The year is 1983, about 10 years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Thanks to Mystique publicly saving President Nixon from an attack by Magneto, it’s a world in which homo sapiens know about mutants and have largely accepted them into their society. Of course, prejudice still remains underneath the surface, and there are mutants still suffering.
It’s during this time that a great evil awakens. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), considered to be the first mutant, emerges after thousands of years to find his race facing discrimination instead of being worshipped as the deities he believes they are. What’s a seemingly immortal mutant with god-like powers to do in this case? Recruit four powerful followers and set a Biblical cleansing of the world into motion, one that will wipe out the weak while the strong rises from the ashes.
Last summer, we visited the Montreal-based sets of X-Men: Apocalypse on the 56th and 57th days of shooting to see what director Bryan Singer has in store. It’s going to be a brave new world for these characters, so ahead of the film’s May 27th premiere, here are some major details about the coming "end of days."
1. Apocalypse Will Have These Awesome PowersIn every incarnation of Apocalypse, the villain has a hefty arsenal of abilities. In the trailer, all we’ve really seen of Isaac’s version is his uncanny ability to grow to immense size. Though, because the scene involved a walking Professor X, some fans speculated it was happening in the astral plane. So, what are Apocalypse’s powers exactly?
While persuasion was mentioned during the Comic-Con panel as his most important power, Singer clarified that it’s not explicitly made clear whether this is a mutant ability or simply charisma. Even if it’s the latter, the character still has many others to play with, one of which is the power to imbue other mutants "to heighten their powers and abilities beyond anything imaginable." He can shield himself from psychic attacks, making it difficult for people like Xavier to penetrate his mind. Though, Singer clarified again that Apocalypse is not a psychic.
"His ability to physically damage, destroy, or build is in the non-biological world," Singer said. "That’s in the physical world. He can change… the inorganic molecules of things and so, you know, these are some of the powers that we’re exploring." How is it possible for one mutant to acquire so many abilities? "He moves from body to body," Singer said. "Apocalypse himself is not a physical form. He’s an energy." The director continued:
What he does is he accumulates powers by moving from body to body, and what’s wonderful is he thinks, in the beginning of the film, he’s found this great body. He’s found, I don’t want to give away this particular body... but it’s a familiar one that you’ve seen a number of very famous mutants have. It kind of ends up being the wrong one, because he gets stuck in it for a long time, but then suddenly he has this opportunity, and that becomes his agenda.
While Apocalypse may seem like the God of the Old Testament — that’s how Singer best thinks of him — he’s not really a deity. "If there isn’t the order and the worship, then he’ll open up the Earth and swallow you whole," Singer said. After discussing the character with Isaac, the concept evolved. "He’s the first mutant, perhaps, but he’s not God necessarily. He’s imbued with certain unique powers, some of them may or may not be from his birth - we don’t know."