Though he’s blowing up because of his role in Star Wars: Episode 7, Oscar Isaac wasn’t who X-Men fans instantly imagined as the ancient mutant Apocalypse. The character is like the Thanos of the X-Men universe: he’s a hulking mass of alien robotics and super-villainy who can crush all those puny humans with a flick of his wrist. So inquiring minds want to know, how will Isaac transform himself into the big bad of X-Men: Apocalypse?
The actor recently spoke to Yahoo Movies UK and shed some light on the entire process. And his answer so perfectly parallels his character:
It’ll be a mix [of practical and digital]. I haven’t had a script so I haven’t had a chance to look through the script and see what the exact requirements are, but I think it’ll be a mixture of physical, aided with some robotic technology.
Given Apocalypse’s backstory, this is actually king of poetic. Born En Sabah Nur in ancient Egypt, he was left for dead in the desert but was raised by a band of nomad warriors. Living his life by "survival of the fittest" and powered by his mutant abilities, Apocalypse grew up to become one of the most imposing fighters. He became even more gruesome, though, when he stumbled upon alien technology, which he used to enhance his own physical status and powers. Isaac has already said that one of his many abilities in the film will be to manipulate every molecule in his body.
Isaac has been landing role after role. After A Most Violent Year, we’ll see him in the sci-fi film Ex Machina, followed by Mojave which is why we thought Bryan Singer’s team of animators would be using CGI magic to transform him into Apocalypse. It didn’t seem like the 35-year-old had all that much time to bulk up. Josh Brolin, who plays a similar role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos, transformed into the character through CGI and motion-capture for Guardians of the Galaxy. But this process can sometimes look cheap, while practical effects are far more impressive when done right.
Pre-production has already begun for X-Men: Apocalypse, and Isaac had to undergo a lengthy head-molding sitting so that the behind-the-scenes crew could start creating the makeup and costumes "and all that stuff." He said this process took 3-4 hours, which isn’t all that bad in retrospect. It once took Rebecca Romijn 7-8 hours to transform into Mystique for the first X-Men movies.
X-Men: Apocalypse is sure to be a wild ride, and Isaac is just one piece (though a major one) of this puzzle. The focus will also be on the First Class generation of characters, as well as young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm. Channing Tatum’s Gambit is supposed to make an appearance, too, and he’s getting his own spin-off in 2016. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more information, but so far it’s looking pretty interesting.