Below are the official production notes for X-Men: Apocalypse. Sorry for some formatting errors and as always be aware of possible mild spoilers.
ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE
Following his acclaimed work on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant -- Apocalypse. In 1983, the invincible and immortal Apocalypse is set free after being entombed for several millennia. Enraged that his kind are no longer treated as gods, Apocalypse assembles a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to destroy humankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. To end Apocalypse’s path of global destruction, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) lead a team of young X-Men in an epic showdown with a seemingly unstoppable enemy.
APOCALYPSE NOW…AND THEN
The critically hailed blockbuster X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was a tough act to follow.
Moreover, the filmmakers’ goal was to not only live up to the expectations set by that film, but to exceed them. “We had a real challenge to come up with a story that could surpass DAYS OF FUTURE PAST in terms of scale and stakes,” notes writer-producer Simon Kinberg, who served in those capacities on that film.
A creative breakthrough came with the decision to have the new film’s antagonist be the most powerful mutant villain in the entire X-Men universe. “Apocalypse poses a cosmic threat and that sense of scale appealed to Bryan Singer and me,” Kinberg adds.
Of course, Singer’s embrace of the character was critical. He reinvented the comic book genre as we’ve come to know it with the debut of the successful X-MEN in 2000, followed by the blockbuster X2 in 2003. With those films, and then years later with X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Singer seamlessly fused character-driven drama, science fiction, action and adventure.
Singer was particularly drawn to Apocalypse’s self-designation as a god. “I was fascinated by the notion of ancient mutant powers, and what a mutant would think if he or she was born 20,000 or 30,000 years ago. They would, of course, think they were a god, and would behave as one. And they would be looked at and worshipped like a god.
“Apocalypse believed that it was his responsibility to build a society and to remove humanity’s innate savagery. Over the millennia, Apocalypse had done this many times—with, for example, the Babylonians,
Arcadians, Sumerians—and he’d been called many gods over many lifetimes.”
“Bryan kicked the door down on history to bring this incredible villain back from such a distant point in history,” says producer Hutch Parker. Indeed, long before the world was aware of mutants, Apocalypse ruled as a god. Actually, “he imagines himself not just as a god, but as the god,” says Kinberg. “That’s a very rich idea for a villain. It’s not a man versus mutant struggle, as we’ve seen in other films; it’s a world Apocalypse has envisioned, where only the strong survive.”
“He’s a threat unlike any the X-Men have known,” adds Parker. “Apocalypse is both ancient and otherworldly.”
Given Apocalypse’s vision of global destruction, it’s no surprise that this is the most visually ambitious of the X-Men pictures. “We’re not only traveling the world, we’re talking about the potential end of the world, and perhaps the end of the universe,” says director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel, who previously collaborated with Singer on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, X2, and X-MEN, among other films. Adds
Oscar Isaac, who plays the seminal figure: “The stage is set for an epic mutant versus mega-mutant war. The battle between the X-Men and Apocalypse is insane!”
Moviegoers got their first glimpse of Apocalypse in a post-end credits sequence in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, where a younger version of the mutant was seen building pyramids, telepathically, while his minions looked on.
Apocalypse’s 5,000-year absence began when civilization was at its peak; his sleep ends when it’s arguably at its nadir. Upon rising in Cairo in 1983 from his millennia-long slumber, Apocalypse is shocked and repulsed by our planet’s decline—the cars, noise, pollution—all signs of a failed world that he must cleanse.
His mission: exterminate the weak and rebuild it for the strong.
“It’s a time of conflict, war and destruction,” notes Singer. “Apocalypse sees this as a civilization in desperate need of culling. There are false idols: people now worship money, and possess nuclear weapons, which gives them a false sense of godlike power. This does not work for Apocalypse. So he wants to put an end to it and start everything fresh again—and to reshape Earth in his image.”
Having grown up in the eighties, Kinberg understood how it was marked by excess, as seen in the hairstyles, fashion, and automobiles. “In 1983, Apocalypse rises from the perfection of ancient Egyptian culture into an over-populated, polluted, nuclear-threatened culture,” he says. “So his motivation is understandable, though his methods and goals are extreme.”
Oscar Isaac, who took on the role of Apocalypse following his star turn as the heroic starfighter pilot
Poe Dameron in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, calls the character nothing less than “the creative/destructive force of this earth. When things seem like they’re no longer evolving—like they did in the
1980s—he destroys those civilizations.”
Singer considered and then rejected the notion of making the character a giant, at least for most of the
movie. “You will see him bigger than life, so there’ll be that satisfaction,” he explains. “But I also felt Apocalypse needed to exert his powers of persuasion. That’s why I went with a really fine actor—Oscar— instead of just throwing him in a digital costume and animating him. There are some pretty spectacular things that occur, but it was important to feel a sense of realness—that Apocalypse is a physical being. I never wanted to lose the actor inside of CG animation.”
The role required a juxtaposition of cruelty and violence with a unique kind of humanity. It’s a delicate balance that Isaac executes with consummate skill. “Oscar has all of the different colors of the greatest actors,” says Kinberg. Adds Parker: “Oscar has such authenticity and dramatic integrity that he’s really one of the anchors of the film—playing the character around which everything pivots.”
RAVEN, CHARLES AND ERIK: HOPE, DESPAIR AND ARMAGEDDON
The world of 1983 also has undergone upheavals in the treatment of mutants. This next stage of human evolution is now accepted by most—but not all—of humanity, thanks to the heroism of Raven/Mystique, who (as seen in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) prevented the assassination of the U.S. president and a war between mutants and humans.
Raven, a blue-skinned shapeshifter, is seeking her true purpose, as well as elusive self-acceptance. In the years leading up to X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, she had tried to stay hidden from the world, shunning her celebrity as the face of hope and change for the new, mutant-integrated world. She resists bearing the weight of that label, and feels much of her past doesn’t warrant the world’s perception of her as a hero.
Now, Raven is living by her own code and working independently as an underground mutant savior, to fight against the remaining instances of human exploitation of mutants and save those still being persecuted.
“The character is more ‘Raven’ than ‘Mystique’ in this story because she cannot be her true mutant self in a world that she feels is still not as mutant-friendly as it’s perceived to be,” says Oscar®-winner Jennifer Lawrence, who first played the role in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and then reprised it in X-MEN: DAYS OF
FUTURE PAST. “That’s why she has basically been Raven since the events of the previous films, so no one would know she’s that mutant. When we meet her in this film, she’s been living a covert life as Raven.”
Raven’s mission to help mutants where she can culminates in her leading the X-Men in a massive battle with Apocalypse. But first she is reunited with the two men with whom she is closest, and with whom she shares a complex and evolving history: Charles Xavier (aka Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto). Raven and Charles have a long history together and were part of the original X-Men team. In the subsequent years they grew apart, separated by both distance and philosophies.
When they are reunited, Raven’s views conflict with Charles’s. “She still does not believe people will embrace mutants; she’s seen the darker side of it,” Singer explains. “So Raven confronts Charles on it. He has no intention of forming a fighting force of any kind. They have polarizing views of where the world has come in the past ten years and how that leads to the formation of the X-Men.”
When we meet Charles in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, he has rededicated himself to building his School for Gifted Children, as a safe haven for mutants learning how to control their powers.
Within the context of Marvel’s universe, Kinberg sees Xavier’s school as a radical idea. “It’s a guy who takes a bunch of kids, trains them in a ‘Danger Room’ in his basement, plus they wear costumes, and go around the world stopping evil and injustice. Instead of shying away from that idea, we wanted to explore and embrace how radical the X-Men are,” he explains.
Xavier is a powerful telepath whose greatest gift, says James McAvoy, who reprises the role, is “his empathy and ability to teach. The events of the last film left him hopeful and more responsible.”
Xavier’s optimism and hope in 1983 is a 180-degree turn from the broken figure of X-MEN: DAYS OF
FUTURE PAST. “He’s surrounded by brilliant young students, and is now able to look past the prejudice, fear and hatred that linger in the world,” says McAvoy. But his thinking undergoes another evolution after Apocalypse begins his reign of terror and destruction. “Xavier’s worst fears begin to surface and he has to mature to the realities of a world in the hands of an evil mutant,” McAvoy adds. “In some ways he has to become more militant—and more like Magneto.”
McAvoy is referring, of course, to Xavier’s closest friend and fiercest rival, who, when we catch up with him in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is finally living in peace. Failing in his attempt to assassinate the U.S. president at the end of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Magneto has disappeared, his silence and absence benefiting the progress of mutant integration into society.
Over a decade later, “he’s hung up his cape and evil ways,” says recent Oscar nominee Michael
Fassbender, who again takes on the role of the powerful mutant. Magneto is living a quiet life in a small town in Poland. He has a wife and a young daughter, and a job at local steel factory. But when a confrontation with local authorities ends tragically, Magneto’s tranquil life is shattered and his heart is broken.
“Magneto had chosen to mimic the life of his parents, living and working in his native land, Poland,” says Singer. “But it goes horribly wrong, and he is devastated and takes an apocalyptic turn.”
Once again fueled by rage and revenge, Magneto is vulnerable to Apocalypse’s offer to join him as one of his newly reformed Four Horsemen. Inspired by the biblical vision of Four Horsemen, who unleash a divine destruction upon the world, Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen are minion mutants who, says Fassbender, “are living on the margins and have been ostracized or bullied.”
Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, circa 1983, are: Magneto, Psylocke, Angel and Storm. Psylocke, portrayed by Olivia Munn, is a powerful telepath and trained ninja assassin. We meet her as the bodyguard for
Caliban, an underground mutant tracker. Apocalypse senses Psylocke’s power and persuades her to join his cause. “She’s a fascinating character,” says Munn. “Unlike many of her fellow mutants, who kill only when they must, Psylocke has always enjoyed killing, or at least she has no problem doing it.”
Munn, who is a fan of the comics character, says that Psylocke has always had substantive plot lines—
“she’s a skilled fighter, and strong and fierce. She’s a badass character presenting real female power.” Storm (whose given name is Ororo Monroe) is an orphan raised as a thief on the streets of Cairo. Portrayed by Alexandra Shipp, Storm possesses the ability to control all aspects of the weather. Storm can also fly, thanks to her ability to control wind currents. While she will become one of the most valued leaders of the X-Men, the Storm we meet in this film is struggling with her identity, before Apocalypse convinces her to join his team.
“This Storm is more reckless and emotionally driven than the adult Storm we know from the previous XMen films, starring Halle Berry,” says Shipp. “She’s confused about who she wants to be, and her lack of opportunity leads her to join Apocalypse as one of his modern Horsemen.”
The Fourth Horseman is Angel, whose mutation gave him large wings and the ability to fly. Angel’s agility, strength and reflexes make him a lethal hand-to-hand combatant.
In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, after suffering severe damage to his wings, Angel is like an angry punk rocker. He’s a drunk, disheveled mess, and surviving out of pure instinct. We meet him as the champion of the underground fighting cages in East Berlin. Angel is approached by Apocalypse, who gives him the opportunity to channel his anger and join his Horsemen. The über-mutant finds a willing acolyte in Angel, who is looking for reason to live, instead of just a reason to kill. In exchange for his allegiance, Apocalypse repairs
Angel’s wings by transforming them into a techno-organic metal, which allows him to shoot deadly razor projectiles from his now indestructible wings.
Ben Hardy, who takes flight as Angel, knew the character is one of the most anticipated by fans, and worked hard to bring Angel to life. That included a rigorous training regimen. Hardy trained six days a week and followed a strict diet, “to look as superhuman as possible,” he says. For flying scenes, Hardy trained for and executed complicated stunt wire-work, an often dizzying experience. “I mean, to be 30 feet in the air and swoop down was like being on a rollercoaster all day,” says Hardy.
While Apocalypse is assembling his Horsemen, Charles is teaching and training his young students.
When Apocalypse’s rampage hits home, the young men and women must grow up quickly; as Raven tells them, “You’re not students, anymore; you’re X-Men.”
Many of those characters will be familiar to audiences, but we meet them in this film as younger incarnations of the iconic figures in the original X-Men films. Singer says bringing these versions of the characters to life was one of the highlights of creating X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. “The world has embraced mutants, somewhat, and this film not only introduces new characters, it forms the team and explains why X-
Men were necessary. They’re not just students who attend Xavier’s school. I understand some of them feel like outcasts and want to belong in a place where they’re accepted. But why a fighting force of mutants?
What’s the need for that? This film tells that story.”
Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) has the dual powers of telepathy and telekinesis. But as a teenager, Jean’s powers are out of control and she must put them in check for her own safety and the safety of the other students at Charles’ school. Recognizing Jean’s potential, Charles takes her under his wing, much as he did with Raven (in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS). McAvoy says Charles and Jean share a powerful connection because
“he understands how hard it is to switch the power on and off.”
Even with Charles’ tutelage, Jean’s adjustment to the school and her fellow mutants is not an easy one. “Jean feels alienated,” says Turner. “She’s at a school for mutants, but she can’t fully control her powers and the other students are either afraid of her or think she’s a freak.”
Things begin to change when Jean meets classmate Scott Summers, played by Tye Sheridan, with
whom she begins to develop a bond, and she blossoms. It’s a dynamic, says Kinberg, which is the “origin of their love story.”
But first, Scott (aka Cyclops) must come to terms with his own powers, which allow him to shoot powerful optic blasts that can only be contained by wearing custom ruby quartz glasses. While fans know that Scott is destined to become a leader of the X-Men, he is a much different person upon manifestation of his powers in 1983. Skinny, awkward and full of teen angst, Scott also has a chip on his shoulder towards his older brother Alex (Lucas Till), also known as Havok, whom we met in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
Scott, like so many of his mutant brethren, initially feels like he doesn’t fit in. “He has a blunt sense of
humor,” says Sheridan, but notes Jean quickly changes his dark outlook. “Scott and Jean have this awkward, slightly provocative and flirtatious first encounter, which is the foundation of what becomes a very important relationship.”
It is Hank McCoy/Beast who designs a combat-appropriate visor for Scott, which finally allows him to
control the force of his optic blasts. It’s all in day’s work for Hank, a genius-level intellect who, as Beast, possesses uncommon ferocity, enhanced strength, speed and agility.
Hank spent the past ten years helping to rebuild and open Xavier’s School for the Gifted. Says Nicholas Hoult, who again takes on the role he first portrayed in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS: “Hank is continuing to build gadgets and gizmos, improving Cerebro, and crafting a supersonic, blast-resistant jet. He enjoys being a teacher and having young mutants around.”
Those young mutants include Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver, who is gifted with extreme speed. He was one of the breakout characters from DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, thanks to a show-stopping and visually arresting sequence where Quicksilver runs along the walls in the Pentagon kitchen, parallel to the ground, as part of a successful effort to free Magneto from a seemingly impregnable prison.
Audiences had never experienced anything like it on film before. But a Quicksilver-centric scene in X-
MEN: APOCALYPSE tops it. “The fun of building the new scene was coming up with the Quicksilver
philosophy, which is that he can move so fast, he can fit a day’s activity into the blink of an eye," says visual effects supervisor John Dykstra. Adds Evan Peters, who reprises his X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST role:
“‘Quicksilver time’ exists within its own set of laws. He moves so fast that time seems to stop, but it is taxing for him.”
The new sequence required the use of various cameras, such as the Phantom and the Red, shooting at various speeds, sometimes as high as 3200 frames per second. Still images were also integrated into the composite. “It’s a two-minute sequence that took us over a month and half to shoot,” says Singer, “and it uses some of today’s most sophisticated technology. “It has a different feel from the scene in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and it might be a little bittersweet. It’s definitely unique.”
The hyper-kinetic action complements the character’s increased profile in this new story. But some things never change: mutants have been living openly among humans for a decade, but Quicksilver is still living in his mother’s basement. “He’s a bit depressed,” says Peters. “Peter’s room is now a little cleaner, but he’s on a mission to find someone to whom he thinks he has a special connection.”
Another newcomer to Xavier’s school is Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler, whose demonic-looking appearance, blue skin, yellow eyes and long, barbed tail, made him an outcast well before the emergence of his mutant powers, which include superhuman agility and teleportation (and the accompanying “BAMF!” sound). Nightcrawler is introduced here as a shy, emotional and naïve figure, who is also uncommonly wise— a quiet prophet, of sorts.
Kodi Smit-McPhee (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) plays the character, which the young actor
believes will resonate with audiences. “At his core, Kurt is traditional, happy, swashbuckling, joyful, as well as faithful and vulnerable,” he explains.
New to the X-Men movie universe is Jubilation Lee/Jubilee, played by Lana Condor. Jubilee has the
ability to shoot pyrotechnic energy blasts from her hands. She’s known for her long yellow coat, as well as her Valley Girl/mall rat personality. Jubilee is 18, and still trying to grow up and have fun, spending most of her time with Jean, Scott and Nightcrawler. Condor notes that the character “fits perfectly into the eighties period setting. She has a fun, pop feel and like many people her age—mutant or not—she enjoys videogames.”
Joining the X-Men on their quest to stop Apocalypse is Moira MacTaggert, a CIA operative. Moira was a former love interest for Charles, who erased her memory of their time together in 1962, at the height of humanity’s fear and distrust of mutants, in order to protect her from attacks by anti-mutant groups.
Rose Byrne, who reprises her X-MEN: FIRST CLASS role, notes that despite Moira’s memory loss, her connection to her mutant friends remains strong. “Moira is in some ways an outcast,” says Byrne. “She’s a huge sympathizer and advocate for mutants, but the battle against Apocalypse is her priority.” Still, she provides a tantalizing hint of a renewed bond with Charles. “He gives Moira the greatest gift…” is all she’ll reveal.
Also returning is another human covert operative, who is Moira’s polar opposite in his anti-mutant views. William Stryker is an operations specialist and military scientist bent on destroying mutants. He will go to any extreme to prevent what he sees as mutants’ existential threat to humankind. Last seen in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, circa 1973, Stryker continues his mission to rid the world of mutants. Says Josh
Helman, who reprises the role: “Stryker is doing what he feels is necessary to save his country, but he holds such an unyielding belief in the work he’s doing, that he’s blind to its cost.”
THE WORLD OF APOCALYPSE
Principal photography on X-MEN: APOCALYPSE began on April 20, 2015 in Montréal, Quebec,
Canada. The production was based at Mel’s Cité du Cinema (commonly referred to as Mel’s), a 27-plus acre studio facility on the Île de Montréal overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Comprised of seven soundstages totaling 116,500 square feet, the production morphed and mutated every square foot to meet its massive requirements. In addition, the team occupied numerous practical locations around the city, including several industrial sites, a derelict theatre, an old shopping mall and a cabin in the woods.
Newton Thomas Sigel embraced the opportunity to explore new visual worlds, such as Ancient Egypt, modern Egypt, Poland, East Germany and the United States in 1983. He delineated each environment in several ways, especially in terms of color. The Middle East was to have a golden, sand colored hue, where the atmosphere was imbued with gold, inspiring the feeling of heat, sand, and dryness.
Filming in Quebec at the end of the harsh Canadian winter posed an obvious challenge. For the Ancient Egyptian interiors, Sigel says, “We kept the sun filtering into the pyramid and mixed it in with flame, fire and the type of oil lighting that they would have had 4,000 years ago. Millennia later, “Cairo is a smorgasbord of color and light with every kind of artificial and fluorescent light and the golden baked sun that we created for
Egypt,” says Sigel.
Academy Award-winning production designer Grant Major (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy), along with his talented art department, led by supervising art director Michèle Laliberté (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) and Oscar-nominated set decorator Anne Kuljian (DIVERGENT), had the daunting task of overseeing the design, creation and construction of the film’s nearly sixty built sets, as well as the design and art direction of the movie’s numerous practical locations in and around the metropolitan Montréal area.
Major’s principal challenge was to re-create ancient and modern Egypt. A close second was being true
to the rich design tradition of X-Men comics and the previous films. It was a matter of “doing justice to the designers that preceded me,” says Major, “along with the iconic, established designs of the X-Mansion and
Cerebro, which have a highly refined look.” For the Egyptian temple, the design team brought in an
Egyptologist to help with the research. Major had a long list of questions, including which gods related to which Horsemen, how to represent them, and which animals matched their powers. The Egyptologist provided him with hieroglyphs, phrases that reflected the story, and elements to decorate the temple. The temple set also included four giant statues. All the hieroglyphs were drawn by hand in a smaller format and traced. They were then cut with a C & C machine “as a drawing line on the Styrofoam boards so that our sculptors had a reference point,” explains Major. “We had a large crew, all working away at panels of foam for months, carving and plastering before the painters took over. It was a good thing we started early.”
Laliberté says this film’s massive scenes of destruction set it apart from its predecessors. “The challenge of an apocalyptic plot line was making everything beautiful and then destroying it,” he explains. In one of the film’s biggest scenes, Apocalypse erects a new larger-than-life pyramid in the middle of 1983 Cairo.
Major found an old factory about to be demolished within the city limits of Montréal. “We literally pulled down buildings and demolished the surrounding landscape, building layer upon layer of destroyed environments,” says Major.
With the X-Mansion, Major inherited artwork from production designer John Myhre, who built it for both the original X-MEN film, as well as for X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Singer wanted an even bigger mansion, so Major added a two-story library, a “student lounge,” bedrooms, bathrooms and various pieces of connecting hallways. The set was converted to different floors and took up two full stages at Mel’s Studios, where a wall separating two stages had to be removed to accommodate the larger mansion. This was the largest mansion set to date, built in the architectural style that Myhre had established. For the first time audiences are going to see the entire house, “360 degrees—top, bottom, sides and back,” says Major, “and then we blow the whole thing up.”
The grounds surrounding the mansion were planted with hundreds of trees, bushes, flowers and
topiaries. In addition to the main house sets, several satellite sets were built for Quicksilver’s extraction scene, including the bathroom, a couple of bedrooms, the library, and an exterior balcony. Cerebro got an eighties update as well.
One of the key scenes introducing mutants Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Jubilee takes place in a shopping mall that provided a wealth of period detail. Major and his team found the perfect location: an authentic, period mall on the outskirts of Montréal that had not been renovated since the 1980s. Luckily, the owner of the property and the shopkeepers were willing let the production transform their retail spaces.
Major’s team emptied out the stores, bringing in props and products and completely revamping the space to look like a mall from Singer’s youth. The team had researched popular commercial brands and retail outlets in American malls during the period and got permission to use their branding and logos to recreate shops like Contempo Casuals. They resurrected a video arcade and found vintage arcade machines. The arcade was born again as Space Port, which was the name of the video arcade where Singer played as a youngster.
The Polish cottage and iron factory where Magneto lives and works were idyllic, country locations scouted just outside of Montréal. The foundry was the right size and they were making molten cast items, just as the script prescribed. The cottage design called for floral motifs and, luckily, the season provided all the set decorating the production could have asked for. “The house looked just beautiful in the early spring weather with a certain amount of color, but the foundry had graininess to it,” says Major. The muted color of the Eastern Europe sequences already existed at the factory location.
The challenge in designing the special makeup effects for Apocalypse was to avoid hiding Oscar Isaac. His transformation initially took three and a half hours, but with some practice the team of two was able to bring it down to an hour and a half.
The character’s makeup effects included a forehead piece, a nose and cheek piece, a jaw and chin piece, a headpiece, a neck piece and even a helmet. “The only body part that wasn’t covered was Isaac’s eyeballs,” jokes specialty makeup designer Brian Sipe. “With a headdress and neck piece, as well as a twenty piece costume, the entire process was “like a giant jigsaw puzzle,” he adds. One of the prominent features in the Apocalypse design is the metallic-looking “dreads.” The challenge was making the suit “look heroic on a normal man’s body while allowing the actor to maintain mobility and conform,” says Sipe. They also had to keep Isaac cool in hot and humid Montreal summer weather. “We used a system called Cool Shirt,” Sipe continues. “It’s a cooling system similar to what race car drivers use; Oscar was plugged into ice water whenever he wasn’t filming to maintain a comfortable temperature.”
The filmmakers used a unique process to create Apocalypse’s voice. Singer explains: “It’s always Oscar’s voice, but during ADR, in addition to a standard Sennheiser microphone, I used a bass mic near his right cheek, and to his left cheek I used a bass drum mic, like a musician’s mic, so I could pull vocal tones that would not normally be heard by the human ear. With three microphones at his face, Oscar always had to keep his head in the right spot!”
Special effects makeup department head Adrien Morot (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) and his team worked on Nightcrawler and the four Ancient Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For the Horseman “Death” they created a look inspired by the desert and pyramids—an almost mummified, dry, cracked appearance. The skin looked like old parchment. “Half of Death’s face, hands and body was like a dry river bed,” explains Morot. “[The Horseman] Pestilence resembled an aquatic creature in shades of blue with keloid scars on the face and magnificent grayish eyes. His entire head was prosthetic, so the scars were integrated. “Pestilence was a very intimidating but beautiful character, a soothing character to look at, but he's going to kill you right after,” says Morot with a laugh.
In the comics, Nightcrawler is lean, with almost feline elements: his ears have an upward slope
reminiscent of a lynx, his eyes are panther-like. To stay true to the 1980s period, as well as to Alan Cumming’s Nightcrawler of X2, Morot made a life casting of actor Kodi Smit-McPhee’s head to produce prosthetic elements. A body cast was required to build Smit-McPhee’s tail. Morot worked with MAC Makeup to formulate a special “recipe” of matte and durable foundations in the colors that were needed to create Nightcrawler's look.
Morot’s team also designed Nightcrawler’s kinetic moving tail with what he says is an “inner armature
that has tension.” Whenever the actor moves, the tail moves on its own. Morot was surprised at the amount of natural movement he was able to achieve without incorporating a mechanical contraption. By the end of the shooting schedule, Smit-McPhee’s processing time was down to about an hour and forty-five minutes, including the application of prosthetics, makeup, teeth, eyes, body armor that supports that kinetic tail, feet and hands. “The biggest challenges were making Nightcrawler look real and repeating it every day when he was on set,” says Morot, “and of course, satisfying the fans’ ideas about what the character should look like.”
Costume designer Louise Mingenbach drew upon the resources and inventory of numerous costume rental houses in the U.S. and Montréal and scoured retail vintage stores across North America to find thousands of wardrobe items needed to dress performers in 1980s apparel from Cairo, East Germany, and the U.S. She estimates the production had gathered almost 100,000 pieces of wardrobe by the end of the shoot and dressed between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
For Mingenbach the most stimulating part of the process was brainstorming ideas with Singer, with whom she has collaborated seven times. "There were no restrictions, and that’s when we were the most creative,” she says.
Mingenbach also makes special note of a procession scene set in ancient Egypt, in which “there were
Nubians carrying fans, boat carriers, the four Horsemen – and two iterations of Apocalypse,” she explains.
There were 30 costume dressers on set those days, working from four in the morning to get everyone ready for camera.
Apocalypse’s wardrobe was one of the most difficult and detailed to build. Once Oscar Isaac was cast, all the illustrations were built off his body, taking into account details like his cheekbones and the length of his neck. During pre-production, the team went through months of testing fabrics, colors and textures. “All the fabrics Oscar wore were created especially for the character,” says Mingenbach. “We had about four months to conceive and produce a costume, and that was almost not enough time.” It took two and sometimes three dressers to help the actor get the costume on and off, a process that could take upwards of 30 minutes.
The Apocalypse costume design informed those for the modern superheroes. Mingenbach wanted the characters to be seen as a grouping—“warriors that are related,” she says. Her team had designed Angel’s wings, which were approved by Singer, but they were never built because they were too cumbersome to be practical on set. So that task was handed over to the visual effects department. Ben Hardy’s costume was made out of more flexible, delicate fabrics than many of the others to facilitate enhanced movement for his flying scenes.
Singer has always insisted on drawing as many references as possible from the comic books. For Storm, Mingenbach was inspired by some of Storm’s comics costumes, specifically their lines, colors and references to ancient Egyptian, the ancient Horseman and the modern Horsemen. There is a strong visual correlation between Ancient Egypt and the 1983 costumes.
Olivia Munn’s Psylocke costume is straight from the comic book. “When it comes to the way she looks it
was very important to me to do right by the fans,” says Munn, “because I’m a fan.” The difficulty was making the costume work for her demanding action sequences. “She’s wearing practically nothing,” says Mingenbach. A stunt department crewperson helped to make very low-profile harnesses so that the actress could perform her stunts without a bulky old-fashioned harness underneath her. Another challenge: Munn’s costume was not easy to get in and out of. “It’s like putting on a giant condom every day she filmed. It’s a latex suit made by a sex shop in Los Angeles,” says Mingenbach, with a laugh.
For the 1983 East Berlin sequence, Mingenbach explains that “everything was more subdued, a little
held back, from the previous decade.” The team dressed factory workers, doctors, Stasi police officers, ladies of the night and grandmothers. They collaborated with Grant Major to keep the pallets limited and uniform.
In Westchester, New York, the X-Mansion was all about the bright colors of 1980s America, “replete
with all the neons, stripes, and polka dots,” says Mingenbach. They were inspired by the style icons of the decade, “like Boy George, Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields.” The costume designer took a slightly less saturated approach to the eighties. “The early eighties was hard to take; there was no such thing as too much going on with fabrics and accessories, so we toned it down a bit as to not be too overly garish or distracting.”
In dressing the young mutants at Xavier’s school, Mingenbach again stayed true to the comics. Working with Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, she took into consideration that the actress, like the comic book character, is a redhead. “Sophie is a beautiful young woman,” says Mingenbach, “but at times we wanted to see her looking awkward or uncomfortable.” The story opens with Jean not really knowing her place, so the clothes were chosen specifically to cover her up, make her feel protected, “to cocoon her,” says Mingenbach.
For much of the film, prior to the final battle sequences, she wears an oversized deconstructed men’s blazer with stylized shoulder pads.
With Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler, the first thing Mingenbach tackled was an outfit he’d wear for a
key sequence set in a fight club. She had found an old jacket in the throwaway pile of the “crazy backroom” of Western Costume in Los Angeles. “It was a stained old circus jacket with fantastic pointed tails held together by a string,” says Mingenbach. “Kodi had the perfect frame for it, so we re-created the jacket and paired it with some asymmetrical eighties pants. We snuck in a little Boy George look and for his scenes at the mansion, we tried to keep Nightcrawler true to the comic, working with red and black and diagonal shapes that fans would recognize.”
In dressing Julibee, Mingenbach had an assortment of over 20 costumes designed for actress Lana Condor. “I could have thrown a dart in the dark and picked one I liked,” says Condor. Ultimately, her wardrobe included full skirts, tights, boots, and shirts with one shoulder hanging. “FLASHDANCE was everywhere with
Jubilee,” says Mingenbach.
By 1983, Professor Hank McCoy is maturing. She dons sharp yet casual suits, which Mingenbach
refers to as “Beasty wear” and Singer thought resembled his own father’s outfits in the eighties. Hoult was thrilled about the details of his wardrobe. “I’ve got this great eighties Casio calculator watch, which comes in very handy,” he jokes.
For Jennifer Lawrence, Mingenbach took into account Raven’s modus operandi: “She’s fighting for a cause and is not particularly concerned with how she looks,” says the designer. She found Lawrence a “Chrissie Hynde type” studded leather jacket and an old rock-‘n-roll t-shirt. “1983 was the great era of the rocker chick,” says Mingenbach, “and that kind of look reflected Raven’s rebellious nature.”
The X-Men suits had to be more than practical and “splashy-eighties”; they had to look like something that was being developed by the military. The suits also had to look equally good on the male and female members of the team, including Hank, Moira, Raven, Quicksilver, Jean, Scott and Nightcrawler. “That was a challenge,” says Mingenbach, “figuring out what looks good on Jean Grey that looks equally good on Beast.”
THE VISUAL EFFECTS MAGICIAN
Two-time Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor John Dykstra has a resume long enough to fill a pyramid. His remarkable experience made for seamless transitions between the real world and the imagined. If Singer is the guru when it comes to the X-Men and their capabilities, then Dykstra is the magician who fulfills his prophecies.
“Superheroes can’t do anything without visual effects,” jokes Dykstra. “All of the X-Men powers are amplified by visual effects. We have a guy that uses sonic impact, low frequency noise to destroy his enemies; we have another who controls heat and projects thermal attacks; another who has telekinesis. Representing the various powers visually is critical to the story, showing them in a specific application and creating a sense of reality in situations that are obviously unreal."
Shooting in native 3D stereo adds another dimension to the magic, so the VFX department had to deal
with "the wrap," which is the ability to see around the edges of things. “It changes how things are placed in the composition, the way things break the edge of frame, the brightness of objects to maintain detail in order for them to render as two separate eye images and have shape," explains Dykstra. He describes the process as
“roughly like the difference between color and black and white, but no more difficult than anything else. The audience’s appetite for more sophisticated images grows exponentially and the ability to keep up with that is always our biggest challenge.”
... A MUCH BIGGER FILM
As he puts the finishing touches on X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, Singer notes that while his last directorial effort, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was extremely satisfying, the new film is even bigger—in several ways. “In terms of scope and visuals, this is a much bigger movie. DAYS OF FUTURE PAST involved time travel, some robots, but mostly a lot of heists! This one is global destruction, godlike characters…a much bigger film. But we never lose the heart and the characters; we cling to those because they are very important.
But there will definitely be a lot more spectacle this time around.”
ABOUT THE CAST
JAMES McAVOY (Charles Xavier), a Golden Globe® nominated actor, won over American audiences with his critically acclaimed breakthrough performances in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND and
ATONEMENT. Having been referred to as “The best young British actor of our times” by Empire magazine, McAvoy continues to test himself with a wide variety of work on stage, television and film and is regarded as one of the industry’s most exciting acting talents.
While McAvoy began his career in the theater, he came to popular attention on the small screen with
the role of Josh in the 2002 Channel Four adaptation of Zadie Smith’s popular novel White Teeth. In the fall of 2003, McAvoy played Dan Foster in the BAFTA-winning BBC political drama series “State of Play.” The series ran in the UK and on BBC America; it became one of the most successful UK exports of the last decade. He also left a lasting mark on high-profile TV projects such as the World War I drama ”Regeneration” and HBO’s
“Band of Brothers.”
McAvoy’s popularity grew when he appeared in the BAFTA-winning Channel 4 series “Shameless” as car thief, Steve. He earned a nomination from the British Comedy Awards for Best Comedy Newcomer in 2004 for his performance.
In 2005, McAvoy starred in the title role of in Damion O’Donnell’s INSIDE I’M DANCING (US Title: RORY O’SHEA WAS HERE). McAvoy earned a Best British Actor nomination from the London Film Critics Circle for his performance. That summer, he traveled to Uganda to take on the lead role of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, directed by Oscar and BAFTA winner Kevin Macdonalad. He earned nominations from BAFTA, BIFA, London Film Critics and European Film Academy for his performance. In December of 2005, McAvoy was seen in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. He earned a nomination for British Actor in a Supporting Role from the London Film Critics Circle for his performance.
In 2007, McAvoy starred in the Golden Globe award winning drama ATONEMENT. Directed by Joe Wright and co-starring Keira Knightly and Soairse Ronan, McAvoy received a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination for Best Actor and was awarded a Best Actor award from the London Film Critics Circle, the Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival and a UK Regional Critics Award for Best Actor.
McAvoy’s other film critics include BECOMING JANE (2007), PENELOPE (2008), WANTED (2008), XMEN: FIRST CLASS (2011), THE CONSPIRATOR (2011), GNOMEO AND JULIET (2011), ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011), WELCOME TO THE PUNCH (2012) and TRANCE (2013).
In 2014, McAvoy reprised his role as Professor Charles Xavier in Fox's highly anticipated X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which earned over $111 million in the domestic box office in its opening weekend and is the highest grossing film of the franchise thus far. He was also was seen as corrupt cop Bruce Robertson in the UK highly acclaimed sensation FILTH, for which McAvoy received a BIFA Best Actor award, London Critics Circle Best British Actor award and an Empire Award for Best Actor. The film, which McAvoy also served as producer on, was released in the U.S. in the spring of 2014 by Magnolia Pictures. In 2014, he was also seen in THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY opposite Jessica Chastain. McAvoy was last seen in Paul McGuigan's FRANKENSTEIN with Daniel Radcliffe
He is currently in production on THE COLDEST CITY opposite Charlize Theron, and will soon start work on SUBMERGENCE opposite Alicia Vikander.
McAvoy has also played a large role in the London theater scene. In 2009, he took to the stage at the
Apollo Theater in London’s West End playing the two roles of Walker and his father Ned in Richard
Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain. McAvoy’s performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor. He was also seen in Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court (2005), Privates on Parade at the Donmar Warehouse (2001) and Out in the Open at Hampstead Theatre (2001).
In 2013, McAvoy starred in Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios. His performance has earned him an Olivier award nomination for Best Actor and the show was nominated for Best Revival. In 2015, McAvoy starred in The Ruling Class, which earned him a London Evening Standard Award, an Olivier award nomination, and a WhatsonStage nomination for Best Actor.
McAvoy was born in the Scotstoun area of Glasgow, Scotland in 1979 and is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
MICHAEL FASSBENDER (Erik Lensherr/Magneto) was born in Germany, raised in Killarney, Ireland, and is a graduate of London’s prestigious Drama Centre. His breakthrough role came when he was cast in the epic Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks production, Band of Brothers and his big screen debut with Zack Snyder’s 300.
Fassbender’s performance as Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s HUNGER won critical acclaim and, following the film’s Camera D’Or winning premiere at Cannes in 2008, Fassbender scooped up numerous awards including the British Independent Film Award (BIFA), Irish Film & Television Award (IFTA) and the
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor. The following year his performance in Andrea Arnold’s FISH TANK brought him BIFA and IFTA nominations as well as his second London Film Critics Award.
He went onto work with Quentin Tarantino on INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS opposite Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger. Other credits include Francois Ozon’s ANGEL, Joel Schumacher’s TOWN CREEK, James
Watkin’s EDEN LAKE, Neil Marshall’s CENTURION, and Jimmy Hayward’s JONAH HEX.
In 2011, Fassbender was seen as the young Magneto opposite James McAvoy’s Professor X in Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. He was also seen as Carl Jung opposite Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD and as Edward Rochester opposite Miz
Wasikowska in Cary Fukunaga’s JANE EYRE.
Fassbender reteamed with HUNGER director Steve McQueen to play a sex addict in SHAME, which won him the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, the Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor, and BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor. He was the recipient of numerous international awards and nominations in recognition of his performances in more than one film, including the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor for JANE EYRE and SHAME, the London Critics Circle
Film Award for Best Actor for Shame and A Dangerous Method, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor for X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, JANE EYRE, A DANGEROUS METHOD, and SHAME, and the National Board of Review’s Spotlight Award for A DANGEROUS METHOD, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, JANE EYRE and SHAME.
In 2012, Fassbender was seen as the android David in Ridley Scott’s science fiction epic PROMETHEUS and once again with Ridley Scott for THE COUNSELOR (2013). Also in 2013, Fassbender reteamed with Steve McQueen for the highly acclaimed 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Fassbender received Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Independent Spirit nominations for Best Supporting Actor, while the movie won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA, PGA and Broadcast Critics Choice Awards.
In 2014, Fassbender starred in several movies including X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, the UNTITLED TERRENCE PROJECT and Lenny Abrahamson’s FRANIK, a comedy about a young wannabe musician who discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew. The following year, he starred in SLOW WEST directed by John Maclean, in Justin Kurzel’s MACBETH opposite Marion Cotillard and TRESPASS AGAINST US opposite Brendan Gleeson.
Most recently, Fassbender’s lead performance in STEVE JOBS received rave reviews from critics, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award Best Actor nominations as well as the Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
In 2016, he will be seen in Derek Cianfrance’s THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS opposite Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, and ASSASSIN’S CREED, which he developed and produced through his production company DMC Film Ltd with Ubisoft and New Regency.
A natural talent, with a striking presence and undeniable energy, Academy Award winner JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Raven/Mystique) is one of Hollywood's most gifted talents.
This year, Lawrence will also star in PASSENGERS opposite Chris Pratt and Michael Sheen. The film is about a spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant colony planet. After a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers, a single passenger is awakened 60 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger. The film will be released by Sony Pictures on December 21st.
Lawrence is currently in production on UNTITLED DARREN ARONOFSKY PROJECT, starring opposite Javier Bardem. The drama centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests are invited into their homes, which disrupts their peaceful existence. The film is expected to be released by
Paramount Pictures next year. Lawrence has also signed on to star in Steven Spielberg’s IT’S WHAT I DO, based on the memoir of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Lawrence will star as Addario, whose book recounts her harrowing experiences photographing some of the most dangerous regions of the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, the Congo, and Libya, and her capture by pro-Quaddafi forces in the latter country.
Lawrence was last seen as the title character in David O. Russell’s biopic, JOY, based on the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs with her invention of the Miracle Mop. Lawrence won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. At 25, she is the youngest actor in history to ever receive four Academy Award nominations.
Last year, Lawrence starred in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2, the fourth and final installment of the global tentpole series, THE HUNGER GAMES, adapted from the popular science fiction adventure novels by Suzanne Collins. The first three films of the series, THE HUNGER GAMES, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, and THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 also have been released theatrically worldwide and the four films combined have grossed nearly three billion dollars at the worldwide box office. The anthology is a tribute to freedom, personal and collective power, as well as survival and family.
Lawrence won an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Tiffany in David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, starring opposite Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver. She also received a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award, and was nominated for an Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in AMERICAN HUSTLE, starring opposite Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper. Lawrence’s breakthrough performance came in Debra Granik’s WINTER’S BONE in which she starred as Ree, a young girl facing a dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. For her performance, Lawrence received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
Additional film credits include Bryan Singer’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS; Susanne Bier’s SERENA opposite Bradley Cooper; Jodie Foster’s THE
BEAVER opposite Mel Gibson and Anton Yelchin; Drake Doremus’ LIKE CRAZY opposite Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones; Lori Petty's POKER HOUSE opposite Selma Blair and Chloe Grace Moretz, for which Lawrence was awarded the prize of Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival; and Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut THE BURNING PLAIN opposite Charlize Theron and Kim
Basinger. The film premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, where Lawrence won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor.
On television, Lawrence’s credits include three seasons on the TBS series THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW. The comedy, written and created by Bill Engvall and Michael Leeson, follows the life of Bill Pearson (Engvall), a Denver suburban family counselor whose own family could use a little dose of counseling.
Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky with a childhood of local theatre experience to her credit, Lawrence traveled to New York at age fourteen to explore a professional career in acting.
OSCAR ISAAC (Apocalypse) is one of the great young actors of today. He gained critical acclaim, a Golden Globe nomination, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his portrayal of the title character in the Coen Brothers’ film INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. The film premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix award and also garnered Isaac the Toronto Film Critics Award for Best
Actor. Isaac shows off his skills as a singer and performer on the film’s soundtrack, lending an element of authenticity to his portrayal of the struggling folk singer.
After receiving rave reviews for his starring role opposite Catherine Keener in the HBO miniseries
“Show Me A Hero,” Isaac received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film” and a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. Isaac plays Nick Wasickso, the youngest big-city mayor in the nation, who finds himself thrust into the center of the fight for housing desegregation in Yonkers, N.Y. in the late 1980s.
In 2014, Isaac led J.C. Chandor’s action-packed drama, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, for which he earned the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor. The film won the National Board of Review Award for Best Film. The following year, Isaac starred alongside Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson in EX MACHINA, written and directed by Alex Garland. This science fiction psychological thriller tells the story of programmer Caleb Smith who is invited by his employer, the eccentric billionaire Nathan Bateman (Isaac) to administer the Turing test to an android with artificial intelligence. The National Board of Review recognized EX MACHINA as one of the ten best independent films of the year.
Most recently, Isaac starred as the Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron, in the highly awaited STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, the seventh installment in the STAR WARS film series. Directed, co-produced, and co-written by J.J. Abrams, THE FORCE AWAKENS, the first of a trilogy planned by Disney, premiered in December 2015 and within two weeks, became the highest grossing domestic film of all-time. It is the fastest film to reach $700 million, and broke opening day box office records, domestic and worldwide. THE FORCE AWAKENS has also earned the highest domestic second and third weekend ever, set a new domestic record for the biggest Christmas Day and New Year’s Day box office haul, and became Imax’s second highestgrossing movie ever. Isaac is set to make his reprise as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: Episode VIII due for release in 2018.
Isaac recently completed filming on THE PROMISE, with Christian Bale, in Spain.
Isaac also starred in MOJAVE, written and directed by William Monahan; THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY from director Hossein Amini; THE BOURNE LEGACY, the fourth installment of the Bourne franchise, directed by Tony Gilroy; W.E., directed by Madonna; Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE opposite Carey
Mulligan; and as King John in Ridley Scott’s ROBIN HOOD.
Other past films include, the Anchor Bay ensemble feature TEN YEAR, for which Oscar wrote an original song that he performs in the film; Zak Snyder’s SUCKER PUNCH; AGORA, directed by Alejandro Amenabar; BALIBO, for which Oscar received an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor; IN SECRET, based on the Emile Zola novel; Ridley Scott’s BODY OF LIES; Daniel Barnz’s WON’T BACK DOWN; Steven
Soderbergh’s CHE; Vadim Perelman’s THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES; HBO’s PU-239; and as Joseph in THE NATIVITY STOR.
Off-Broadway, Isaac appeared in Zoe Kazan’s play We Live Here, at Manhattan Theatre Club; as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet; and in Two Gentlemen of Verona, the latter productions for the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. Isaac appeared in Beauty of the Father at Manhattan Theatre Club and in MCC Theater’s Grace.
Additional theatre credits include: Arrivals and Departures, When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba and Spinning into Butter. Isaac studied performing arts at the famed Juilliard School and currently resides in New York City.
NICHOLAS HOULT (Hank McCoy/Beast) has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors and is known for his work on television and film. He first received critical acclaim at only 11-years old when he starred opposite Hugh Grant in ABOUT A BOY as the young Marcus Brewer, which garnered him a Critics Choice Award nomination. Since then, Hoult has had leading roles in such films as MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, directed by George Miller, which has received critical acclaim and Best Picture nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
Hoult will next portray J.D. Salinger in the biopic REBEL IN THE RYE with Danny Strong directing from his own screenplay. The film will explore the life and mind of the beloved author and tell the story of the birth of The Catcher in the Rye. He is also attached to star opposite Rooney Mara in the love story THE DISCOVERY, which is set in a world one year after the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven, as well as
Xavier Dolan’s first English-language film, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN alongside Kit Harington and Natalie Portman. Recently, Hoult wrapped production on the Iraqi war drama SAND CASTLE, produced by Mark Gordon and based on the true story of a machine gunner in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle.
Upcoming this year, Hoult stars opposite Kristen Stewart in EQUALS, a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated. The film premiered at the 2015 Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival. Hoult starred in Owen Harris’ KILL YOUR FRIENDS, based on John Niven’s novel of the same name, also starring James Corden and Craig Roberts; the film follows an A&R man who slashes his way through the music business looking for the next hit record. KILL YOUR FRIENDS opened last year in the UK, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and was released in the U.S. last March. Later this year, Hoult will be seen opposite Felicity Jones and Anthony Hopkins in Eran Creevy’s COLLIDE, in which his character gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver and winds up on the run across Munich’s high-speed freeways.
Hoult was previously seen in Jake Paltrow’s YOUNG ONES opposite Elle Fanning and Michael Shannon, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. He played the zombie character R in the cult classic WARM BODIES, in which his character slowly starts to become human again after falling in love with a girlfriend of one of his victims. Earlier in 2013, Hoult starred in Bryan Singer’s JACK THE GIANT SLAYER alongside Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy and Stanley Tucci in this modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants are threatened.
In 2011, Hoult was seen in Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS for 20th Century Fox opposite James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Rose Byrne. Hoult played the young Hank McCoy in this film which took viewers back to when Professor X and Magneto were allies who had discovered their powers for the first time. In 2009, he was seen in Tom Ford’s critically acclaimed directorial debut A SINGLE MAN opposite Colin Firth and Julianne Moore for The Weinstein Company. In the film, Hoult plays Kenny Potter, a student who eventually prevents his professor played by Colin Firth from committing suicide after the death of a loved one.
Hoult made his West End debut in 2009 in NEW BOY to outstanding reviews and sold out performances. NEW BOY, adapted and directed by Russell Labey, tells the story of a schoolboy crush and its devastating consequences. Hoult also appeared alongside Mel Giedroyc and Ciara Jason in this stage adaptation of the novel.
Other credits include DARK PLACES, CLASH OF THE TITANS, SKINS, COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN, KIDULTHOOD, WAH-WAH and THE WEATHER MAN.
Hoult currently resides in London.
ROSE BYRNE (Moira MacTaggart) is best known for her role as Ellen Parsons in “Damages,” opposite Glenn Close. The series, created by Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler and Todd Kessler, ran for five seasons on
FX and later DirecTV. Byrne earned two Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy® nomination for her role.
She is also known for her role in the Paul Feig directed comedy, BRIDESMAIDS alongside Kristen Wiig, Maya
Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy and Musical and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Next Byrne will appear in THE MEDDLER, opposite Susan Sarandon. The film follows an aging widow from New York City who follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. THE MEDDLER was released last month.
This summer, Byrne will reprise her role as Kelly Radner in NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING, alongside Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Chole Grace Moretz. This film is slated to be released in theaters on May 20, 2016.
Last year, Byrne appeared in the independent film, ADULT BEGINNERS, alongside Nick Kroll and Bobby Cannavale. The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2014, where its distribution rights were acquired by The Weinstein Company’s boutique label, Radius-TWC. It was released in a limited number of theaters on April 24, 2015. Byrne also appeared in the Paul Feig directed comedy SPY, opposite Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law. The film opened on June 5, 2015.
