The descriptively destructive sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse certainly took on quite the challenge when tackling its titular antagonist. While the comic book designs seemed unfeasible to adapt in a live-action capacity, director Bryan Singer reveals the mindset behind the character’s rather peculiar look in the film.
In the latest issue of Empire, Singer discusses the audaciously ostentatious outfit sported by the supremely powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse played by a makeup and prosthetic-packed Oscar Isaac. A rather far cry from the duds of the character’s comic book counterpart, Singer reveals a more practical pastiche approach that also hearkens back to the character’s Egyptian roots. As Singer explains:
He'll be very similar to images in the comic. There's obviously something very futuristic and yet ancient to the design of both his costume and his physicality.
The original comic book design of Apocalypse was likely an aesthetic byproduct from the era of his 1986 introduction in the pages of X-Factor. The design, characterized by big-ass shoulder pads, typically has him sporting a blue space-suit with tubes running from both his arms plugged to his back, all while sporting a giant "A" on his belt buckle, lest the world forget to capitalize his chosen name. Yet, the big 80’s design for the big-time villain managed to hold up for the most part throughout the years. Thus, approaching a live-action interpretation was going to require some indicative shout-outs to the over-the-top designs.
We got our first cinematic glimpse of the En Sabah Nur character in post-credits sequence at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past as a boy in ancient Egypt using his potent powers to play Pyramid Tetris. However, the deluge of reveals from Comic-Con earlier this month prompted EW to provide the first full reveal of Isaac’s role as the ancient, eschatologically enraged version of the character. (Embedded in the tweet above.) The purple-hued photos prompted fan reactions ranging from intrigue to derisive comparisons to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie rogue, Ivan Ooze.
In the comic storyline, Apocalypse was an already-powerful mutant with an almost unfair array of abilities such as telekinesis, super-strength/endurance, technology manipulation, energy projection, virtual immortality and even an innate Ant Man-like ability of molecular manipulation allowing him to change his size. However, he became even more powerful after finding alien technology that he integrates to his already ridiculous repertoire. Judging from what we’ve been seeing of the film version, some of these quasi-futuristic motifs from Apocalypse’s comic-traditional getup seem to be present, possibly indicating a reference to that aspect of his origin story.
Now, the movie universe of the X-Men films, which just got its narrative house in order with a much-needed timeline reset in last year’s Days of Future Past, will see one of the most powerful and possibly very first mutants to walk the Earth emerge rather cranky from a 5,000-year sleep to wreak havoc on the newly-unified X-Men team in 1983. While his bizarre fashions might actually be a fortuitous fit for the era, neither the release of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," nor Return of the Jedi Ewoks are going to mollify his magnificent rage.
X-Men: Apocalypse gets ready to show the 1980’s that its title character was walking like an Egyptian WAY before it was cool when the film hits on May 27, 2016.