How X-Men Is Drastically Changing Oscar Isaac To Play Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse has been described many times as the biggest X-Men movie yet, and much of that has to do with its eponymous villain. Just like in the comics, the Egyptian mutant arguably the single most powerful individual on Earth, but he also has one of most unique physical presences. Director Bryan Singer has already addressed concerns over Apocalypse’s appearance and size in the movie, but he also revealed that there’s been special work done behind the scenes to improve the character’s voice.

Noting how fans heard Oscar Issac’s normal voice in the X-Men: Apocalypse teaser trailer, Singer told IGN that it wasn’t his intention for that voice to be used in the movie, and they took a unique approach to boosting his dialogue in post-production. The director detailed:

What I'm doing is something very unique. It hasn't been done before. We're rerecording his entire performance because the suit's creaky and makes all kinds of noise, you can't really use any of it anyway. But I want his performance. So he's being recorded in ADR using a standard Sennheiser microphone, but also with a bass mic to his right cheek and a bass drum mic to his left cheek. These two microphones have the ability to pull vocal range out of his voice that the human ear cannot hear. And I can take that vocal range that I've now recorded, and I can pull it and use it to augment his voice -- and that with a little digital magic can create a voice that's both completely governed by his performance but is not natural. … It's the first time I've ever had the tools to sculpt a performance in post-production, that was already given to me on set and chosen in the cutting room.

Rather than have Oscar Isaac do a motion capture performance on the X-Men: Apocalypse set, practical effects and makeup were used to make him look alien-like. However, we’ve seen in the trailers that there’s been a fair amount of of digital work done to make him look even closer to his comic book counterpart. That’s the same approach that’s been taken with the Apocalypse’s voice, using both microphones to augment how he sounds, and doing some extra digital work to perfect the vocal performance. Singer also said that Isaac’s voice "ebbs and flows" during the movie, so his Apocalypse will speak with different voices depending on which moment.

You can re-watch the final X-Men: Apocalypse trailer below to hear Apocalypse’s actual voice, which definitely sounds deeper and has a booming quality to it.

Although moviegoers got a brief taste of a teenage Apocalypse in the X-Men: Days of Future Past post-credits scene, X-Men: Apocalypse is when we’ll see the Egyptian powerhouse at the height of his power. Awakening in 1983, he’ll be displeased with how society has progressed. Rather than just destroy a few civilizations like he did in the past, he’ll set out to "cleanse the world (with the Four Horsemen by his side) so only the strong will be left, and the only ones who stand a remote chance of stopping him are the X-Men, both young and old.

The final version of Apocalypse, voice and all, will be seen when X-Men: Apocalypse arrives on May 27.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.