Early reactions to X-Men: Apocalypse (opens in new tab)'s villain were.... mixed, to say the least. Devoted fans of the first mutant, El Sabah Nur, were a little upset at how he was depicted in that first batch of images. His skin was tinted purple and he generally didn't mesh with the comic book version (opens in new tab). And it turns out they weren't alone, as Oscar Isaac reveals he wasn't overjoyed by the screenshot chosen for his grand introduction.
"I was not super pleased with those first photos that ran," he tells EW (opens in new tab), "When you look at those things, you think that’s the representation of the character, and it was a shot from when we were coming out of a portal, and the portal light is purple and so suddenly everyone thinks that the character is purple which is not the case."
Most of the photos and trailers that followed managed to present him in a much more forgiving light. But one person who came to the party totally prepared was director Bryan Singer. He says that he fully expected to receive this backlash, in part because of the character's immense popularity, and due to his previous experiences in adapting a comic book icon. “Can you imagine what it was like for fans 16 years ago when I cast 6-foot-3 Hugh Jackman to play 5-foot-4 Wolverine in X-Men? Can you imagine the reactions I got? I nearly got crucified. And there was no social media for me to say, ‘Hey guys, don’t worry, it will work out.’ Hopefully the audience will understand why the character had to be played by this particular actor.”
Singer avoided even more outcry in the way he chose to create the bad guy. While there's been a fair chunk of criticism surrounding Isaac's role, and how he was underused beneath all the makeup, it could have been worse. Singer's original plans involved an entirely CG-crafted look for Apocalypse.
“Instead of giving him CG make up, I thought it was very important that he connect with the horsemen, that he connect with the movie," he adds. "We built a suit and enhanced Oscar’s size. But nonetheless to be as intimate and persuasive in his interaction with our lead characters, I made the decision to have him for the most part be in human form.”
Directed by Bryan Singer and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Munn, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, and Hugh Jackman, X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas now and opens in US theatres on May 27, 2016.
Images: 20th Century Fox