On Friday, Fox dropped the first X-Men: Apocalypse trailer to herald the beginning of the end of the world — which is coming to theaters on May 27. In addition to the first footage of Oscar Isaac’s title villain and the battle to come, director Bryan Singer dished to Empire magazine on the secrets you might have missed.
The Vision: Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones) plays Jean Grey, the telekinetic-telepathic mutant who grows up to become Phoenix. “It’s all about their potential,” Singer said of her intense vision in the trailer. “Jean has a special connection with Xavier, she has a special connection with the psychic world and she has enormous untapped power that’s growing.”
He continued, “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 [Jean and Charles] and the take is a much more suspicious take.”
The New Mutants: Fans got their first look at Alexandra Shipp as a younger incarnation of Storm in EW’s X-Men issue. Singer went into further detail, saying that “she’s looking for a mother and a father and the village she lost” when Apocalypse first meets her.
While Storm is one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, the other young mutants are rounded out by Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Lana Condor as Jubilee, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, and Turner as Jean.
“It was important to show that these are kids,” Singer said. “There’s no way anybody can get in there but them, and do what needs to be done, and yet they’re kids…[Mystique] 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.”
Caliban: Tomar Lemarquis portrays the Morlock Caliban in X-Men: Apocalypse, but glimpses of him have been few and far between. He pops up briefly in the trailer, and Singer described the character as “bald and has funky eyes. He’s a great character. Really cool.”
Magneto: “[Apocalypse] found Erik at the most vulnerable place in his life,” Singer said. “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.”
Speaking to a later scene in the trailer where Magneto is a full-fledged Horsemen, Singer said, “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.”
Charles vs. Apocalypse: “The two of them really go at it,” Singer said of Charles’ fight scene with a (literally) growing Apocalypse. “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.”
Speaking of his size, Singer said he “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.”
Charles, too, gets his moment in the trailer when he fulfills his comic book destiny and goes completely bald. “I wanted to remind the audience that this isn’t just the climax of three movies,” Singer explained. “It’s the climax of six movies, beginning with X-Men 1…It’s the original chair from the first movie – we bought it from a collector.”
Quicksilver’s next big moment: Peters’ Quicksilver stole the show in Days of Future Past, and Singer promises another big moment for the speedster. “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.”
Superhero disaster movie: There’s so much destruction in X-Men: Apocalypse that Singer likens it to some of the most iconic disaster movies in cinema. “It’s not just New York, it’s all over the world,” he said, referring to cyclones hitting the Big Apple. “They’ll be visually different than things you’ve seen in these kinds of destructive movies, like Roland Emmerich’s films or Michael Bay’s. There are large-scale setpieces.”