‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Director Addresses Fan Backlash Against the Villain’s Voice and Appearance

By May 2, 2016
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From the moment that he was revealed, there was controversy and backlash from fans regarding the look of the titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, set to be played by the incredible Oscar Isaac, with many comparing his heavy prosthetics and blue skin to that of Power Rangers villain, Ivan Ooze. Though, I feel like it wasn’t entirely fair for fans to throw the character design under the bus right away, at least until they saw a real trailer for the film.

Remember how we all felt about those Quicksilver magazine covers before Days of Future Past came out? There are just some superhero designs and costumes that don’t look good anywhere other than the film, and the X-Men franchise always seems to fall under that category for some reason.

Director Bryan Singer says that if he could, he would go back and change the first look that people got of the character if he could too (via IGN):

“There was an image released on Entertainment Weekly, where the effect hadn’t been put in yet, so everyone was — the effect has a pink light on it, and everyone got lit up pink, so people thought Apocalypse was going to be pink. I was like, ‘No, no, they’re all pink. Take a look. Everyone in the picture is pink. It’s a pink picture.’ They maybe just should have taken the pink out of the picture — I should have taken the pink out of the picture. I’m going to take some blame for that. My fault, not Entertainment Weekly’s. That’s the picture I gave them.”

Fair enough, though fans still haven’t lightened up on the character’s heavy blue design either it seems like. Maybe it’s the nose. It’s probably the nose.

There’s been some concern regarding the character’s voice in the film as well, which has rapidly and blatantly changed throughout the number of trailers we’ve seen for the film over the past few months, though Singer promises the effects in his voice will bring something entirely new to cinema:

“[The first X-Men: Apocalypse trailer] was simply Oscar using his normal voice — which is wonderful; his performance is fantastic — but that was never the intention. We just needed those words to govern the first teaser. So people thought, ‘Oh, wait, is that going to be his voice during the whole movie?’ It’s like, no, but to tell the story of the first teaser, we needed the voice, and I hadn’t recreated the voice yet.

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 ebbs and flows and moves through the movie, and changes, so he doesn’t just have one single voice. He speaks with different voices depending on different moments in the film. So it’s really kind of cool. 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.”

Honestly, all that you had to say was Oscar Isaac and I’m on board. Over the past few years alone, the actor has appeared in and driven some of the best films of the decade so far, with two in specific (Inside Llewyn Davis and Ex Machina) landing as two of my all time favorite films at this point. So the idea of him playing this legendary, powerful villain for the X-Men world, was something that had me hooked from the moment he was cast.

As for the designs, I’ve never had much of a problem with them if I’m being honest. Sure, it looks a little campy and overdone, but at the same time, I’m okay with that for this character, and I’ve gone from hating to loving to being fairly okay with the character’s evolved voice over the past few trailers as well, initially just preferring the stripped down, raw performance from Isaac more than the garbled, electronic effects they seemed to be adding in. What Singer is promising here sounds interesting though, and will hopefully bring an even more complex aspect to the iconic villain. Now we just have to hope that the movie itself ends up being worthy of the performances being given in it.

X-Men: Apocalypse is set to hit theatres on May 27th.

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable