Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you know that when it comes to comic book movies, you do not leave the theater until the credits have ended.
That is still the case with X-Men: Days of Future Past. While there is no mid-credits scene that many of us have grown used to thanks to Marvel Studios, there’s still a scene at the very end once the credits are done rolling. And it’s a bit of a doozy for the X-Men nerds among us.
SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Since Bryan Singer announced it on his Twitter, it’s been public knowledge that one of the next X-Men films in the franchise would be X-Men: Apocalypse. And you can’t have an X-Men movie with “Apocalypse” in the title without having Apocalypse.
That’s where the end credits scene comes into play.
There was a rumored scene from several months ago about Apocalypse inhabiting the body of Magneto that I unfortunately read without meaning to and immediately got angry about it. That’s a total cop-out–I want Apocalypse, not Magneto-pretending-to-be-Apocalypse! So when the credits ended and the scene started, I prayed it wasn’t that.
We get to jump back to the Egyptian times where we see a robed figure standing on top of a hill with thousands of people below, chanting at them. Off in the distance, we see the pyramids being built, stones flying everywhere with no one touching them. The figure on the hill is building the pyramids with their mind, eerily thin hands held up to help the stones along. If you listen closely, you can make out that the people are chanting “En Sabah Nur,” but no casual movie-goer is going to notice that.
The camera pans around slowly until we see the face of the mysterious figure–grey skin and blue lips–with four shadowed men on horses in the background, and then we cut to black.
Apocalypse as a young boy.
I left the theater completely numb, not believing what I had seen. Honestly, I was worried we wouldn’t even see the face of the figure, that they would cut to black before making the full circle sweep. I’ve made mention in various articles that Days of Future Past is one of my favorite X-Men storylines. Apocalypse is my favorite villain (heck if I could give you a reason–I loved him in the cartoon even though he looks like a robot clown), and it’s hard to fathom how they’re going to pull him off in a movie.
Here’s a quote from writer Simon Kinberg about Apocalypse in the movies from io9:
At some point in making the movie we talked about what the potential next film would be, and we all really gravitated towards Apocalypse. We really wanted it to be more for the core fans than for the broad audience; to be something that was a genuine tease, and almost mysterious to mainstream audiences who don’t know the comics well, so they’re thinking, “What’s that?”
Apocalypse really is more for the hardcore fans who have read the comics or watched The Animated Series from the 1990s. There were no audible gasps from the audience in my movie theater when it cut to black (save for mine), let alone any reaction at all. How do you respond to something that seems so random, especially if you don’t know any form of backstory for the titular villain?
Quick Background of Apocalypse
He was born En Sabah Nur in Ancient Egypt around 3000 BC. He was abandoned as a baby for his weird appearance–who wouldn’t like someone with grey skin and blue lips?–and was taken in by Baal of the Sandstormers, who saw his potential. His mutant abilities come out tenfold when he’s fully enraged and he renames himself Apocalypse because his powers are just ridiculous. He has pretty much everything but the kitchen sink: molecular control over his body, project and absorb energy, telekinesis, telepathy, super healing, and that isn’t even getting into when he merges himself with Celestial technology to basically make himself immortal. He’s also extremely intelligent and his blood can heal mutants but will kill humans.
Not to get bogged down in all the details of Apocalypse’s history (because it gets really fun when he’s woken up in Victorian era Britain and has to fight Dracula alongside Van Helsing), but he ends up putting himself in his regeneration chambers for decades and centuries at a time because mutants aren’t prevalent enough for him to really warrant being around.
So how do you make a movie around someone who just wants to conquer the world?
Or, as my brother posed as we left the theater: “If Days of Future Past took place in the 1970s and the 2020s and Apocalypse is going to take place in the 1980s, won’t everything that happens in Apocalypse be resolved because we’ve seen the future and everything turns out fine?”
Well, it depends on when Apocalypse decides to start time traveling in this current time stream because then he’ll start rippling and changing the future. Time travel, man. It makes everything crazy.
It’s been reported that Apocalypse will bring back James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence to cap off a “trilogy” of the First Class members as well as bring back some of the original cast, and it will probably include Channing Tatum as Gambit.
But with so few details about what X-Men: Apocalypse will entail, we are left with tons of questions and even more possibilities.
With ’70s Wolverine telling ’70s Charles Xavier to look for Storm, Jean, and Scott, most speculation is that we will see teenage versions of those characters in Apocalypse.
Will we get a history of Apocalypse and his rise to power? Or will there be flashbacks to things he has changed? Will characters like Cable and Forge be included? After all, he steals Cable’s time-traveling technology in the 90s cartoon and starts to screw with things in the past; likewise, Cable’s only goal in life is to destroy Apocalypse. With Days of Future Past basically making X-Men, X2, and The Last Stand not happen, anything is up in the air. (You can probably lump X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine into that “it never happened” mix as well.)
One big question: Who will be his Four Horsemen? In the credits scene, they’re obviously in the background, but his Horsemen change throughout time, including Angel, who makes an appearance in The Last Stand, which no longer happens.
What is my big hope for this movie? Mister Sinister. If the writers follow the Age of Apocalypse storyline, Mister Sinister is one of the Four Horsemen. If he ever actually appeared in a movie, all of my childhood dreams would be complete since I’ll be seeing Apocalypse soon enough.
Mister Sinister began as Nathaniel Essex in Victorian Britain and first encounters Apocalypse in 1859. He and other members of the Hellfire Club begin to work for Apocalypse as he begins to start his plan for world domination. Nathaniel is transformed by Apocalypse’s technology into Mister Sinister and ends up creating a plague to transmute the world’s population.
In the 1990s cartoon, Mister Sinister is the head of the Nasty Boys, a group of pretty disgusting mutants who basically make it their job to thwart the X-Men under any circumstances. He also has brainwashed Morph into working for him.
The possibilities are endless. Honestly, I’m just thinking of things I personally would like to see in this movie and that barely scratches the surface. I know I’ve definitely missed some huge plot points, so what are your thoughts?
What do you want to see in an Apocalypse movie? Do you think it’s even possible to do a villain like him justice?