Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bryan Singer|
|Screenplay by||Simon Kinberg|
by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Cinematography||Newton Thomas Sigel|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$543.6 million|
X-Men: Apocalypse is a 2016 American superhero film based on the fictional X-Men characters that appear in Marvel Comics. It is the ninth installment in the X-Men film series and a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past. Directed by Bryan Singer, with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg from a story conceived by Singer, Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris, the film stars an ensemble cast, led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, and Lucas Till. In X-Men: Apocalypse, the ancient mutant En Sabah Nur awakens in 1983 and plans to wipe out modern civilization and take over the world, leading the X-Men to try to stop him and defeat his team of renegade mutants. The film's plot is inspired by the X-Factor storyline Fall of the Mutants and Ultimate X-Men's Apocalypse arc.
The film was announced by Singer in December 2013, with Kinberg, Dougherty, and Harris attached to develop the story. Casting began in October 2014, while principal photography commenced in April 2015 in Montreal and ended in August of the same year. X-Men: Apocalypse premiered in London on May 9, 2016, and was released in North America on May 27 in 3D and 2D, and in IMAX 3D in select international markets. The film received mixed reviews and was a box office success, grossing over $543 million worldwide.
En Sabah Nur, a powerful mutant believed to be the first of his kind, rules ancient Egypt until he is betrayed by his worshippers, who entomb him alive. His four lieutenants die preserving him. Awakening in 1983 after accidental interference from Moira MacTaggart, he believes humanity has lost its way without his presence. Aiming to destroy the world and remake it, he recruits Cairo pickpocket Ororo Munroe, who can control weather, and enhances her power.
In East Berlin, shape-shifting mutant Raven investigates an underground fight club and discovers mutant champion Angel, who possesses a pair of large feathered wings on his back, and Kurt Wagner, who can teleport. Raven rescues Kurt and employs the services of black marketeer Caliban to transport them to America. En Sabah Nur later arrives and recruits Caliban's enforcer, Psylocke, who leads him to Angel. En Sabah Nur enhances both their powers, transforming Angel's wings into metal wings.
Alex Summers discovers that his younger brother, Scott, is manifesting his mutation for shooting optic beams. Alex takes Scott to Professor Charles Xavier's educational institute in Westchester County, New York in hopes that Xavier and Hank McCoy will teach him how to control his abilities. Scott meets the telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey, and the two develop an attraction. Raven brings Kurt to the institute. Apocalypse's powers cause disturbances around the world, leading Xavier and Alex to consult with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, who has been researching the legend of Nur.
In Communist Poland, the metal-controlling mutant Erik Lehnsherr lives with his wife and their young daughter, Nina. He accidentally exposes himself when he uses his powers to save a coworker almost crushed in the metalworking factory they work in, prompting militia to come capture him. When it becomes apparent Nina is a mutant too after her desperation and fear at her father being taken away prompts a nearby flock of large birds to attack the militia, they unintentionally kill Erik's family in the scuffle, and he retaliates by murdering them all with a locket he gave his daughter containing pictures of his parents long before they were taken to Auschwitz. En Sabah Nur later approaches the disheartened Erik and takes him to the aforementioned concentration camp, where Erik's power first manifested. Erik destroys the entire facility and joins him.
En Sabah Nur enters Xavier's mind while Xavier is using the mutant-locating computer Cerebro and, co-opting Xavier's powers, forces all global superpowers to launch Earth's entire nuclear arsenal into space to prevent interference. He and his new lieutenants arrive at the mansion and kidnap Xavier. Attempting to stop them, Alex accidentally causes an explosion that destroys the mansion. Peter Maximoff — having learned that he is Erik's son, and hoping that Xavier can help to find him — arrives in time to use his super-speed to evacuate the students just before the explosion destroys the building, but Alex is presumed dead. Colonel William Stryker's forces subsequently capture Hank, Raven, Peter, and Moira, and take them to a military facility for interrogation. Scott, Jean and Kurt covertly follow and liberate their comrades using Stryker's mind-controlled and brainwashed experiment, Weapon X, whose memories Jean partially restores.
At En Sabah Nur's behest, Erik uses his powers to control Earth's magnetic poles, causing widespread destruction across the planet and mass casualties. En Sabah Nur plans to transfer his consciousness into Xavier's body and use Xavier's power to enslave the minds of every person on earth. Xavier secretly sends a telepathic distress call to Jean, and the others travel to Cairo to battle Apocalypse and his horsemen. They rescue Xavier, but the sheer strain of the process on him because of his constant resistance causes him to lose his hair as the process nears completion. Angel is defeated and incapacitated in the battle. Erik and Ororo are convinced to turn on En Sabah Nur and, with Scott's help, they keep him occupied physically while Xavier fights him telepathically in the astral plane. Finally, Xavier encourages Jean to unleash the Phoenix, the full extent of her powers, incinerating En Sabah Nur in the process. However, during the ensuing chaos, Psylocke flees.
After the battle is over, Xavier restores Moira's memories, and the two rekindle their relationship. Erik and Jean help reconstruct the school, but Erik refuses Xavier's offer to stay and help teach. Peter decides not to tell Erik that he is Erik's son yet. As the new X-Men, Hank and Raven train new recruits Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kurt, and Peter.
In a post-credits scene, men in suits visit the Weapon X facility to retrieve data on Stryker's mutant research, including an X-ray and a blood sample marked "Weapon X", on behalf of the Essex Corporation.
- A mutant pacifist and the world's most powerful telepath. He is the founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and the X-Men. McAvoy shaved his head for the role.
- A mutant with the ability to control magnetic fields and manipulate metal, globally infamous for attempting to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon on live broadcast 10 years prior. Bill Milner appears in archival footage as a young Erik Lehnsherr.
- A mutant with shapeshifting abilities, globally renowned for saving Nixon's life 10 years prior. Lawrence said "she hears about what happened to Erik and she wants to seek him out and help him."
- Born in ancient times, and possibly the world's first mutant, he has a variety of vast and destructive superhuman abilities, including telekinesis, telepathy, cyberpathy, teleportation, and the ability to augment other mutants' abilities. Isaac described Apocalypse as the "creative-slash-destructive force of the Earth." He added, "When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they're not moving towards evolution, [Apocalypse] destroys those civilizations." Isaac had to go through extensive makeup and prosthetics applications, and wore high-heeled boots to appear taller and a 40-pound suit. The full costume, which Isaac described as "basically doing Kabuki theater", was uncomfortable, particularly in the humid environment of the outdoor scenes, which forced Isaac to go to a cooling tent between takes. "Old Apocalypse" was played by Berdj Garabedian, a 70-year-old Canadian real estate agent in his first credited film role.
- A mutant with leonine attributes, prehensile feet and superhuman physical abilities. Hank acts as a teacher in Xavier's school and he builds inventions for troubled students. He also built the X-Jet.
- A CIA agent who first met and fell in love with Xavier in X-Men: First Class, where he wiped portions of her memories of him and the X-Men at the end. Simon Kinberg said they are "essentially, strangers" when they meet in this film.
- A mutant who can move, think, and perceive at supersonic speeds, and the son of Magneto. Describing the relationship between Quicksilver and Magneto, Peters stated, "I have learned that he's my father at this point and I am trying to ... I don’t know what I can say. I'm trying to ... Yeah. It's like an adoptive child or any kind of child who has a strange father trying to ... He knows who he is now so he is trying to find him. He's been searching for him. It's been 10 years and he hasn't found him and then something happens."
- A mutant who fires destructive optic beams and wears a visor or sunglasses to stabilize and contain them, and who is the younger brother of Havok. Sheridan describes Cyclops as "angry and a bit lost." He added, "He's now learning about being a mutant and trying to handle his powers."
- A mutant who is scared of her telepathic and telekinetic power, and one of Charles Xavier's most prized students. Turner states that she was cast in the film because of the "dark side" of her character Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. She compared Jean to Sansa and described being an outcast in the human world, who struggles with her power and gift, the same way Sansa, who wanted to live a normal life, felt. Turner learned archery in preparation for the role.
- A mutant with telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Her abilities also include projecting purple psychic energy, usually into the form of an energy blade that can burn through metal. Munn described Psylocke as "very lethal, very powerful and very strong." She practiced sword fighting in preparation for the role.
- A German teleporting mutant and one of Charles Xavier's new students. Singer said Nightcrawler is a source of comic relief.
- A young mutant orphan who can control weather. Storm is discovered by Apocalypse in Cairo. Shipp shaved her head partially, and sported a Mohawk for the role.
- A mutant who has the ability to absorb energy and release it with destructive force from his body, and the older brother of Cyclops.
- A military officer who hates mutants. Ten years since Days of Future Past, Stryker has been developing his own plan for how he wants to proceed with the "mutant problem".
