Tobey Maguire vs Andrew Garfield. Jack Nicholson versus Heath Ledger. Michael Keaton versus Val Kilmer versus George Clooney versus Christian Bale. Reasonable superhero-movie fans will differ in their favorite character renderings. Even the two eras of the X-MEN cinematic franchise have generated comparisons of admirable character interpretations, swapping Patrick Stewart’s more wizened Professor Charles Xavier for a younger, more uncertain James McAvoy and Ian McKellen’s single-mindedly with-us-or-against-us Magneto for a more volatile and disenchanted Michael Fassbender.
The latest trailer heralding 20th Century Fox’s X-MEN: APOCALYPSE suggests Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique is poised to possibly turn Harvey Dent’s philosophy of heroism and villainy in THE DARK KNIGHT on its head: to paraphrase, she has come far enough as a villain to see herself become a hero. The breakout leading lady of THE HUNGER GAMES and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Academy Award-winner has transcended the infamous shape-shifting indigo saboteur and assassin from Rebecca Romijn’s original ass-kicking eye candy in strategically placed scales seen in the original trilogy into a fully realized character with a true full-circle redemptive arc. Lawrence’s reported swan-song turn in the mutant saga will see her go full-Katniss and deliver a stirring speech that rallies the young and (relatively) untested “First Class” of X-Men while the ageless Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) sets his sights on mutants and humanity in one fell stroke.
Indeed, while McAvoy’s Xavier vows to keep his troupe of gifted youngsters safe, this preview suggests a face-off with his childhood friend Mystique choosing her side among the X-Men across from Magneto himself as one of Apocalypse’s corrupted Four Horsemen side-by-side with a young Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke(Olivia Munn), and Archangel (Ben Hardy). She’s set to lead a battalion made up of a young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and returning Havoc (Lucas Till) and Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) into a battle a good many X-Men fans have waited 15 hopeful years to see since Bryan Singer’s very first outing behind the camera.
What, you’re looking for something more than another bridge getting unnecessarily wrecked? Hm, how about a first look at Nightcrawler in action, glimpses of Cyclops and Jean in battle, and Apocalypse making some most convincing recruitment overtures of his own? Suffice to say, Bryan Singer’s own last directing hurrah helming Fox’s single most successful multi-film Marvel franchise looks to be grand in scope with some pivotal stakes and monumental visuals.
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE hits theaters worldwide May 27.