When the fan-favorite mutant Nightcrawler teleports in to “X-Men: Apocalypse,” it’s with not only with another — and significantly younger — actor in the role, but also with a decidedly different look.
While stage and screen veteran Alan Cumming originated the part in 2003’s “X2: X-Men United,” this time around it’s 19-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee, which provided makeup designer Adrien Morot with the opportunity to alter the character’s appearance, in a nod to the comic-book source material.
“One thing I wanted to bring to the character that wasn’t in the original Nightcrawler makeup from [‘X-2’] was, if you look at the comic books, he looks feline in the way that he stands and with his tail and yellow eyes and the way the ears are shaped,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “That wasn’t an obvious feature in the original interpretation.”
Morot also said they had to change the color of Nightcrawler’s skin from “X2.” “Alan was a gray-black in the original movie, and they had a problem lighting him,” he said. “So we had to make sure Nightcrawler’s look was camera-friendly. But they didn’t want him to look painted. So we had to come up with a skin that was not the same as the other blue characters; he had to look somewhat different.”
Another significant change: In “X2,” Nightcrawler’s tail couldn’t move, but for “Apocalypse” Morot designed a LEGO-like 6-foot flexible appendage for Smit-McPhee.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” is now in theaters.
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