In preparation for the upcoming final chapter to the X-Men: First Class Trilogy, 20th Century Fox is paving the way for X-Men: Apocalypse. The mutant mash-up will focus on the newly refreshed timeline and the X-Men’s efforts to fight their wayward X-members, recruited to be the Four Horsemen by Apocalypse (Oscar Issac). And putting down the ancient mutant and his cohorts will be no small task.
In order to outshine by their Marvel competitors at Disney, Fox is cranking out the promotional materials. They recently released two new videos featuring speedster Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and the supposed first mutant, Apocalypse.
Renowned for his incredible velocity, Quicksilver shows up in what else but an ad for high-speed Internet (watch it below). The commercial, for UK broadband provider Sky Fibre, features a laggy web-connection at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning wrecking Quicksilver’s ability to Netflix and chill. Instead, he shows off his super speed by zooming around the room and pranking Beast, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Storm. The ad is corny, but it shows off more of Quicksilver’s abilities, something fans are looking forward to more of in the upcoming film. The presence of Storm (Alexandra Shipp) is also curious, since her primary role in the film is as a villain.
The other video (watch it above) is a parody of those fondly remembered paranormal shows from the 80s like Leonard Nimoy’s “In Search Of…” Narrated cheekily by fellow Star Trek cohort George Takei, “In the Footsteps Of…” briefly explores the recent reveal of mutants before moving on to its focus, En Sabah Nur (a.k.a. Apocalypse). The fake show delves into the origin story behind the ancient Egyptian mutant, including the destruction which followed his awakening, and his mysterious disappearance for millennia before the film opens. The video ends by imploring viewers to watch the upcoming show, which just happens to coincide with the film’s release date.
While both ads feel somewhat corny, they do offer novel ways to explore the characters from X-Men: Apocalypse in advance. Fox seems to be trying to match their competitors by reaching out to viewers through nontraditional means and social media. Offbeat but related videos and promos can be an effective tool, especially if they go viral. A good deal of the hype behind cinematic behemoths like Batman V Superman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been fueled by new media advertising and trending social media.
So far, the feedback on X-Men: Apocalypse has been generally positive, if not overwhelming the web with trending stories. That’s clearly something Fox is trying to change with its new spate of ads. Whether or not people enjoy (as I did) the campy feel of the George Takei-narrated video or the added glimpses of Quicksilver’s antics isn’t as important as if it gets audiences buzzing.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.