- A mutant with bird-like feathered wings, gaining metallic wings which can also be used as razor sharp projectiles as a result, similar to his Archangel counterpart in the comics. Hardy practiced indoor skydiving in preparation for his role.
- An Asian-American mutant student at Charles's school who has the ability to create psionic energy plasmoids. Discussing her first day on X-Men: Apocalypse, Condor says: "I was very new and it was my first role. I'd never been on a set before or in front of a camera, so I didn't know what to expect. The first day we shot scenes in an 80s-themed mall with hundreds of extras in 80s gear, plus crew and cameras. It was surreal." She also discussed the character of Jubilee and how she became the mutant: "It's a lot easier when you have the costume, as that helps bring everything to life. She has her iconic yellow jacket, which is a staple. It's very bold and confident, like her. A lot of her costumes are super 80s. I also listened to music from the 80s and that helped."
Additionally, Hugh Jackman makes an uncredited appearance as Logan / Wolverine, in his Weapon X form. In that same scene, director Bryan Singer cameos as a guard with a machine gun who is killed by Wolverine as he attempts to escape the complex. X-Men co-creator Stan Lee and his wife Joan Lee make a cameo appearance together, in a more serious role than any of Lee's previous cameos, as bystanders witnessing the launch of nuclear missiles worldwide.
Tómas Lemarquis portrays Caliban, a mutant with the ability to sense and track other mutants. The Blob makes an appearance in the film as Angel's opponent in an underground fight club, portrayed by wrestler "Giant" Gustav Claude Ouimet. Carolina Bartczak and T.J. McGibbon portray Magneto's wife Magda and daughter Nina, respectively. Warren Scherer, Rochelle Okoye, Monique Ganderton, and Fraser Aitcheson portray En Sabah Nur's original four lieutenants Pestilence, Famine, Death, and War respectively. Zehra Leverman reprises her role as Ms. Maximoff. Other actors include Željko Ivanek and Anthony Konechny cameo as a Pentagon scientist and Scott's school-jock classmate, respectively. Alison Blaire / Dazzler makes a brief cameo appearance on a record album which Jean and Scott are shown holding at a music store, a scene not in the theatrical film, but scheduled to be available in the home video release.
Archive footage was used of Caleb Landry Jones, Éva Magyar, Georg Nikoloff, and Bill Milner as Sean Cassidy / Banshee, Erik's parents Edie Lehnsherr and Mr. Lehnsherr, and young Erik, respectively. Also appearing in archival clips were journalist Jessica Savitch and actors Leslie Parrish and Michael Forest (the latter two appearing in footage with dialogue from the 1967 Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?").
The film was announced by Bryan Singer in December 2013 via Twitter, before Days of Future Past was released to theaters. In the same month, Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris, and Michael Dougherty were revealed by Singer to be attached to work on the film's story. According to Singer, the film would focus on the origin of the mutants, and features the younger versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm. Singer also said that he was considering Gambit and a younger version of Nightcrawler to appear. According to Kinberg, it would take place in 1983, and completes a trilogy that began with 2011's X-Men: First Class. In September 2014, 20th Century Fox officially announced that Singer would direct the film. Singer has called the film "kind of a conclusion of six X-Men films, yet a potential rebirth of younger, newer characters" and the "true birth of the X-Men".
Singer said that Apocalypse is the main focus of the film. Kinberg said that the younger versions of Scott Summers, Storm, and Jean Grey appearing in the film are "as much a part of the film as the main cast". He described Summers as "not yet the squeaky-clean leader", Storm as a "troubled character who is going down the wrong path in life", and Grey as "complex, interesting and not fully mature." Kinberg also said that the film delivers on the dramatic story and emotion of the last two films and that it acts like the culmination of the main characters portrayed by Lawrence, McAvoy, Fassbender and Hoult. Kinberg said First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse formed a trilogy about Mystique, explaining, "She starts in First Class entirely on Charles’ side, ends up following Erik, and we then find her in Days of Future Past and she’s on her own because Erik is gone. She’s on her own side in that movie but is drawn toward Charles by the end of the film and shoots Erik. Then in Apocalypse she comes back to Charles. There’s a full circle narrative over the span of this little trilogy that is about Mystique from beginning with Charles in the mansion and ending with Charles in the mansion, but not as the same timid little girl we met in First Class."
