X-Men: Days of Future Past gave the X-Men movie franchise a much-needed soft reboot - one which offers the opportunity to create a new vision for how the modern day X-Men team - including Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm - first came together. In X-Men: Apocalypse we will see a younger version of the X-Men battle a major new threat: the ancient and powerful mutant villain, Apocalypse.
Apocalypse will be portrayed onscreen by Oscar Isaac, who has jumped from supporting roles in films like Robin Hood (2010) and Sucker Punch, to acclaimed indie fare like Drive and Inside Llewyn Davis, to now headlining Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015 and an X-Men movie the very next year. Needless to say, for hardcore geeks Isaac is a figure of much interest right now - and today he's talking about just what version of Apocalypse we will get in the movie.
Osar Isaac sat down with IGN's Roth Cornet to discuss bringing Apocalypse from the comic page to the screen, covering everything from powers, to story, to those four horsemen you may have noticed at the end of DoFP. Watch the interview below, then read on for our breakdown of Isaac's words.
Culling A Weak World
Fans of X-Men Comics know that En Sabah Nur (aka Apocalypse) has one mantra that rules his existence: The weak must be culled from the strong. Survival of the fittest.
For Apocalypse, this means the strongest mutants battling to ascend to their rightful place as the dominators of civilization, while humans and weaker mutants are eradicated in the process. According to Oscar Isaac, Apocalypse's dark Darwinian views will have special resonance in the era of the 1980s, in which the film is set:
"On an individual level he's able to reveal the true power of his Horsemen and what's true to them. And I think to reveal the weakness - how weak we've become. Because this is an ancient entity. So to come to - I think 1983 - and say, 'How did the world become so weak? How did we allow ourselves to become to weak and to enslave ourselves.' I think that's where he's coming from."
In the comics, Apocalypse spends eras of time in a stasis chamber, allowing him to survive through centuries until he reawakens - usually at points of great importance or change. The 1980s is an era now defined by the onset of consumer culture and the luxuries that it afforded - luxuries and comforts that Apocalypse would likely frown upon. It's also a time when mutants of great power - Storm, Jean Grey - are coming into their own, presenting a perfect recruitment opportunity for Apocalypse.
The Four Horsemen
True to his name, Apocalypse keeps four horsemen at his side (along with other servants); typically, these horsemen are mutants that Apocalypse uses his vast knowledge and advanced technology to transform into avatars of War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. In X-Men comics, major characters like Angel and Wolverine have fallen victim to Apocalypse's "makeover" process and become horsemen - and even when the process is reversed, the lingering effect of Apocalypse's influence can be corrupting.
Other mutants, however, have not needed to be forcibly coerced into horsemen service - for mutants like tracker/hunter Caliban, Apocalypse was a welcome means of becoming something stronger. According to Oscar Issac, that lure of having mutants realize their potential (even in a destructive way) will be something that X-Men: Apocalypse will deal with:
Without giving anything away, the recruitment of the Four Horsemen is very cool. It's very interesting the way that he does that. You know the idea of - the way that cult leaders do - they find people that are in need of something and try to fulfill that thing in them - as it relates to every one of the Horseman."
We already got a look at the Four Horsemen during the post-credit scene of Days of Future Past; however, that was in ancient Egyptian times when En Sabah Nur was a boy. By the 1980s, Apocalypse will probably need new horsemen, and based on director Bryan Singer's early reveals, Archangel (original X-Man Angel (played by Ben Hardy in the film) transformed to a flying hunter/killer with metallic wings) is definitely in the cards. Fans have been waiting a long time to see the Apocalypse/Archangel saga onscreen.