Bryan Singer Breaks Down X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Trailer; Talks Gods, Themes, Motives, & More

We received our first official look at X-Men: Apocalypse this morning & now we have a ton of great new details from director Bryan Singer. Check it out as he breaks down the trailer and discusses the movie's themes, next-level action sequences, team dynamics, that final shot & more!

I’ve been called many things over many lifetimes... Ra. Krishna. Yahweh.

Has there ever been a more badass line spoken in a comic-book movie? Maybe, but probably not. Earlier this morning, the world received their first look at 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse and now a ton of very interesting new details have surfaced, courtesy of Empire & director Bryan Singer.

Let's start out by delving right into the belly of the beast - Apocalypse. When the film opens in 1983, Apocalypse, it seems, will have reawoken from an extended slumber to a world that has essentially forgotten him. This will in turn make him one unhappy mutant God hellbent on correcting the world by destroying it. Singer spoke on defining Apocalypse's character by first determining what it means to be a God: “What is a God? Why would someone create and rule over a race simply to be worshipped?" He later expands into what is motivating Apocalypse and why he sees the world as broken: "It bears no respect or devotion to him – that’s the big giant ego of the old God. All of it lacks symmetry, order and devotion to him. It needs to be culled. It needs to be wiped away and rebuilt again.

Speaking for the first time on Apocalypse's look, which was criticized in some circles when Entertainment Weekly unveiled his first photo a few months ago, Singer reassured fans that the larger-than-life mutant villain, played by the über-talented Oscar Isaac, would surely not disappoint: "That was a picture, and there were no visual effects. He’s a very powerful and imposing character and Oscar acts the shit out of it." Sounds good enough to me and judging by that recently released poster, he's received some welcome upgrades and looks quite a bit better in live-action. Singer also touches on why the trailer deliberately keeps Apocalypse's full appearance so obscured, except for that one solo shot near the end, wanting to shift the focus to his elaborate costume instead: "I like that you just see bits and pieces, It forces you to look at not just his face, but his costume, the scale, the strangeness, the inscription, the technology. It makes you want to lean around the corner to get a better look."

The trailer also offers a quick shot of Apocalypse fighting Charles Xavier, a scene which has been speculated to possibly occur on the astral plane, but easily overcoming his adversary when he increases his size and pins the X-Men leader to the floor. "The two of them really go at it” Singer says before teasing the finale: “The end of the movie becomes an all-out battle with a force that’s very formidable. He’s a hard man to break, Apocalypse. It’s why he thinks he’s God." As for Apocalypse's transcendent abilities, Singer promises an unique take: “It’s part of the mythology of Apocalypse’s size, but I couldn’t go full Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man where he’s just Giant Apocalypse, swatting at things. I did something a little interesting in how I addressed the size thing, but I think the audience will get a kick out of it.

A few other notes from Singer regarding some of the other X-Men: 

  • The small innocent conversation between Charles Xavier and Jean Grey at the start of the trailer will not be the one we see in theaters next May: “The take I used for the movie is a less sincere take, In the movie it’s an intense moment, a psychic moment happens between them and the take is a much more suspicious take.” Could he already be worried about the dormant Phoenix Force?
  • Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm will be a disillusioned, disenfranchised character when Apocalypse finds her. She'll be "looking for a mother and a father and the village she lost."
  • Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops will be brought to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters by no one other than his older brother Alex a.k.a. Havok after the younger Summers brother discovers he's "completely blind" and that "he can't even see." Well, we know that's not quite the case as his real problem are the optic beams firing out of his eyes everytime he opens them. Singer's comments do reveal that Scott does have some sort of relationship with his brother Alex, who we first met in an Army prison in X-Men: First Class, but could their collective past have a connection with someone Sinister? Only time will tell.
  • Singer also added Jubilee to the trailer, after initially leaving her out, to signal the beginning of a much larger X-Men film universe: "I very specifically put Jubilee in. There was one cut that did not have her in it – her role is not particularly large, but she is a part of the growing new universe."
  • With the disappearance of Mystique (and the absence of Wolverine), it will be Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast who steps up to take on a good portion of the leadership responsibilities and lay down the foundation in creating the legendary X-Men: “This movie is about the formation of the X-Men. How do you get all these characters who are in different places in their lives to become the X-Men?" Beast will also be "carrying Raven’s torch," which could serve as a hint at some sort of resolution for the Hank/Raven romantic subplot we saw in First Class.
  • Speaking of Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique, it (somewhat unsurprisingly) sounds like her newfound leadership role will be a reluctant one. "She works alone. The very last thing she wants to be is in charge of a group of young mutants. But we find everybody at a certain place in the movie and take them to the very opposite of where they started." This might mean we could finally see Mystique take a more villainous turn and transform into a character more like the one we saw in the original trilogy.
  • Peter Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver is back with an even more intricately designed action sequence: "There’s one sequence that took one and a half months to shoot for three minutes of film. It involves the most complex camera moves, very sophisticated explosive algorithms, 3D Phantom cameras travelling at 50mph while shooting at 3,100 frames per second. Evan worked more days on this movie than any other actor because of this one sequence" However, Singer adds that this time around the stakes are much higher than ever before and not everybody may have a happy ending: "This is tonally different to the Pentagon sequence, and a little bittersweet, I’ll leave it at that."
  • In case you were looking for an update on the fate of Hugh Jackman's beloved Wolverine... that's TBD.
Singer also reveals that Apocalypse's trailer monologue is directed toward Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto, who will find himself at the top of Apocalypse's list of mutants to recruit and convert into Horsemen. The mutant God doesn't have much trouble recruiting the broken Magneto either as, after his defeat at the end of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, he's now merely a shell of his former self and quickly succumbs to Apocalypse's allure: "He’s found Erik at the most vulnerable place in his life, He’s searching for God. Remember, he was a young Jew in a concentration camp when he first lost his family and now here comes this man who was, is, or claims to be God. The power of persuasion is Apocalypse’s greatest power.” Further elaborating on Magneto's role in the grand scheme of things, Singer makes it clear, he's as important as ever: “He’s one of the most pivotal characters. Fassbender really delivers here in non-traditional comic book style. There are scenes here you will not see in any other comic book movie. I really think Erik goes through one of the most complex journeys in the movie.

As for the final shot of the trailer, that much-awaited shot of James McAvoy fully transformed into the bald Professor X we know and love, Singer detailed designing the entire shot: "I wanted to remind the audience that this isn’t just the climax of three movies, It’s the climax of six movies, beginning with X-Men 1.” Also, here's a fun little tidbit, Xavier's wheelchair is the same one Patrick Stewart used in Singer's original X-Men film: "It’s the original chair from the first movie – we bought it from a collector.” To cap things off, Singer teased what Xavier is actually looking at: "He’s not looking at the camera... He’s looking at something else. And that’s in the film. You’ll see it.” And the plot thickens...

So, what do you guys think? Sound off with your thoughts below!

Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-Men: Apocalypse, opening in theaters everywhere May 27, 2016. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

X-Men: Apocalypse features:
Director: Bryan Singer
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme/Mystique
Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast
Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse
Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey
Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler
Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver
Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok
Ben Hardy as Warren Worthington III/Angel
Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee
Olivia Munn as Betsy Braddock/Psylocke
Tómas Lemarquis as Caliban
Josh Helman as William Stryker
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27, 2016

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