We speculated a while ago that Days of Future Past, the new X-Men sequel which sees both the cast of First Class and the cast of the original X-Men trilogy together, would not be a direct adaptation of the classic comic book storyline, but something a little more loose. It may bear the name of the classic storyline, but there’s just not a practical reason to adapt those comic issues as gospel, and we’d guessed that Singer might be looking to bring elements of “Age of Apocalypse” into the film as well. Both “Days of Future Past” and “Age of Apocalypse” tell stories of bleak alternate futures with the X-Men fighting to keep the dream of human/mutant equality alive at all costs.
But just how much of “Age of Apocalypse” might be creeping into the Days of Future Past film? According to Bleeding Cool, a lot. Brendon Connelly asked director Bryan Singer point-blank if X-Men villain Apocalypse would appear in the new film and Singer didn’t deny it; he just couldn’t answer at all, “I can’t tell you.” When Connelly pressed on, asking if the performance-capture character that Singer has mentioned in the past would turn out to be Apocalypse, Singer responded with, “This is how it gets started, when somebody starts piecing the little bits together.”
Obviously, Singer didn’t say no outright, but he could’ve, and the director has been in the game long enough to know how much to say about a project and when, so I don’t think this is a random slipup. I think Singer is teasing just as much as his regular Twitter set photos are a tease, and because of that, I have every reason to believe that our speculation was right, and that Apocalypse does show up as the big bad in the Days of Future Past film. It’s a fun answer, especially in a world where geek rumors are regularly denied or flat-out lied about by the studio right down to the release date. Singer may not be ready to talk about Apocalypse right now, but he’s winking about it, and that’s a very positive sign for Apocalypse fans.
Apocalypse has an incredibly convoluted backstory, but in the simplest terms, he’s a mutant despot, born in ancient Egypt, with an idea of mutant supremacy in which only the strongest of mutants are worthy of a life. His schemes against the X-Men typically see him engaging in genetic experimentation or situations in which mutants are pitted against other mutants, for his own Darwinian results. In the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline, the X-Men experience an alternate future in which Apocalypse controls America as a ruthless mutant military state.
Has Apocalypse already been cast? Note that Omar Sy was added to the cast of the film just a week ago, without Singer saying who Sy is playing. The French actor is certainly exotic enough and capable enough to be a strong choice for Apocalypse, and it would surprise me if this wasn’t the case.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg have in store for us with X-Men: Days of Future Past. One of Singer’s big goals in his early X-Men films was making sure that they were grounded enough for us to buy as part of the “real world.” Now that audiences are more acclimated toward bigger, more outlandish sci-fi elements in their superhero movies, Singer has more freedom to get weird, and the X-Men comics have always been weird. No matter how faithful Days of Future Past may or may not be to its namesake material, if the new movie can expand the scope of the X-Men’s cinematic universe, then a lot of X-Men fans are going to be very, very happy.