With his bluish-purple skin and armor and mechanical tubing, it’s clear that the feature film version of Apocalypse at least bears more than a passing resemblance to his comic book counterpart. But the villain, who will threaten the Earth in May’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” will actually differ quite a bit when it comes to his power set, as director Bryan Singer revealed to Collider during their set visit.
Singer revealed that this version of Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac, will actually not have a physical form — “he’s an energy,” Singer claims. Instead, Apocalypse has spent the last millennia “moving from body to body,” thus allowing him to accumulate a number of different powers. “One of them is to imbue other mutants and to heighten their powers and abilities beyond anything they ever imagined,” said Singer. “Secondly, he can shield from psychic powers, he can form shields so that it makes it harder for a psychic like Xavier to tap in and get to them.”
In the comics, Apocalypse has control over his molecules which allows him to change his shape and size, which makes him extremely durable and strong. He also has a rapport with technology, which allowed him to build the machines that augment and heighten the abilities of those he chooses to make his Horsemen.
Shots in the trailer make it seem like Apocalypse will have the ability of molecular control, although Singer doesn’t list it. He does, however, mention that the version of Apocalypse we see in the film is the result of him getting trapped in a body.
“[W]hat’s wonderful is he thinks in the beginning of the film he’s found this great body,” said Singer. “I don’t want to give away what the power of the body this mutant has but it’s a familiar one that you’ve seen a number of very famous mutants have. It kind of ends up being the wrong one because he gets stuck in it for a long time, but then suddenly he has this opportunity and that becomes his agenda. So it’s another interesting thing in the movie, the villain always has their agenda.”
The film version of Apocalypse also has Biblical ties. “The way I describe him the most, the best, is he to me is the God of the Old Testament and all that comes with that,” said Singer. “If there isn’t the order and the worship then I’ll open up the Earth and swallow you whole, and that was the God of the Old Testament. I started from there and when Oscar and I met we began discussing — since he isn’t really God, he’s the first mutant perhaps, but he’s not God necessarily — he’s imbued with certain unique powers. Some of them may or may not be from this Earth, we don’t know.” This is in line with the comics, as the comic version of Apocalypse has often augmented himself with technology from the alien beings known as the Celestials.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” opens in theaters on May 27, 2016.