The release of a revised plot synopsis for X-Men: First Class has bloggers scouring, in Da Vinci Code-like fashion, for clues to the villain's identity. Does the answer lie in a capitalized "A"? Screen Rant thinks it could.
But first, let's go back to May, when 20th Century Fox announced with it had hired Matthew Vaughn to direct the franchise reboot. At the end of the press release was our introduction to the movie's story, as conceived by Bryan Singer:
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-MEN saga. Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN.
Now compare that to what the studio released on Friday:
X-Men: First Class charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.
The changes aren't all that significant; it's more of a fine-tuning than anything. But Screen Rant focuses on the inclusion of "Armageddon," with a capital A (replacing the phrase "the greatest threat the world has ever known"), which just happens to be a Marvel supervillain -- one created by Apocalypse in another reality using his own DNA and that of Jean Grey. (The site also suggests it could be a reference to Project Armageddon, a name for the mutant-hunting Sentinel program.)
It's certainly possible that "Armageddon" is a reference to that minor comic-book villain. After all, Singer, Vaughn & Co. have already established that they're using characters from different X-Men eras -- Darwin, Azazel, Mystique, Beast, etc. -- to create a new continuity. So, sure, it's possible that a relatively obscure alternate-universe character has been transformed into the movie's primary threat.
But it's more probable that someone at Fox thought "Armageddon," capitalized or not, sounded more impressive than "the greatest threat the world has ever known."
What's more, it's unlikely that Fox would cast Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw and January Jones as Emma Frost, two pillars of the Hellfire Club, only to have them upstaged by ... Armageddon (the character, not the event).
X-Men: First Class also stars James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Henry McCoy/Beast, Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy/Banshee, Lucas Till as Alex Summers, Edi Gathegi as Darwin, Oliver Platt as the Man in Black, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Bill Milner as young Erik Lensherr, and Morgan Lily as young Raven Darkholme/Mystique.
Production is under way now for release on June 3, 2011.