UPDATE: Announced today, November 24, 3 days after the below post, “Inside Llewyn Davis” star Oscar Isaac has been cast to play the character.
So here’s the deal folks…
Mark Reilly from SchmoesKnow.com and Steven Weintraub from Collider.com host a film series called “Meet the Movie Press,” in which they discuss, what else, movies! In the latest episode of the show, resident scooper and Hollywood deal news breaker at The Wrap, Jeff Sneider, called in to talk “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the next film in the superhero franchise, which is scheduled for a 2016 release, with Bryan Singer attached to direct, and regulars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, and Evan Peters reprising their respective roles, joined by younger versions of some of the other characters, like Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm.
In that upcoming film, the main villain will be the basically invincible super mutant named Apocalypse (the end-credits of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” teased this, as fans will recall; although he won’t appear in that form in the 2016 movie sequel, and will be played by a different actor).
What actor might that be?
To answer that question, this is where Jeff Sneider and the “Meet the Movie Press” show hosts come in. In the most recent episode, Sneider calls in with a little scoop, but doesn’t name names. He states that there are actors he’s heard, who are in contention for the part of Apocalypse, but doesn’t say who the actors are, and instead only drops the following hint, regarding one of the actors: “We heard him say the word ‘apocalypse’ a lot last year.”
That’s it! Although, if you’re a movie fanboy/girl, you may consider it a pretty good hint; it’s not like there were many movies (specifically mainstream movies) in which there were characters using that word in 2013, were they? However, I couldn’t immediately come up with any name… that is, until I browsed through the top 100 grossing films of 2013, to see if anything comes to me, and the only one that fit the bill was Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.”
You remember that, don’t you? He gives a rousing speech during the latter half of the film, that ends with: “Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”
The phrase was practically all over the place when the movie came out. It even became an Internet meme, and showed up on some “Best Movie Quotes” lists for the year. If you need a reminder, I embedded a video clip of him saying the line below.
But first, just who is Apocalypse? The Marvel Comics wiki reveals his given name as En Sabah Nur, which translates as “The First One,” suggesting that Apocalypse may have been the very first mutant. He is said to have been born with grey skin and had incredible powers from the time of his birth – powers the he would eventually grow into, including flight, invulnerability, superhuman strength, teleportation, telekinesis and more. He’s practically unstoppable! His roots trace back to ancient Egypt (which explains the end-credits sequence setting for “Days of Future Past”), and had an involved youth, which included seeing loved ones destroyed by more powerful adversaries (before he came to realize his own power), periods of enslavement, revenge, visions of Egyptian gods who reveal his great destiny, fierce battles for power, and more. Along the way, he created his Four Horsemen – Pestilence, Famine, War and Death – who were also seen briefly in the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” end-credit sequence.
There’s A LOT more about him that you can read here if you’d like.
We still don’t really know what exactly the plot for “X-Men Apocalypse” will be. But we do know that it will include Apocalypse, which means, given what my research tells me, one of his ongoing missions – to conquer and enslave those he believes to be unworthy mutants – will be part of the upcoming film’s story-line.
It actually would be fitting if Elba was being considered, given that he is of African descent; although he’s certainly doesn’t have Egyptian roots specifically. Keep in mind though that Elba is already playing Heimdall in another sector of the Marvel Universe, although rights to that section belong to Disney, while the X-Men are a 20th Century Fox property.
Of course, all of this is only rumor and speculation. Sneider does say that he’s only heard what he hints at, but doesn’t confirm any of it. We’ll know soon enough, because the film, which is set for a 2016 release, will start shooting during the first half of next year (April was the announced start date). So I assume we’ll know who its key cast members are, some time between now and then.
In the meantime, given Sneider’s hint, what other actor said the word “apocalypse” a lot last year, whether in a movie, TV show, or elsewhere?
The clip from “Pacific Rim” follows below; but first, here’s the episode of “Meet the Movie Press” in which Jeff Sneider calls in with his scoop. That conversation starts around the 32-minute mark: