If you’re anything like me, then chances are you were doing your best Bring It On impersonation when the word broke on Friday that the X-Men film following the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past would be X-Men: Apocalypse. The titular villain’s most famous storyline is probably the mid-90’s crossover Age of Apocalypse, which many – including this fanboy – assumed would be the inspiration for the next film, hence the aforementioned physical festivities.
But according to a new “rumour,” we may have been barking up the wrong mutant tree. Now none of this has been confirmed at all, but just in case it actually turns out be true, just be aware that it could be a MAJOR SPOILER.
The story comes via Screenrant, who claim to have have received a scoop from two different insiders – one of whom was able to provide a draft of the Days of Future Past script as evidence – who apparently spilled the beans not only on how Apocalypse gets introduced into the picture following Days of Future Past but also who will be playing the villain. This is your final SPOILER warning.
According to these sources, the story doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Age of Apocalypse. At least not the comic story we know. For the record, in that tale, Professor Xavier’s son, Legion, travels back in time and kills his father before he can create the X-Men. This cause Magneto to create a much different X-Men. Apocalypse is an almost immortal, omnipotent mutant – actually the very first mutant, born in Ancient Egypt as a slave named En Sabah Nur – who had been content to hid in the shadows until then, quietly amassing power. However, Xavier’s death and Magneto’s X-Men causes him to accelerate his plans to overthrow humankind, and he rises to power to essentially take over the entire world.
But the final post-credits scene in this draft of the script for Days of Future Past goes in a totally different direction. Screenrant doesn’t divulge any details about the rest of the film’s script, which is apparently “pretty spectacular” and which we will “have to see to believe,” but they do give a very detailed breakdown of that post-credits scene:
“…the credits bumper jumps back to the past with a young Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) in a ramshackle house in the desert eating dinner, clearly on the run from all the authorities who want to bring him down. While using a well outside to get some water, the young Magneto sees something fall from the night sky and crash to Earth nearby. Upon inspecting the impact zone, he encounters what is described as an “alien form” who is “towering, terrifying, with a twisted metal face and dark pits for eyes.” It’s Apocalypse and he says, “I have crossed rivers of time to find you.” Magneto asks, “Who are you?”
The alien responds, “I am your future.” Suddenly Apocalypse merges with Magneto, who screams and blasts an insane amount of energy and shockwaves around him. This energy explosion levels everything around him, with a blast radius that goes for miles. As Magneto looks at what he’s done, he has a realization of the power he now holds and a villainous grin begins to form before the film cuts to black.
A few things that stand out from that: This is definitely nothing like Age of Apocalypse, the description of Apocalypse is not detailed enough to figure out if the character’s appearance has been changed significantly (“alien form” could just mean he looks different, not necessarily that he’s an extraterrestrial now), and most importantly, the line “I have crossed rivers of time to find you” is taken straight out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whether this means that this “draft” has it in merely as a nod to the great character or whether this is nothing more than fan fiction drawing from other literary sources is up for debate. If this is legit though, then clearly that means that the First Class cast will be the central figures going forward in the franchise, and not only Magneto is obviously still a free man, but he will be the central antagonist once again. I have to say, I’m not a fan of that last bit.
As sublime as Fassbender is in the role, we need fresh villainous blood, especially considering the immense rogues gallery that the X-Men franchise has at its disposal. There’s just no need for Fox to try and out-Loki Marvel.
But this scene could be pulling a fast one on us though. It could be that while Magneto does merge with Apocalypse (Mag-Lypse?), this could just be a temporary thing, until Apocalypse separates into his own form again and Magneto actually has to help destroy him. And – something which I’ve noticed that most of the other sites reporting on this seems to have forgotten – there is precedent for this: In the epic crossover, “Apocalypse: The Twelve”, Apocalypse merges with Cyclops while using the X-Men leader and 11 other very special mutants in a ploy to gain true godhood. One of those 11 mutants who also played a major role in that story? Why none other than Magneto. Also, that whole story was kicked off by – yep, you guessed it – some time travel shenanigans, very much like what we’re going to see in Days of Future Past.
Apocalypse’ dialogue in that scene description also implies that he has travelled from the future, and could be planning to use Magneto in the past to change something critical, and thus giving rise to the Age of Apocalypse world after all. This type of combining of plot points from major comic book story arcs to create one new narrative, is exactly how most of these other films were done, so this would not be surprising at all. My only concern would be them going to the time travel well one too many times for casual viewers, as this would then imply three separate timelines: the First Class timeline, the dystopian future from the original Singer films which will be seen in Days of Future Past and now this new Age of Apocalypse dystopian future. That may just be one dystopia too much.
Maybe this “script draft” is a complete fabrication – it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that something that seemed as on the up and up as this turned out to be false – but if it is legit, there certainly is quite a bit of potential here. But maybe I’ve just wasted all my time typing all this up because I got it all wrong though, and Apocalypse is now some E.T. whose favourite Earth movie is Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I mean, this is the same studio who once thought it was a great idea to turn Galactus, arguably the Fantastic Four’s greatest villain, into a meteorological phenomenon.
Its still a long way off from X-Men: Apocalypse planned release date of May 27, 2016, but hopefully we’ll get some concrete answers when X-Men: Days of Future Past time-slides into cinemas on May 23, 2014.
Last Updated: December 9, 2013