Following directly from 2014’s Days of Future Past which featured both the “original” cast from Bryan Singer’s original films and their younger counterparts from Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 First Class, X-Men: Apocalypse sees Singer’s first time working solely with the new cast, including returning stars James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven “Mystique” Darkhölme, Nicholas Hoult as Hank “Beast” McCoy, Lucas Till as Alex “Havok” Summers, Evan Peters as Peter “Quicksilver” Maximoff, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert and Josh Helman as William Stryker.
Alongside them are many newcomers: The Force Awakens‘ Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse himself, En Sabah Nur, while replacing Alan Cumming as as Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner is The Road‘s Kodi Smit-McPhee, taking over from Famke Janssen as Jean Grey is Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner, Scott “Cyclops” Summers will be Mud‘s Tye Sheridan rather than James Marsden, Halle Berry’s Ororo “Storm” Munroe has been superceded by In Time‘s Alexandra Shipp and Ben Hardy is now Warren “Angel” Worthington III, previously played by Ben Foster.
Scripted by Fantastic Four‘s Simon Kinberg from a story by Singer, Kinberg, Krampus‘ Michael Dougherty and Superman Returns‘ Dan Harris, the film is set for release three months after Deadpool, making it the ninth film in the X-Men series with the tenth, Hugh Jackman’s third and final Wolverine solo film, due for release in 2017.
The first trailer has been released and the team have expressed their opinions…
Les Anderson – Epic indeed. I still think the original X-Men film is one of the best superhero movies out there largely because it’s a character-driven story that doesn’t rely too heavily on visual effects. Since then aesthetics have changed greatly and CGI-heavy epics have become the order of the day and this appears to be no exception.
Singer did a great job balancing a massive cast in Days of Future Past with significant character moments in an effects-laden piece and I’m hoping he manages the same trick here. Angel/Archangel was one of my favourite X-characters as a boy and am quite disappointed with his treatment here – an overstyled pretty muscle-boy with obviously CGI wings attached is not my idea of him.
Given that these trailers have to prioritise the spectacle to drum up excitement I will have to reserve judgement until I see it in the cinema.
Dario Persechino – It looks good, and the build up to the character of Apocalypse is suitably epic. I loved Days of Future Past and this looks like it will again be of a high quality with a great cast. I was excited to see Jubilee in the line up – the awesome nineties X-Men cartoon left me with a big fondness for her.
My only niggle is that I think Apocalypse still has a little too much of the “Power Ranger bad guy” look, but hopefully it will be more impressive when seen fully in the movie.
Michael Flett – I liked the first X-Men back in (yeeks!) 2000 but it had major flaws in it. X2 was an improvement, but The Last Stand was just a hideous bungled monstrosity. It was no wonder First Class took was a total reboot to cleanse our memories, and Days of Future Past effectively wiped it from the timeline, and which would have been sufficient to endear it to us even if it wasn’t without doubt one of the best of the whole sequence.
So here we are again with half an established cast and a bunch of newcomers playing characters we know from the previous films, but those performers I know from other work, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan, will all be brilliant, I have no doubt.
James, Michael and Jennifer will be absolutely fantastic, they always are in whatever they do and I just adore them. Michael was by far the best thing in Prometheus, James was excellent in Victor Frankenstein, and Jennifer I’ve loved since I saw her in Winter’s Bone.
And James looks fantastic with the shaved head. *sigh* Charles and Erik would make such a hot couple. Still, if Erik is going to be tempted by Apocalypse to be one of the four horsemen, I guess that’s not going to be any time soon.
I’m not a comics fan, the only X-Men I have ever read was a few of Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing, so I know nothing at all of Apocalypse, but Oscar Isaac I have faith in; he was great in both Inside Llewyn Davis and Ex Machina, even though the film itself was far from perfect, and most importantly unrecognisable between the two roles. If I hadn’t known it was the same guy, my brain wouldn’t have connected them, even though I only saw them a few weeks apart. Of course, if he blows it in The Force Awakens this Wednesday night, I may feel differently.
I do feel he looks a little bit too much like Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy, but I don’t know, maybe all supervillains get their costumes from the same designer?
It is a concern that this is once again a huge cast, but Bryan managed to juggle them all in Days of Future Past, so fingers crossed he knows what he’s doing, and that the story is strong enough to carry all the shenanigans. At least this time around it’s all in one time frame, so it should be marginally easier – at least he’s not playing with two sets of the same characters played by different actors this time.
I’m also very conscious that other than Stryker and Moira, the whole of the announced cast are mutants, which kind of takes it in the direction of the first Fantastic Four film where the whole thing was a tiff between them and Doctor Doom which really didn’t involve the rest of the world and it all became very childish and parochial and you just felt they should sort it out between themselves.
I’m not too thrilled about blowing up bridges in the last scene as it reminds me of The Last Stand and the Golden Gate Bridge, and I don’t want to be reminded of that, not ever. It never happened, alright?
There will come a time when the superhero bubble bursts, but the first impression of this looks to be maintaining the interest – and that’s coming from someone who five years ago could pretty much take them or leave them until First Class and Winter Soldier came out, but having loved the last two X-Men movies I have high hopes for this – it had better not disappoint.
Adam Dworak – It looks bland and uninteresting. Sansa Stark as Jean Grey – I don’t think so. Jean Grey is powerful and confident, Sophie Turner isn’t strong enough to carry this character.
Hannah Nicol-Rowe – Sold! I have the utmost faith in Bryan Singer and the cast is superb. I spotted a familiar face from the American Horror Story series, Evan Peters, and I’ve been wanting to see what he’s capable of outside the AHS universe. Not the only tempting cast member either; this is a like a who’s who of new and established talent. Looks good.
I only hope the script doesn’t let it down. So often these epic battle movies rely on looks with no real content. I mean, “Unobtainium” anyone? C’mon James, try harder. I have high hopes though, so I’ll be queuing up for this one. Please, don’t let me down. The only thing in the trailer that worries me is Sophie Turner’s accent – is that American you’re attempting there? Is there a reason we hear you utter one line in this teaser? Let’s hope it’s not Keanu Reeves’ Dracula levels of distracting.
X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled for release on 27th May 2016