The Power of Apocalypse
Apocalypse is one X-Men character who has been able to get away with having a convoluted set of mutant abilities - powers that seem to grow more elaborate with each passing decade. Just check out the Wikipedia listing for what this villain can do:
"[Apocalypse] has total control over the molecules of his body, enabling him to alter his form as it suits him, such as allowing his body to become extremely malleable and flexible or change its size, enhance his physical abilities, transform his limbs into weapons, wings, or jets, regenerate from fatal injuries, adapt his body to apparently any disease or hostile environment, and give himself virtually any physical superhuman power The character is also able to project and absorb energy, and has displayed telepathy and telekinesis. Apocalypse is as well capable of technopathy, able to directly interface with the various technologies he has at his disposal. Thanks to the aid of his mutant abilities, special "regeneration" chambers, and changing bodies, Apocalypse has made himself effectively immortal."
In other words: he's nearly unstoppable.
So how much of that - the Mr. Fantastic-style body manipulation, Mystique-style shape-shifting, psychic powers, technology - will make it into the film? It's already been said that both practical effects and CGI will be used to transform Isaac into Apocalypse - but what, specifically will his abilities be? The actor could share this much when asked if that was a big discussion with writer Simon Kinberg and director Bryan Singer:
"Absolutely. And at the same time figuring out what the limits are and how it relates to how he moves and what it costs him. That's always a fun thing. So to be able to sit with Simon Kinberg and - as a fan - just go through it and be like, 'Well what about this!?! You know, this is something that he does in the comics and is there a way to incorporate this? Or if he has this power suddenly how do we make that not come out of nowhere?' So it's really fun to map that thing out. But yes, the nature of how his powers manifest themselves is to a certain extent quite open to interpretation. Because there are so many and they are so vast."
A villain with limitless abilities isn't super interesting - and explaining powers as varied as Apocalypse's could be downright difficult. In the DoFP post-credits scene, the villain's younger self is seen manipulating stones telekinetically in order to build the Pyramids, so that seems like a confirmed ability he will have (an interesting counter to young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Prof X's abilities. Energy absorption and projection would be a good counter to powers wielded by young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), young Storm (Alexandra Shipp) or Magneto; and come on! Having Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) finally getting tricked/outmaneuvered by a rival shape-shifter would also be pretty fun to watch.
In an older interview, Isaac revealed that body manipulation (like shape-shifting) is pretty much a lock, as far as Apocalypse's powers go in the film:
“(The costume) hasn’t been figured out yet, but one of his major powers is being able to change all the molecules in his body. So I’ll be changing all the molecules in my body… It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
Given Apocalypse's long life span, it wouldn't be hard to simply offer some throwaway explanation that he augmented his original powers with decades of research and advanced technology. In fact, there are no doubt many fans out there hoping that Apocalypse's "research and development" was perhaps helped along by a brilliant geneticist named Nathaniel Essex, who was transformed by Apocalypse into the near-immortal Mr. Sinister, and manipulates mutant evolution from the shadows.
All in all, it sounds like Isaac, Kinberg and company are really delving into the comic book source material to build their movie version of Apocalypse. We'll have to wait for the first official images of Isaac as the villain to see what they've accomplished.
X-Men: Apocalypse will bring back James McAvoy as Prof. X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Lucas Till as Havok and Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert. Joining the cast are Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, Tye Sheridan as Young Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as young Storm, Sophie Turner as young Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-McPhee as young Nightcrawler, Lana Condor as Jubilee, Ben Hardy as Angel and Olivia Munn as Psylocke. X-Men Apocalypse is written Simon Kinberg (Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four), Dan Harris (X2) and Michael Dougherty (X2), and is directed by Bryan Singer.
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, Gambit on October 7 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.