Days of Future Past ranks as one of the best storylines in the history of X-Men comic books. It’s not an epic by any standards–it only took up two issues of Uncanny X-Men–but it stands as a sterling example of compressed storytelling. In those two issues, Chris Claremont and John Byrne were able to create a dystopian future, establish a unique method of time travel, have an adventure in the present day, and left the story open-ended. It was more plot than you get in a full-year of most comics these days, and it was a more interesting story as well. It’s not one that could seamlessly translate into the X-Men movie universe, but, with a small bit of tweaking, could be turned into a legendary entry into the film franchise.
The X-Men villain Apocalypse, seen to the right, did not appear in the storyline at all. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even first appear in comics until five years after Days of the Future past ended. But when he debut, he did so with a splash. He became one of the main villains in the X-Men books through the 90s and the 00s, and was the focus of a number of large and important crossovers in the Marvel comic book universe.
Even though he did not appear in the comic book version of Days of the Future Past, there is a rumor getting steam that he might be appearing in the film version, X-Men: Days of Future past.
Brendon Connelly of Bleeding Cool spoke with that film’s director, Bryan Singer, while Singer was making the rounds promoting his latest film, Jack the Giant Slayer and Connelly believes he’s figured out who the villain of that film is going to be. I’ll let him tell you:
Now, we had been hearing a fair bit of buzz connecting this film to a certain fellow called Apocalypse. A bad guy, an ancient mutant – or more of an ancient god, really. The very first mutant from five thousand years ago, or so Rich tells me. In recent comics, Apocalypse has been cloned as a kid and enrolled at the Jean Grey school. And everyone is waiting for him to just destroy the world.
The themes of these recent comics aren’t too dissimilar to the ones Singer spelled out for me.
So, just mentioning Apocalypse might be a good idea…
On hearing the name Apocalypse, Singer’s face changed immediately but there was no point being timid. Might as well plough ahead with the question. Would he even consider using Apocalypse in the movies? How about in Days of Future Past?
His nervous answer:
I can’t tell you…
That was most interesting. So I leapt forward and asked if realising the character of Apocalypse would require performance capture.
And now Singer looked even more nervous.
This is how it gets started, when somebody starts piecing the little bits together…
The non-verbal communication was even more compelling than what Singer was saying. If I had to bet on it, I would – we’ll be seeing Apocalypse in Days of Future Past, and he’s probably going to be a performance capture character.
Now, this really isn’t a confirmation of a rumor. It’s speculation by Connelly based on what Singer said, how he said it, and how Connelly read his body language when he said it. While Singer didn’t deny Apocalypse as the bad guy, he didn’t overwhelmingly confirm it. At least, not for me he didn’t.
What do I think of this rumor? Well, Apocalypse wasn’t one of my favorite Marvel villains. So I have no deep love of the character to start out with. But, in my opinion, the story doesn’t need him as the villain. As a matter of fact, shoehorning Apocalypse in as the bad guy would be worse for the movie than if they kept it as faithful to the comics as they possibly can (which it seems more and more like they aren’t going to do anyway). Also, Apocalypse is a villain who might be “too big” for the movie universe. The X-Men films, as fantastic as they are, are rooted for the most part in reality. Introducing a centuries old mutant with every power imaginable requires too big a leap from the feel of the other films.
I guess we’ll find out more in the months ahead, but Cynical Bill hopes this is one rumor that doesn’t come true.