As the actual the summer movie season is pushed back further and further into what is technically spring and winter, it's difficult to say when the time of year typically reserved for studios' biggest, most bombastic features actually begins, but for many, Memorial Day weekend still stands as the official start. This year, that honor goes to Fox's latest film in their Marvel mutant franchise: X-Men Apocalypse, which not only sees the merry mutants taking on their biggest enemy yet, but it also stands as the culmination of the latest X trilogy, promising a new direction with the series' next installment.
Obviously, with Marvel in the midst of an unprecedented box office run thanks to the commercial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the studio's latest release, Captain America: Civil War, and with DC having launched its DCEU earlier in the year with the blockbuster (again, with lots of hero-on-hero punching) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fox's long-running comic book franchise has a lot to live up to. But the mutants of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters have been on the big screen in one form or another since 2000, so they know a thing or two about making an impression on audiences. And with Bryan Singer back to direct his fourth – and arguably largest – entry in the franchise, it's a safe bet Apocalypse will put up an impressive fight against its fellow comic book movies.
With the premiere just a few weeks away, the marketing for the film has gone into overdrive. Everything from super-fast Internet to Red Robin to M&M's has commercial tie-ins for the film, many of which are taking full advantage of the cast of relative newcomers (to blockbuster superhero films, anyway), having the likes of Evan Peters (Quicksliver), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) show up in their commercials. In fact, the M&M's advertisement offers one of the best examples of what both characters' accents will sound like. Take a look (and a listen) below:
— Universo X-Men (@universoxmen) May 2, 2016
In addition to Storm using her powers as justification to consume a pair of anthropomorphized pieces of candy, Fox has released a heaping handful of images from the film. Many of the images are your basic fare: shots of the characters in situations that, out of context, don't really reveal much other than how cool they look – take for instance the shot of Apocalypse in front of a bright orange background, or Olivia Munn as Psylocke looking cocky while casually resting her sword over her shoulder. There are plenty more shots, too, including a few glimpses of Nicholas Hoult in full Beast make-up (which seems to get better with each film), and a look at James McAvoy's Charles Xavier sporting a full head of hair and an '80s sports jacket with the sleeves pushed up – just like Crockett! There's also a good look at the Cerebro helmet – which somehow looks much cooler 30 years ago than it does in the X-Men films set in present day. Take a look at the images below:
For those of you who can appreciate a good still image, but are really here to see the X-Men in all their full-motion glory, there's also a roundup of the best videos and featurettes released for the film so far. Now, for the dedicated X-fanatic, you'll notice some of the videos have been reported on previously – like the entertaining In the Footsteps of… En Sabah Nur, narrated by George Takei. But for anyone who missed that retro spoof on the Leonard Nimoy-hosted TV series In Search of… it's worth it to make that your first stop.
There is also a clip featuring the welcome return of Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, who gets to dish some exposition, explaining to Charles and Alex Summers (Lucas Till a.k.a. future young MacGyver) just who this Apocalypse guy is and why he's so darn special. This is explored even further in 'The Four Horsemen' featurette that explains why Magneto and Storm are aligned with Apocalypse and why that's such a scary proposition. Other than that, the clips are your standard TV spots and the like, delivering plenty of action and hype in bite-sized chunks that are sure to get even casual moviegoers excited to see this '80s-set chapter of the X-Men franchise over Memorial Day weekend.
Take a look at all the TV spots below:
X-Men: Apocalypse will see theatrical release in the U.S. on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.