Monday, 20 July 2015

Comic Con 2015: X-Men Apocalypse panel

Opening up the X-Men: Apocalypse panel, Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) bid a solo farewell to Hall H and revisited footage from his original X-Men (2000) screen test, before Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) sprang on stage to join him. "I'd never offered someone the job on the spot before," remembered the director of that first audition. "There was an awkward conversation and on the steps afterwards I told him that no matter if the film worked out or not, he'd be Wolverine forever."

"It changed my life," grinned Jackman.

Also on the panel were Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Oscar Isaac (Apocalypse), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Lucas Till (Havok), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Olivia Munn (Psylocke), Lana Condor (Jubilee), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Ben Hardy (Angel), a certain James McAvoy (Professor X) and writer/producer Simon Kinberg.

"It takes place ten years after Days Of Future Past in a completely different world," said Singer. "Mutants are for the most part embraced and accepted by society. That's where we find our characters, and we find them in all different places."

With that, Singer offered "a taste of the tone" with a showreel culled from only five weeks filming. It's shaping up to be an impressive beast too. The Hall had a first look at Isaac's Apocalypse – "the first mutant" – and greeted it with a gasp as the godlike supervillain intoned to his fellow mutants, "You're all my children, and you're lost." If you know your comics and were expecting the traditional tubes and metal suit with blue face look, you will not be disappointed. Nor will anyone hoping to see a bald James McAvoy.

And where will Magneto's allegiances fall in the reckoning? "Magneto is a guy that plays both sides," revealed Fassbender. "It depends on the day of the week. When we first meet him here, he's hung up his cape and he's fallen in love and had a family. His motives are in some ways justifiable, it's just his methods that are questionable."

"This world we have is not the world it should have been," said Isaac of Apocalypse. "God wakes up and says that it has to change." He won't just be embarking on a destructive rampage, however. "He has the power of persuasion," continued the actor, likening his character to a cult leader. "He has to persuade some very powerful [mutants]." These mutants, from the look of the trailer, will include the aforementioned Magneto, as well as Storm, Psylocke and Angel. Four of them, then. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, perhaps?

Then there was the "superhero super selfie", which featured a surprise appearance from Gambit himself, Channing Tatum (White House Down), turning up in an appropriate t-shirt and boasting a new haircut that fans of the character will certainly recognise. Here he is greeting the king of cameos and X-Men creator Stan Lee.

You can watch the full Comic Con 2015: X-Men Apocalypse panel below.

X-Men: Apocalypse is out on 19 May 2016, while Gambit will hit screens on 7 October later that year.

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