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With a title like X-Men: Apocalypse, you already know that you’re not in for an easy-going, laidback time. And if what Oscar Isaac, who plays the title villain, says is true, we’re about to see a superhero movie on a scale we haven’t seen before, as things are going to get downright biblical.
Now that production is well underway and rolling along, Isaac, who also stars in indie sci-fi hit Ex Machina and will show up later this year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, talked to the Monkeys Fighting Robots podcast about his approach to the destructive character. He says:
I’ve been reading the script a lot and trying to come at—for me—a interesting angle, definitely focusing on the fact [that his character] is the embodiment of the second coming of the judgments of God and that energy going in. We're playing with that.
That’s a rather big, brash statement, to call your character the embodiment of God’s judgment, but considering how Apocalypse does things on the pages of Marvel’s comics, it’s not too over the top in reality.
Also known as En Sabah Nur, which means "The First One, Apocalypse is actually the first individual to demonstrate the X-gene, which causes mutations like those of the X-Men. Born 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt, he was abandoned as an infant because of his grey skin, a side effect of his mutation. He is immortal, and used technology he obtained from aliens in order to rise to power and recruit followers. In short, he’s a total badass who promises to be the biggest challenge faced to date by the cinematic incarnation of the X-Men.
That said, however, he’s never been particularly viewed as having any religious overtones or implications, but it sounds like that will be the case in Apocalypse, as Isaac adds that director Bryan Singer and producer Simon Kinberg were:
trying to ... make his philosophy and [mission] one that is both simple but also holds water, that really makes sense throughout the whole movie.
The character first showed up on screen last year in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past, though he’s been around in the comics since the mid-1980s, which makes sense given the ‘80s setting of the new movie, though that’s probably just a coincidence.
The X-Men franchise is losing a number of key players soon, including Jennifer Lawrence and Hugh Jackman, and Michael Fassbender’s contract is up, so it’s unclear if he’ll be back for more, though he’s definitely open to the possibility. But they should be fine as they’re restocking to a degree. We’ve seen Evan Peter’s Quicksilver, and he’ll be back, but there are also newcomers like Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Ben Hardy as Angel, Olivia Munn as Psylocke, and Lana Condor as Jubilee, among others. These characters, presumably signed to multipicture deals, will help fill out the ranks moving forward, that is, assuming they survive tussling with Apocalypse.
We’ll see how that goes when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27, 2016.