In October 2014, casting for X-Men: Apocalypse began. In November, Singer confirmed that Oscar Isaac would portray Apocalypse. In January 2015, Singer announced that Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, and Tye Sheridan would portray young Storm, Jean, and Cyclops. The same month, Kinberg confirmed that Rose Byrne would reprise her role as Moira MacTaggert in the film. In February, Kodi Smit-McPhee was cast as Nightcrawler and Ben Hardy was cast in an unspecified role. In March, Singer announced that Lana Condor was cast as Jubilation Lee. In April, Singer confirmed that Hardy would portray Angel, Olivia Munn would portray Psylocke, and Lucas Till would return as Havok. In May, Singer announced that the mutant Caliban would appear in the film. In July, Hoult revealed on Conan that Josh Helman would return as William Stryker. In April 2016, Hugh Jackman confirmed that he would make a cameo appearance as Wolverine.
Australia-based Rising Sun Pictures provided, as it did for X-Men: Days of Future Past, the effects for Quicksilver's time-stopping, quick motion effects in the mansion rescue scene, and also other effects, including when Cyclops splits Professor Xavier's favorite tree in half. Aerial footage of snow-capped mountains as Stryker traveled in his helicopter to the secret base was provided by SmartDrones of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada.
On March 2, 2015, it was announced that John Ottman, who composed the scores for X2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, would return to write and compose the score for Apocalypse. On May 20, 2016, the official soundtrack was released as a digital download. In addition to Ottman's score, the film features the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's seventh symphony and two songs contemporary to the film's 1983 setting, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics and "The Four Horsemen" by Metallica.
In July 2015, Singer, Lee, Hugh Jackman and cast-members McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence, Isaac, Hoult, Munn, Peters, Smit-McPhee, Turner, Sheridan, Shipp, Condor, Till and Hardy gave a presentation at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International, together with the release of the film's first teaser poster, featuring En Sabah Nur and a wreckage of the X-Mansion. Footage from the film was screened.
In October 2015, Mars Chocolate partnered with 20th Century Fox for the marketing of the film, using M&M chocolates in their promotional materials. The deal included retail displays and special packaging markings, TV and cinema commercials, and social media posts featuring M&M's characters mixed with elements of the X-Men. The first image of M&M candies wearing Storm and Magneto costumes was released on the day of the announcement.
In December 2015, Kia Motors collaborated with 20th Century Fox to create a custom Kia Sportage to promote the film. Designed after Mystique, the car was revealed at the 2016 Australian Open. It is Kia's second "X-Car" project after the Kia Sorento customized for the home media release of Days of Future Past and the 2015 Australian Open. A trailer released in the same month received criticism from Rajan Zed, a United States-based Hindu cleric, who stated that the part where Apocalypse claims himself to have been called "Krishna" was an offense to the Hindu religion, and demanded that Singer remove all references to Krishna from the trailer, and the film itself. The references to Krishna were removed from the film's final cut. On January 4, 2016, Kia Motors released the first promo video of the car, featuring Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal.
In April 2016, Coldwell Banker partnered with 20th Century Fox to list the X-Mansion for $75 million. The fictional listing included a video tour of the mansion and stories of the home from the perspective of characters such as Charles Xavier and Scott Summers. The fake property was listed by agent Kala V. Rhomedren, an anagram for Raven Darkholme. That same month, Fox released a fake TV show called "In the Footsteps of..." narrated by George Takei which is inspired by the classic TV series In Search of... that focus on En Sabah Nur's origins. In May 2016, Fox released a fake TV Commercial for the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters with Lana Condor as Jubilee. They also released a video voiced mail message a week later and a fake TV show called Fables of the Flush & Fabulous with Robin Leach which is inspired by Leach's show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Billboards in Los Angeles and New York City promoting the film garnered controversy for showing an image of Apocalypse choking Mystique, with critics saying the ad advocates violence against women. Among those opposed to the material was actress Rose McGowan, who told The Hollywood Reporter "There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film. There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid." In apologizing for the billboard, Fox said it intended to remove the image from circulation. Many have called the controversy absurd, however. Robby Soave from Reason.com states that the X-Men films "depict plenty of violence between men and women, women and women, men and men, humans and non-humans, blue people and other blue people, etc. Female characters aren't relegated to damsel-in-distress status: in fact, some of the most awesomely powerful X-Men characters are women". He also said, "If the poster had depicted Apocalypse choking, say, Magneto, would we accuse it of advocating violence against men? Against Jews? I don't think so".
