When the marketing for X-Men: Days of Future Past began, folks were enthused to see the original trilogy characters back in their costumes, but there was one new character who seemed to be the butt of every joke: Quicksilver. Not only was his costume a bit “out there” without context, but everyone assumed Marvel Studios’ iteration of the character in Avengers: Age of Ultron would automatically blow the X-Men version out of the water. As it turns out, the Quicksilver sequence in Days of Future Past became the highlight of the entire movie, and Evan Peters’ performance was hailed as an energetic, spot-on interpretation of the comics mutant.
So when it came time to put together the Bryan Singer-helmed sequel X-Men: Apocalypse, of course the filmmakers wanted to include a meaty role for Quicksilver, but they were also faced with the prospect of topping the first film’s incredible “Time in a Bottle” scene.
When I visited the Montreal set of X-Men: Apocalypse last summer, the cast and crew were fairly guarded about what, specifically, the new Quicksilver sequence entails, but Evan Peters did have high praise for the team involved in bringing the scene to life:
“I think that’s been the hardest thing. Can we top it? They did such a fucking awesome job. The special effects team is amazing. Bryan Schmears over at Second Unit, everybody just made that whole sequence awesome, I thought. I was just a minion. They just told me what to do so I didn’t really have much to do with it but I was curious to see how they were going to top it and if they could and I think they have. I’m very excited to see it myself. I’m excited for everybody to see it because we’ve been working hard on it.”
Peters worked on the new scene on and off during the entire production—30 days in total—which gave him and the crew time to evaluate bits and pieces of the new sequence as it was being put together:
“Most of it is on stages and great stunt guys and just working it all out. It’s very meticulous and tedious work, which is … I kind of like that actually. You kind of do it and then you go back and check it out and see if it worked. You go back and do it again and do it a little differently. It’s kind of fun. I like it a lot.”
While the actor was guarded about what the new sequence entailed, he said the best way he can contextualize it in relation to the first sequence is that they approached it like a sequel:
“It’s like a sequel. I don’t know any other way to put it. You take elements that worked in the past and then you add on to them and try to make them better. It’s similar but different and better. That’s what you always try to do I think for the sequel and hopefully we’ve done that. I think it’s really cool. You guys know it was a lot of slow motion and stop where people were stopped. They’re doing that again and it’s fucking cool, man. You’re mesmerized watching it. Just the slow motion of it all. That phantom camera is like insanity dude. What we’ve been able to accomplish with technology and just being able to watch things in a different way is so cool. It doesn’t matter what we really do as long as you add that phantom camera on there… Obviously mixed with the special effects talents then it becomes something really sweet.”
In terms of specifically filming the close-up portions of the scene, Peters described what’s involved:
“That one was kind of like a Go Pro situation but with a full camera. They had this setup where it was this metal bar, right, and then the camera was on there and then behind me they had this metal bar coming out and then sand bags on that to counterbalance the weight so it was intense. I’m sitting there just going like this (moves arms back and forth) because they didn’t want to have me run on a treadmill because I probably would have ate it and broken the camera and it’s all liability… . It was just me moving my arms but I’ll tell you what, they shoot against these green screens and they fill it in later and it is just unbelievable.”
While the cast and crew were tight-lipped about the specifics, I was able to piece together what this new Quicksilver sequence involves, and trust me, it’s going to be incredible.
For more from my X-Men: Apocalypse set visit, peruse the links below. The film opens in 2D and 3D on May 27th.
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Over 75 Things to Know about the Epic Superhero Sequel
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: New Timeline Explained by Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Bryan Singer on the Villain’s Powers, Costume, and Casting Oscar Isaac
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: How Did They Decide Which Mutants to Include?
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Michael Fassbender on Working with Oscar Isaac, Becoming a Horseman