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In the history of Marvel Comics, the mutant known as Apocalypse without question ranks as one of the most powerful and terrifying villains. He is not only immortal, but possesses powers that go far beyond the comparatively simple mutations and abilities that other genetically gifted individuals possess. Naturally, he will need to be presented as something far beyond and far more terrifying than what we’ve previously seen in the cinematic X-Men world when he makes his big screen debut in X-Men: Apocalypse - and the good news is that star Oscar Isaac already has big ideas in that department. After all, he doesn’t see Apocalypse as merely a powerful mutant, but instead as a character who sees himself as a god.
Sitting down to talk with the A Most Violent Year star this afternoon, I took the opportunity to ask him about what we can expect from his performance as the titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, and the actor revealed that he has some very biblical-level ideas in store for his portrayal. Taking the time to really look through the character’s eyes and understand Apocalypse’s experience as the "first mutant," Isaac explained that the powerful villain wouldn’t merely view himself as being the result of simple genetic changes, but instead will come to the belief that he is actually something far greater:
"He can be anything, he can do anything – so those aspects… I think of the idea of the first mutant and the idea that he wouldn’t be called a mutant back then. What would he be? God. He would be a god on Earth. And he wouldn’t think of himself as a mutant. That’s just descriptive – it’s not really an explanation of what it is. Because we’re mutants too. Humans are mutants, everything’s a mutant – things that evolve. So I’m playing with what that is and encompassing that in someone that has these kinds of powers."
Going as far as to cite specific issues of "X-Force" and "X-Men" comics that he read as a kid, Oscar Isaac affirmed that he is very much a comic book fan and self-described "fanboy," but interestingly enough his appreciation of Apocalypse actually even goes beyond what was just featured in Marvel stories. Fueling his excitement to play the legendary villain is also the fact that he has a love ofthe concepts found in the biblical Book of Revelations. He explained,
"It’s a character that I always just loved – just because it freaked me out. I was really into anything that dealt with end times and being left behind and the Four Horsemen. The imagery in the Book of Revelation is crazier than any comic book you’ll ever read. The beast with the seven heads, angels… it’s the trippy-est stuff. It’s crazy imagery, and so that always stuck with me. And then you had a comic book that was trying to have a character that encompassed that feeling. So, for me, he always has the feeling of the Book of Revelations."
But while Oscar Isaac was willing to take me into the mind of Apocalypse and see his perspective on the character, what he’s unable to do just yet is talk to how the villain will be appearing physically on the big screen. I asked the actor if we could expect X-Men: Apocalypse to be a transformative performance for him, and he responded,
It’s early stages, so there’s not much I can say there as far as what the character concepts are from a visual standpoint. We’ve been talking more about the insides, and what’s going on in there a little bit. But that’s still a little bit preliminary. It’s safe to say I’ll be going to the gym."
X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to enter production in spring 2015, and 20th Century Fox will be releasing the movie in theaters May 27, 2016. Oscar Isaac will next be seen in the J.C. Chandor drama A Most Violent Year, which will be in theaters December 31st.