"X-Men: Apocalypse" director Bryan Singer has opened up about the religious parallels in his film, discussing how he views Apocalypse as a cultish "false god" and Professor X as the exact opposite in the "Days of Future Past" sequel, representing a "Christ"-like figure.
Singer told IGN at a set visit for the film, "[Apocalypse is] kind of the opposite of Christ, actually. Christ would have come years after him, by the way. Our premise is he stomped around ancient Egypt, and that's when he is buried and awakens in 1983. He's kind of more the God of the Old Testament, the vengeful God who wants the world in a certain order and wants to be worshipped -- but he's also forgiving,"
He added, "[Apocalypse is] also a false god, which makes him kind of like a cult leader. So [Apocalypse actor Oscar Isaac] and [writer/producer Simon Kinberg] not only studied religion but also studied the nature of cults and how they function. And that helped inform us how he chooses his Four Horsemen. Because in his mythology he always has four protectors and followers -- because he does have moments of vulnerability, which you'll see in the movie."
As for the messianic role of "Apocalypse's" Charles Xavier, Singer said, "I've gotten to explore Professor X when he was an older, bald, wise man, when he's insecure, when he's defenseless, when he's powerful. He's more of a Christ figure...He chooses to be a teacher. He could go inside Cerebro and rule the world, but he chooses not to. He chooses to teach and preach and hope that people follow his message: peace and unity. And I've gotten to see him as a drug addict and a loser, and in this movie you're going to get to see him prosperous and almost blindly optimistic, and how he changes."
Directed by Singer and starring McAvoy, Isaac, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan and more, "X-Men: Apocalypse" opens on May 27, 2016.