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Five Apocalypse Stories Fit for Film


If there’s one thing the X-Men films have been holding back on, it’s exploiting their source material’s wealth of villains. Now, based on a cryptic tweet from X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer, it looks like the most imposing bad guy in X-Men history will finally make the leap to the silver screen. 2016 will possibly see X-Men: Apocalypse storming into movie theaters.

When you have a villain who is big enough to warrant his name in the title, there have to be a lot of stories worthy of a film adaptation. Here are five classic X-Men stories featuring the Darwinist mutant known as Apocalypse.

“Judgment Day”
Judgment-Day-160Apocalypse made a big splash early on in this three-part epic from the pages of X-Factor. Every weapon in En Sabah Nur’s arsenal is on display here, from his giant Celestial starship to his super-powered Four Horsemen. This storyline also sees Apocalypse transform the fallen Angel into the razor-winged Horseman of Death, rechristened as Archangel. While Ben Foster, who played Warren Worthington III in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, isn’t reprising his role in 2014’s X-Men family reunion, Days of Future Past, he could always come back in this film. If not, Apocalypse could always use his malevolent makeover powers on another mutant – probably Wolverine, given how the Fox films work.

Endgame-160Let’s not forget that there’s also an X-Force film in the works from Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow. If the time-traveling soldier codenamed Cable is destined to headline that film, it might make sense to dive into his origin story with “Endgame.” Here we meet Apocalypse’s new minions, the Dark Riders (a.k.a. Cannon Fodder), and learn that the survivalist mutant has infected Cyclops’ infant son, Nathan, with an incurable techno-organic virus. To save his son, Cyclops gives Nathan over to a time-traveling ally, who takes him into the future where his disease is halted and he grows up to be Cable. To adapt this storyline accurately, the film needs to fix the Cyclops-was-disintegrated problem; if not, major motion picture Cable doesn’t have to be a member of the Summers clan.

“Age of Apocalypse”
Age-of-Apocalypse-160If there’s one thing from ’90s Marvel that’s universally beloved, it’s this epic, 36-part crossover event that dominated the X-Men comics for four months in 1995. In this dystopian alternate take on the modern day, we learn just how messed up the world would be if Professor X died before forming the X-Men. Wolverine has one hand, Cyclops has one eye, Beast’s a villain and Magneto’s a straight-up hero. It’s really too early to tell, but it’d be wise to place all your bets on this happening. X-Men: Days of Future Past already has a time-travel component, meaning that if the film ends with James McAvoy’s young Xavier biting the dust, “Age of Apocalypse” is a guarantee.

“The Twelve”
The-Twelve-160In this late ’90s crossover, Apocalypse kidnapped the prophesied key 12 mutants (nine of which just so happened to be X-Men – coincidence!) that, when hooked up to a Celestial machine, would grant the mad mutant omnipotence. This story is notable because it contains a much more noble death for Cyclops compared to his lackluster demise in X-Men: The Last Stand. If anything gets adapted from this event, it should be all of the Cyclops-resurrection-y parts.

“The Apocalypse Solution”
Apocalypse-Solution-copy-120If the not-yet-confirmed “X-Men: Apocalypse” introduces us to the villain, then this storyline could form the basis for Wadlow’s in-development X-Force film. The first arc of Rick Remender and Jerome Opena’s critically acclaimed Uncanny X-Force saw the ragtag team going up against the rejuvenated forces of Apocalypse – new Horsemen, new headquarters, new levels of creepiness. Once inside the compound, X-Force is faced with a decision: should the team kill the resurrected Apocalypse, now a young boy with no memory of the atrocities he’s committed? One thing’s for sure: Apocalypse’s arrival means tough times ahead for the X-Men.


  • LightningBug

    Go for glory Fox! Make Age of Apocalypse! I’m assuming that’s what they’re doing, and calling it “X-Men: Apocalypse” only because Marvel’s already got dibs on “age of” for their Ultron movie. Since they’re dealing with time travel in Days of Future Past, and the present day state of movie X-Men is so colossally screwed up by X3, AoA seems like the best option for setting the house in order. Screw up the world by trying to fix it with time travel in DoFP, then fix it better than it was by the end of AoA. After that, Fox could move forward with X-Men movies that feature a cast that actually resembles X-Men… like a cast featuring Cyclops for example. If they do AoA, I hope they recast lots of characters like Cyclops, Jean, and Storm. It could make sense too. They could cast them a bit younger, and have the movie take place in an alternate 1990s, just like the comic! Put a little gray in Fassbender’s hair and he can lead the X-Men. I’m getting way too into this…

  • JD

    Wolverine can’t wear a mask because it’s too unrealistic, but they can introduce Apocalypse no problem? What’s he going to look like? I think these next two X films are going to be train wrecks.

  • AlexiasLazar

    “The alternate 1990’s” makes me feel really old LoL! But I dig where you are going here…

  • beane2099

    Days of Future’s Past leading to Age of Apocalypse would be an interesting twist. I mean if you’re already playing around with time travel, why not. Seems like they’re following the Back to the Future formula a little bit.

  • LightningBug

    Rarely have I felt older than when I typed that…

  • Shizzle My Nizzle

    i don’t know that “too unrealistic” is the reason for not having the mask so much as “would look fucking stupid” is.

  • Richard Casey

    I’ll be amazed if any of these happen. The flick will probably use the Apocalypse concept, Xavier dies due to time travel shenanigans, and that’ll be it. Not that i’m complaining, that sounds all kinds of awesome.

  • NeronWillRise

    It’s too similar a story to even attempt. I say go with an original story with elements from those listed above.

  • Fury

    Cyclops could be resurrected through the time-travel shenanigans of DOFP, allowing him and Hean to have a son to become Cable…

  • Fury

    Jean even…

  • LightnigBug

    They’ve made masks for him during production a couple of times, and never used them because it’s a really tricky drawing to translate credibly. The one’s they’ve made have been described as droopy looking, and ridiculous. You’d think with all of the resources at fox’s disposal, they could figure one out, but not as of yet…

  • LightningBug

    To similar to what?

  • shaunn

    I suspect that elements of these stories will be used but that what appears on screen will be a self-contained and independent story. I doubt there will be much time travel, unless the second film follows directly from “Days of Future Past.” Time travel can be very confusing and putting too much of it into the movie franchise could turn off the non-comic buying audience.

  • lordoracle

    Only problem with an Age of Apocalypse story is that they are going to need a good lead-in or else the viewers will not understand how the change occurred.

  • Savonti

    I’d argue that the X-men movies were screwed up well before X3.

    Sure they could do AoA but don’t know how well that would work in a movie format. There’s too much about the existing characters that the other movies failed to establish, meaning that any changes in character personalty will be lost. Moreover the crossover was so large you’ll never do it justice in a single movie, especially if the overall goal is to reboot the franchise (and hopefully keep it far, far away form Singer).

    A reboot is a great idea though, letting the property get back to Marvel is an even better one.

  • jhambi

    They have a movie next year that has time travel as well as a confirmed X-force movie that would likely be out before Apocalypse that would too… So I would think they could have plenty of tie in if they wanted.

  • demoncat_4

    odds are they may go with aoa abut also combine the part of angel becoming archangel . while also platting seeds for cable. and xforce

  • LightningBug

    Sure, the selling point in the comics was the changes in all of the characters, but it could work just as well in a movie if the selling point is just how messed up the world has become. You’re thinking too strictly based off of the AoA comic. X-Men movies have always had very little to do with the comics, and there’s absolutely no reason to suspect that an AoA movie would be any different. I would suspect that if they did AoA as a movie the similarities would begin and end at the basic premise. Also, when you say “if the overall goal is to reboot the franchise (and hopefully keep it far, far away form Singer),” you’re somehow willfully ignoring the fact that Fox is gleefully welcoming singer back into the fold. If you don’t embrace the fact that X-Men is Singer’s world, and we’re just living in it, then you’ll never be able to enjoy the next several X-Men movies. Holding out for anything else is a fools errand. Also: “letting the property get back to Marvel” is absolutely not on the table, so we may as well move on with our lives and hope that Fox gets X-Men more than they have in the past. Marvel getting X-Men back is simply a fantasy.

  • Conner Garry Sennett

    Some things translate badly to film. Wolverine’s mask is one of those things.

  • JimMacLeod

    No way will they do time travel/alternate timeline stories in back-to-back movies.

    AoA was only good because it radically broke from the established storyline. The movies don’t have an established storyline to break.

    Best bet is probably the Fall of the Mutants X-Factor story. Origin-threat-defeated. These others are too complex to put into one movie.

  • John

    How great would it be if X-men:Apocalypse is the start of a trilogy and they use the off years to tell side stories
    X-men: Apocalypse (Part I) – setup of the world the new X-men team (Sabretooth, Blink, Iceman, Rouge, Magneto, Quicksilver), Bishop might not work but Cable would. Make heavy use of flashbacks to set up this new world. Only use minor villains from the series.

    Factor X – Do the Cyclops/Havok storyline, maybe have someone in the pens (Mystique? Jean? Polaris?) as the main part of the storyline.

    X-men: Apocalypse (Part II) – action packed episode of the series Sabretooth vs Holocaust, X-men vs Factor X, Magneto vs Mr. Sinister

    Generation Next – Just adapt the whole mini-series which would be perfect.

    X-men: Apocalypse (Part III) – Magneto vs Apocalypse the end of the time-line

  • Savonti

    “X-Men movies have always had very little to do with the comics”

    Well see, that’s why the movies haven’t been any good (I know there are people out there that enjoy those movies and that’s great for those people).

    I’m not ignoring Fox’s decision to bring Singer back at all, I just think it was a mistake. The first X-men was a joke, the second was a piss poor adaptation of a great Claremont Story and then the man did Superman Returns. I just don’t understand why he was allowed to come back to the franchise.

    But you’re right I’m not going to enjoy the rest of the franchise, I didn’t enjoy the first ones either. I’m not going to see this movie, or any other X-men movie until they it gets cleaned up which, may never happen.

  • sowat

    AoA in the comics worked because we already knew Apocalypse to be a threat.

    That’s why AoA as a movie doesn’t work as well, at least at first. If Apocalypse is introduced as an alternate reality threat to viewers, he might be a cool villain, but ultimately viewers know it won’t last because the villain isn’t fighting “our X-Men” in the regular world, per se. The alternate reality won’t stand forever, everyone would know this.

    The only way it could work is for AoA Apocalypse to not loose by the story’s end when the world is set right again, and then have his “real world” counterpart show up once the time stream is reset. It’s the only way he’d be a real menace. If he looses in the AoA world, he’s instantly less of a threat in the “real world” movie universe. He can be lost during the action (Like Loki in Thor, who reappeared in Avengers), but I’d hope when Apoc finally hits the big screen he’s more than an alternate reality character.

  • LightningBug

    X2 is one of the best superhero movies out there. X1 only suffered from a small budget, but at the time it came out it was revolutionary. Singer has plenty of X-Men cred. Sorry you can’t see the merit of those movies, and that you’ll miss out on what might be good XFilms because of a grudge you hold against what most people agree are good movies.

  • LightningBug

    Yeah there’s no established storyline for them to break at all. Only six movies, and it’s pretty hard to establish a storyline over six movies. What are you talking about?!

    I think the fact that the next X-Men movie is about time travel makes it way more likely that the Apocalypse movie will be AoA. I read this week that they’re trying to do more world building in the X-Men movies in an attempt to be more like Marvel Studios, so a cliffhanger ending for DoFP into AoA makes total logical sense. Also, movie audience love time travel. Back to the Future was ridiculously successful after all.

  • LightningBug

    Maybe they’ll hint at Apocalypse in DoFP as somehow pulling strings from behind the scenes. Maybe he’s behind the sentinels as a method of weeding out the weak mutants!

  • Eno Har

    This is why Fox needs to keep X-men and just solely develop this universe. There is so much material to work through, can you imagine how hard it would be to cross over these characters and stories with the Avengers? The Marvel cinematic universe is already loaded and is getting bigger with Ant-man, Guardians of the Galaxy etc. Fox can focus on the X universe, Sony will continue to grow Spiderman, and Marvel can go crazy with the Avengers. More comic book movies for the fans :)

  • JimMacLeod

    I see you’re just on here picking fights with everyone, and that’s fine. We’re all speculating at this point. Sorry if some of our theories are inferior to yours.

  • mel

    Why do fanboys have such a hard time spelling Rogue?

  • mel

    I wonder if they’ll introduce the Shi’ar or Brood?

  • Kabuce

    My only wish for the Apocalypse movie is that they use Sinister and bring back Cyclops. Will wait for DoFP, because I’m hoping Cyclops has a cameo. I remember reading that James Marsden visited the set, hopefully that was just like Hugh Jackman “visited” the First Class set… That said, I think they’ll do a mashup of Judgement Day and the Twelve, leaving elements of Endgame for the X-Force film. AoA is too massive and the alternate versions of characters not yet introduce or fleshed out might be a turn off.

  • Eno Har

    I’ll be happy with either. Although I think Marvel might have rights to Shiar. I think there in Guardians. I’ve got my heart set on Age of Apocolypse, but that would need a few movies to set it up. I’d be happy with Brood, X-Cutioner’s Song while we wait. And if Fox are serious about solo spin offs, they should consider introducing Gambit at some point. He’s the only other character other than Wolverine and Deadpool that could hold his own movie.

  • NeronWillRise

    Too similar to Days Of Future Past.

  • John Simons

    Some interesting facts on the X-Men that even hardcore fans might not know about;