leader of the X-Men during the prequel trilogy of X-Men movies, but not the wise leader of the original X-Men films. In First Class, he was forming the team and helping them explore their powers, but he was a novice himself. In Days of Future Past, he spent most of the film emotionally defeated by both Magneto and Mystique’s actions. He had given up his powers for the privilege of being able to walk, but toward the end of the film he got his mojo back.
He now continues to develop his powers and, according to the trailer, we are finally getting a bald Professor X who resembles Patrick Stewart’s Professor X (as well as the one from the comic books). In the comic books, Professor X loses his hair due to his powers by the time he graduated high school. He has already finished college and is a grown man by the latest round of films, so will this be a cosmetic decision, or does something happen to him that causes his hair to fall out?
4. How Cool Will Quicksilver’s “Speed Scene” Be?
Let’s face it, Even Peter’s Quicksilver is pretty awesome! The scene in which he single-handedly takes on the guards at the Pentagon in Days of Future Past was the best moment of the film. It was not only great piece of action, but also a marvelous technical achievement. We got to see how everything is from his perspective when he’s moving at top speed, and it was very cool.
In Apocalypse, he is no longer around for a bit part, but is instead a full-fledged X-Man. Actor Evan Peters is already teasing that we will get a bigger and better Quicksilver scene in X-Men Apocalypse. Shooting for that scene took more than a month to complete, to expect it to be pretty amazing.
3. Let’s Show Mutants at Xavier’s School Actually At School
In the original X-Men, when Rogue first came to Xavier’s mansion, we got to see Professor X’s school in all its glory. Not only were there young mutants learning how to use their powers, but you actually saw them being kids at school. The purpose of the school wasn’t just to train superheroes, but to help young mutants find a place where they felt accepted and got a good education.
In First Class, it was a relatively small group of students, and most of the time they were simply learning how to use their powers. In Days of Future Past, the school was shut down due to the Vietnam War. In the latest films, we have yet to see the school doing what its true purpose is: teaching children. Now that we’re sometime after Days of Future Past, enough time should have passed for Professor X’s school to be up and running.
2. Will Wolverine Be In This Movie?
The one constant through most of the X-Men films has been Logan. When the original film came, he was an outsider, and as such, a surrogate for the audience. The only film where he had a reduced role was First Class, and even then he had a brilliant cameo. Days of Future Past in the comic books focused on Kitty Pryde going back in time to prevent the Sentinels takeover of the planet, but in the film it was switched to Wolverine. Why? Because, simply put, we love Hugh Jackman’s version of the character.
Like Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has become the face of the X-Men films. It’s almost impossible for him not to be in an X-Men film. We all know that Hugh Jackman wants to hang up his claws, and he’s even said that the next Wolverine film (hopefully an adaptation of Old Man Logan) will be his last, but it would be great if he showed up in Apocalypse, even if it was just for a cameo.
1. Meet the New (Old) X-Men
In X-Men: Apocalypse, we will finally get to meet Cyclops, Jean Grey, and many other X-Men from the previous films, except as kids and teenagers. We will watch them as they learn to control their powers. For the first time, we will actually be able to see Cyclops and Havok as brothers in the X-Men films. They are brothers in the comic books, but in the original films, Havok was noticeably absent.
In this film, Havok is the “big brother” who takes Cyclops to Professor X’s school to learn how to use his powers. There is also the possibility that Cyclops and Jean Grey will fall in love, as she will be introduced in this film as well. Nightcrawler will be in the film as well, but we don’t know if it will follow the comics in making him the son of Mystique. Mystique will be in this film (and working with the X-Men), so there’s room for that storyline to be explored further. There will also be some possible romantic angles with the new cast, since we all know that Cyclops and Jean Grey end up falling in love. Mystique and Beast also had chemistry with each other in First Class and Days of Future Past as well. And because the actors or so young, there’s a good chance that they’ll continue to star in X-Men movies until they catch up the age of the original X-Men cast.
Even if none of these things come to fruition in X-Men Apocalypse, we’re hoping it will still be a great film and continue to “course-correct” the X-Men franchise to bigger and better storylines. Maybe we’ll eventually go cosmic and see the Shi’ar or the Brood in upcoming movies. The sky’s the limit!