Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse is just about a month away from opening, leaving fans with only the third and final trailer for the film to tied us over. It’s one of the year’s most anticipated movies and Singer’s enthusiasm for it is palpable, especially as he explains the myriad decisions that went in to making every facet of the film work.
In a chat with Empire, Singer talked about recent trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse before the film’s May 27th debut. In addition to clarifying that there’s still a lot that’s been left out of the trailers, Singer delved into the filmmaking details that went into such things as making Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse voice distinct, the historical background to the meeting of Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, and the epic battle between James McAvoy’s Xavier and the title villain. For much more from Singer, be sure to visit, or even revisit Adam Chitwood’s extensive interview with the director.
First up, Singer reacted to the last trailer as follows:
“We always planned three trailers. This trailer had to be ready weeks ago visually, so it could be reproduced all over the world. There’s still tons of stuff I wish I could have put in it, but you have to wait for the movie!”
The good news is that there’s still plenty of movie left to enjoy that hasn’t already been glimpsed in the trailers, of course. The more interesting news is that they’re still tweaking the sound mix on things like Apocalypse’s voice:
“He’s bearing the souls, as we say, of many lives and many characters,” explains Singer. “He has contained within him many voices, but he chooses one primarily. Sometimes he’ll lapse into other kinds of voices, all taken from various ranges and tones.
“We had a bass mic to his right cheek, a bass drum mic to his left cheek, and a normal Sennheiser that records the primary dialogue. I was able to take all those voices and augment them. But this isn’t the final mix. It’s getting closer to how he’s going to sound.”
So while Isaac’s transformation into the mega-villain is helped tremendously by sound design, extensive make-up, and computer-generated effects, we do get to see a glimpse of his presumably human character before undergoing the transition into immortal nemesis:
“That was shot fairly early on,” admits Singer, “It’s not a big moment, but you get a taste of who he was. That’s when he’s not Apocalypse. This is when he’s a willing contributor.”
Perhaps the secret to defeating Apocalypse is hidden away within his memories of his former life. The all-powerful mutant might very well be invulnerable to all manner of physical attacks, so maybe the almost-all-powerful psychic Charles Xavier can use this to his advantage. We get a glimpse of this battle in the trailer, one that apparently takes place on a more existential plane than a physical one?
“It’s something like the astral plane,” says Singer. “Apocalypse is a very powerful mutant and it results in an all-out attack on many levels. This is just one part of the attack. Every character is involved in one way or another.”
Aside from the introduction of one of the deadliest villains ever to grace the pages of Marvel comics, we also meet some new (or at least newly cast) faces of other mutants. What’s interesting is that Singer’s alternate world reintroduces those characters to audiences and to each other, much like the meeting of Nightcrawler and Mystique, the latter of whom was famously broadcast across the entire world in the previous film:
“She’s famous, but nobody’s really seen her since,” says Singer. “Meeting her is a big deal to him. She’s the great hero from 1973 and he’s starstruck in that moment. She’s not comfortable with it. She’s not interested in being the face of a world that she doesn’t believe exists. She’s not a hero. It’s the same reason I’m setting 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea right after the Civil War. Everything wasn’t suddenly hunky-dory between the North and the South – there was still hostility and tension. The same thing exists here.”
Comics fans might find it a bit humorous that Mystique is actually Nightcrawler’s mother in the classic storyline (along with movie-deceased villainous mutant Azazel), but another parental status was revealed in the latest trailer. This one, which confirms that Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is in fact Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters) dad, something that was strongly hinted in the last film:
“It wasn’t meant to be a big deal,” laughs Singer. “It’s not like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. We know the deal. The question is, who else knows it and what does it mean and how does it inform how Quicksilver has evolved as a character? It’s part of his journey right to the end of this film.”
So it sounds like Quicksilver might be the only one to reach Magneto after he fully commits to the dark side, or perhaps that Apocalypse will use this knowledge to control the Master of Magnetism himself. Regardless, it sets up some interesting conflicts between the mutants.
On a related note, the trailer also shows a stand-off between eventual X-Men Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). Singer commented on it as follows:
“We never like to digress into fights for the sake of fights,” he explains. “I always like to give conflicts purpose. And visually, who would be a nice match? Whose powers complement each other in battle? To have Cyclops trying to pin Storm, who can fly, it makes for some really wild imagery that I haven’t seen before.”
Perhaps the biggest moment of the final trailer was that last little stinger at the end that revealed some very familiar claws. Singer teases just what that scene means:
“Make of that what you want,” he pokerfaces. “I will say, it’s not simple. There’s something more pivotal that occurs with that. It hints to a sequence that again fits within the canon of all six movies, and the birth of a new direction. It’s not insignificant, nor is it simply just a throw-in. It’s not the only shot you’re gonna see, let’s put it that way.”
I, for one, am beyond excited for X-Men: Apocalypse to finally make its way to the big screen, and I’m thrilled that no more trailers are forthcoming. Are you counting the days or merely casually interested? Let us know in the comments!