X-Men: Apocalypse had its world premiere in London on May 9, 2016. The film was released in 20,796 screens across 76 international markets on May 18, 2016, one week before its North American debut. Apocalypse was issued both 3D and 2D formats, and in IMAX 3D in select international markets, using the DMR process. It opened in Korea on May 25 and in China on June 3. It was released in Japan on August 11.
X-Men: Apocalypse grossed $155.4 million in North America and $388.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $543.6 million, against a budget of $178 million. The film is currently the third highest-grossing film in the X-Men series (without adjusting for inflation), behind Deadpool and X-Men: Days of Future Past. It made 27% lower than Days of Future Past.
X-Men: Apocalypse opened in the United States on May 27, 2016 alongside Alice Through the Looking Glass and was initially projected to gross around $80 million from 4,150 theaters in its opening weekend, and up to $100 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. It made $8.2 million from Thursday previews at 3,565 theaters, besting its predecessor ($8.1 million). On its opening day it earned $26.4 million (including previews), the fourth-lowest opening day amount of the franchise. In its opening weekend, it grossed $65.8 million, below expectations. Over the four-day Memorial weekend, it earned a total of $79.8 million. Of those numbers, $9 million came from premium large formats from 480 PLF screens and $19 million from RealD screens. In its second weekend the film grossed $22.3 million (a drop of 66.1%), finishing second at the box office behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($35.3 million).
Outside North America, X-Men: Apocalypse was released one week before the United States in 76 markets, and grossed $101.5 million from 20,796 screens in the May 18 weekend. It debuted at No. 1 in 71 of those markets, with IMAX contributing $5 million from 246 screens in 57 markets, while RealD took in $18.4 million. It broke opening records for Fox in the Philippines ($4.9 million), India ($3.4 million), Indonesia ($3.1 million), Singapore ($2.8 million), Thailand ($2.7 million) and Colombia ($1.9 million), and had the biggest opening in the X-Men franchise in 33 markets, including Russia ($6.5 million). Its top openings were the United Kingdom ($10.5 million), Mexico ($8.6 million), Brazil ($6.6 million), Russia ($6.5 million) and France ($5.9 million). It opened in China on June 3 and brought in $59 million, the second largest Fox opening in China and $20 million more than Days of Future Past opened with. It opened next in Japan on August 11.
X-Men: Apocalypse received mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the positive response of its predecessors (First Class and Days of Future Past). On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 48% based on 272 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 52 out of 100 based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore, contrarily, gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film a positive review, calling it "a thinking person's action movie" and complimenting its high stakes. Richard Roeper called the film "a visual feast" and lauded its ensemble cast. Bruce Kirkland from the Toronto Sun argued, "Piece by piece, Singer fits this ninth film in the franchise (which includes Deadpool) into the X-Men universe like a master puzzle maker. He does it so well, at least in terms of storytelling, that the X-Men franchise still has a vigorous future."
On the other hand, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club contended, "Much of what makes X-Men: Apocalypse legitimately interesting also makes it frustrating and lopsided, since Singer and screenwriter-producer Simon Kinberg remain committed to the structure of an overlong comic-book blockbuster, complete with a climax in which the world has to be saved using as many different colors of energy beam as possible." Mike Ryan of Uproxx disparaged the film's story as redundant and stale, arguing "I get it: Life is hard for mutants. We all get it. It’s literally the only thing mutants ever seem to talk about. It is odd that other superheroes seem to get to have some fun, but never the X-Men. Here we are, 16 years later, and everyone involved is still sad. It feels repetitive." Scott Mendelson of Forbes wrote, "X-Men: Apocalypse is the kind of weightless, soulless trifle of a bore that makes comic book superhero movies look bad and makes me not look forward to the next installment."
|2016||Spike Guys' Choice Awards||Jean-Claude Gahd Dam||Olivia Munn||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Hissy Fit||Hugh Jackman||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Scene Stealer||Evan Peters||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Breakout Star||Alexandra Shipp||Nominated|
In May 2016, Simon Kinberg said the next X-Men film would be set in the 1990s. He additionally acknowledged the possibility of re-adapting "The Dark Phoenix Saga", which had been adapted in the original X-Men film trilogy, and said the post-credits scene mentioning the Essex Corporation was related to the upcoming Wolverine film, and that it could have ties to Gambit as well as the following X-Men film. Bryan Singer said he would be interested in having the villain Proteus in an X-Men film. He also said he will be stepping away from the franchise but could envision returning to it at a later date in some capacity.
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- Performer: Summer 2016
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