Thursday, July 16, 2015

First Official Look at Apocalypse, Psylocke and Magneto in "X-Men: Apocalypse"

EW: Apocalypse is coming for the X-Men. Or, more specifically, a giant 5,000 year-old Egyptian mutant who goes by that very unfriendly name and is the focus of the latest installment in Fox’s X-Men franchise. “He’s believed to be the first mutant, whatever that means,” says star Oscar Isaac. “He is the ­creative-slash-destructive force of this earth. When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they’re not moving towards evolution, he destroys those civilizations.” Think of him as a god who does gut renovations.

Also consider him the creative team’s way of topping the previous X-Men film, the epic Days of Future Past. That flashbacking film combined both casts of the original franchise (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, etc.) with the newer castmembers (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy) and became the top-grossing entry in the series with $750 million worldwide. “The problem with Days of Future Past is it’s hard to sequelize,” says writer-producer Simon Kinberg, who’s been with the franchise since 2006. “Whenever we talked about the sequel, the challenge was that it needed to feel not necessarily bigger visually, but that the stakes needed to feel bigger.” So not only does Apocalypse want to destroy the world—pretty big stakes—but the film that contains his name will serve as a pivot point in the series, shifting the focus toward younger versions of classic characters such as Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Jean Grey (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner), and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). “This is kind of the introduction to them,” says director Bryan Singer, returning for his fourth X-Men movie. “At the same time, it has concluding aspects of those previous stories.”

In this week’s cover story, EW is on the set for your first look at next summer’s comic book blockbuster. As the new film opens, 10 years have passed and Raven (Lawrence), Charles (McAvoy), and Erik (Michael Fassbender) are still estranged, but not for much longer. The Big A awakens from his Egyptian tomb, sizes up the global ’80s vibe, and decides he’s not down with the Reagan era. “It’s a chaotic world of conflict and war and destruction,” Singer says. “It’s one giant civilization that now requires one giant culling. That’s why he needs ­special assistants in this process.” He finds teenage Storm living on the streets in Cairo, Angel (Ben Hardy) duking it out in a fight club in Berlin, and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) working behind the Iron Curtain for the mutant-broker Caliban. But his big get is Erik, who has been attempting to live a “normal” life in Poland. “He’s fallen in love and he’s basically left his metal ways behind,” Fassbender says. Pretty quickly, though, his world is shattered and “normal” is no longer an option. Says Fassbender, “Apocalypse finds Erik at a low ebb and recruits him.”

Miles away, meanwhile, Raven is on her own, helping rescue mutants who are oppressed or enslaved, including the teleport Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Raven knows nothing about Apocalypse, Lawrence says, but “she hears about what happened to Erik and she wants to seek him out and help him.” This instigates a reunion between Raven and Charles, who has seen his school for extraordinary students flourish. “He’s not teaching anybody how to fight at the moment,” McAvoy says. “He’s teaching people how to control their abilities so that they can work at a bank. But of course this movie challenges all of that.” When Apocalypse’s plot to reboot the world is made clear, the stage is set for an epic mutant vs. mutant war.


FSaker said...

WOW! I just... WOW!

Psylocke looks AMAZING! While I would prefer her to have a full body suit, this version of the bathing suit actually looks great! I don't know how the people in charge of costumes managed to make a version of the bathing suit that shows even more skin (now she has a cleavage area) and still manages to look sexy without looking cheap, but hey, they did it!

Her hair looks great as well, partially black, partially purple. Aaand... she has the psychic knife!

I'm so happy with all this news about Psylocke in X-Men:Apocalypse! Could her appearance have been better? Maybe (especially if she ends up dying or not joining the X-Men), but it also could have been much, much worse - remember Last Stand, where Psylocke had two lines, three small scenes (probably amounting to a total of one or two minutes) and a pathetic death (I feel really sorry for Mei Melançon having to work in that film).

This year, we're getting Psylocke portrayed by a gorgeous actress who is really involved with the comic book world, getting her powers right and being considered important enough for Entertainment Weekly to put her on the cover instead of so many other characters who could be there (Storm, Nightcrawler, Archangel, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Professor X, Mystique...). Who would have ever expected this after Last Stand?

Snarky Grin said...

I like how the breastplate armor portion of the costume has her butterfly motif worked into it.

FSaker said...

That said, the one thing I don't like about this Psylocke is her origin. "Working behind the Iron Curtain for the mutant-broker Caliban"? Really? Why not just put her as a bored British socialite, a ninja on the run from her clan (it wouldn't be necessary to identify them as the Hand) or something like that? The way it was done, they are not only messing Psylocke's origins, but Caliban's (who used to be pretty submissive and kind-hearted to be a mutant-broker giving her orders) as well.

I understand that FOX doesn't need to make these films exactly like the comic books (even Marvel's films are quite different from the comic books, no matter how they later retcon events in comic books to make it seem like they're identical), but they could try to be a little more coherent with the X-Men history.

This film still looks really cool, though. I guess we should just consider the X-films as an alternate (and very different) universe to the X-books, instead of a media adaptation.

Unknown said...

I was not expected such theatricality and bold use of the colour in these costumes. I think it's a really nice contrast with the muted tones and utilitarian approach of the X-men. Apocalypse wow indeed.

I think the origin speaks to Betsy's skills and experience as a secret agent and infiltrator. It's certainly not the most dramatic change this franchise has made to characters' back stories. I hope she has an important role in the team.