Last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past was, for many fans, the long-running film series finally righting itself after several notable missteps. Next year, 20th Century Fox and director Bryan Singer will attempt to follow it up with X-Men: Apocalypse, a film that will bring one of the team’s most formidable adversaries to life for the very first time. For the actor chosen to embody him, Oscar Isaac, that means that he needs to find an interesting way into his portrayal in order to make the film version of the villain memorable.
Speaking recently on the Monkeys Fighting Robots podcast (via THR), Isaac discussed a little bit of his process into the mindset of Apocalypse, and how he felt he could make the character sufficiently interesting for moviegoing audiences. He explained, “I’ve been reading the script a lot and trying to come at — for me — a interesting angle,” and that he was “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..”
As far as what the character’s overall plan is, Isaac shared that he, Singer, and write/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.”
Created in 1986 by writer Louise Simonson and artist Jackson “Butch” Guice, the being that would come to be known as Apocalypse was born 5,000 years ago, and may be the first being in existence ever born with the mutant X-gene. Due to his mutation, he was born with unnatural coloration on his skin and lips, and he was an outcast even as an infant. After being saved by the leader of a group of raiders and scavengers in ancient Egypt, an eventual rejection throws the young man, now named “En Sabah Nur,” into emotional turmoil. This brings his mutant abilities out in force, and he rechristens himself “Apocalypse,” embracing his abilities to manipulate himself and the world around him, his ability to hear the thoughts of others, as well as his immortality. In the post-credits scene of Days of Future Past, a young Apocalypse is seen using telekinetic abilities to construct the pyramids as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse watch nearby.
Isaac’s notion of Apocalypse being tied to religious mythology and scripture is something that has not been apparent to the character in the source material, so it may be taking the villain in a new and interesting direction. We’ll have to find out on May 27th, 2016, when X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters worldwide starring Isaac, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and many others.
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