Earlier last year, Rose had her Broadway debut in the limited engagement run of You Can’t Take it With You. She played the lead role of Alice Sycamore opposite James Earl Jones and Kristine Neilsen.
At the end of 2014, Byrne appeared in the remake of ANNIE, alongside Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale. The film opened in theaters on December 19, 2014. That same year, Byrne appeared in Shawn Levy’s THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, alongside Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver and Jane Fonda. The film was released in theaters on September 19, 2014. She also appeared in the Nicholas Stoller comedy NEIGHBORS, opposite Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. The film opened in theaters on May 9, 2014 and earned over $268 million worldwide.
In 2014, Byrne also starred in the film, THE TURNING, which was released in Australia on January 26, 2014. She won an award in the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role from The Australian Film Critics Association and The Film Critics Circle of Australia.
Byrne’s other film credits include: THE INTERNSHIP, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, INSIDIOUS,
GET HIM TO THE GREEK, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, MARIE ANTOINETTE, TROY, ADAM and 28 WEEKS
LATER, among others. Theatre credits include Syndey Theatre Company’s La Dispute and Three Sisters.
TYE SHERIDAN (Cyclops) recently won the starring role in the Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of READY PLAYER ONE, based on the best-selling and acclaimed novel. He plays the protagonist Wade, opposite Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn.
Previously, Sheridan was named one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch, and has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after young talents.
Sheridan can next be seen in the lead role in the psychological thriller DETOUR opposite Emory Cohen and Bel Powley, set to release later this year.
Sheridan recently wrapped production for Alexandre Moors’ film adaptation of Kevin Power’s novel THE YELLOW BIRDS alongside Jennifer Aniston, Alden Ehrenreich and Jack Huston. The film centers around two young soldiers who are taken under the wing of an older sergeant after being deployed to Iraq.
Sheridan had three films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival: STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT, based on a shocking real-life psychological experiment, Rodrigo Garcia’s LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT costarring Ewan McGregor, and the indie drama ENTERTAINMENT starring alongside Michael Cera and John C. Reilly. These riveting performances were followed by a starring role opposite John Travolta in the crime thriller
THE FORGER, Paramount’s horror comedy SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, in addition to
Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s mystery novel DARK PLACES alongside Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Nicholas Hoult.
Sheridan won the 2013 Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival for his captivating performance in the Southern drama JOE opposite Nicolas Cage. That same year, he was recognized by numerous film critics for his starring role in Jeff Nichols’ coming-of-age drama MUD opposite Matthew
McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. Sheridan received a 2014 Critics’ Choice nomination for Best Young Actor and the cast was honored with the 2014 Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
A native of Elkhart, Texas, Sheridan had almost no acting experience when he was cast in a breakthrough role for Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE opposite Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica
Chastain. The film won the 2011 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the 2011 Gotham Award for Best Picture, in addition to three Academy Award nominations. He was also featured in IndieWire’s “Top 25 Filmmakers and Actors” of 2011.
SOPHIE TURNER (Jean Grey) trained from a very early age at the Playbox Theatre Company. Her breakthrough role is as Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter of House Stark in the hugely successful Golden
Globe, SAG™ and Emmy award winning series GAME OF THRONES. Based on the books by George RR Martin, GAME OF THRONES follows the story of seven noble families who are fighting for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Turner will be seen in the sixth season, which begins 24th April 2016.
Turner has also been confirmed to take the titular lead role of the teen authoress in MARY SHELLEY alongside Jeremy Irvine and Taissa Farmiga. This gothic romance offers a unique approach to the Shelley legend and explores the forces that shaped her seminal novel.
In the U.S., Turner was seen starring in BARELY LETHAL, alongside Jessica Alba, Samuel L. Jackson and Hailee Steinfield. Directed by Kyle Newman, the film is about a 16-year-old assassin who fakes her own death in pursuit of a “normal” adolescence. Sophie plays an undercover agent who enrolls in high school to help capture the teen.
Turner has also completed filming Matthew Coppola’s independent feature, ALONE, opposite Ray Liotta and Mark Kassen. The story tells of Freeman Bender (Kassen), a vet battling PTSD who attacks people for no reason, until he meets and falls for a rebellious New York City high school student. Turner plays said teenager, Penelope, and Liotta, her father.
In 2013, Turner made her feature film debut in the lead role of ANOTHER ME from Fox International Productions, directed by Isobel Coixet (ELEGY, PARIS JE T’AIME). In this psychological thriller, based on the novel of the same name by Cathy MacPhail, she plays Fay, a woman haunted by a secret past, alongside a cast including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rhys Ifans and Claire Forlani.
For television, Sophie was seen in the BBC2, “The Thirteenth Tale,” based on the novel of the same name by Diane Setterfield. In this chilling ghost story that examines family tragedy, Turner played Adeline March opposite Vanessa Redgrave, Olivia Colman, Antonia Clarke and Robert Pugh.
OLIVIA MUNN (Psylocke) has established herself as one of the top actresses on the rise in Hollywood. She was most recently seen in Universal's RIDE ALONG 2, where she played a homicide detective opposite Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Munn starred as Sloan Sabbith on Aaron Sorkin’s hit HBO political drama “The Newsroom,” which follows behind-the-scenes events of the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel. She recently teamed with The CW to develop a 1970s female sportscaster drama series, which will be produced by her CBS Television Studios-based company.
Variety recognized Munn as “2014 Breakthrough Actress” winner at the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards. Her film credits include MORTDECAI, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, MAGIC MIKE and IRON MAN
2. She had an arc on FOX’s Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated comedy “The New Girl" and appeared in the Emmy-winning Showtime environmental documentary series "Years of Living Dangerously” from James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub. Munn is a spokeswoman and activist on environmental issues, including working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and DoSomething.org’s “Green Your School Challenge” and Sierra Club.
An Oklahoma native, Munn spent the majority of her childhood in Tokyo, Japan and speaks fluent Japanese. She attended the University of Oklahoma after moving back to the U.S. and then relocated to Los
Angeles. In 2006, Munn joined G4 network’s popular "Attack of the Show!" as co-host. She later joined
Emmy-winning Comedy Central series “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as correspondent in 2010, becoming one of five female cast members to appear on the show. Her first book, Suck it, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek was released that year and debuted on The New York Times and Los Angeles Times best sellers lists.
LUCAS TILL (Havok) was born on August 10, 1990. He is the oldest son of Dana, a chemist, and Jonathan Till, a Lt. Col. and Aviation Task Force Commander in the U.S. Army. As a child, Lucas had a gift for impressions and was encouraged to pursue performing.
After working on various independent films, he landed the role of Young Jack Cash in James Mangold’s WALK THE LINE. Till then portrayed Miley Cyrus’ love interest in Disney’s HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE, which led producer Neil Moritz to cast him as a young private in Sony’s BATTLE LOS ANGELES.
It was his turn playing the mutant Havok in the X-Men film series that established Till as one of
Hollywood’s most promising leading men. Till joined a cast led by James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender in director Matthew Vaughn’s audience and critical hit X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. The film revitalized the franchise and spawned the films X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and X-MEN:
Till’s work in the X-Men films helped him land the lead role in Paramount’s upcoming MONSTER TRUCKS, from Academy Award-winning director Chris Wedge. The film also stars Rob Lowe, Danny Glover and Jane Levy. It is Till’s largest role to date. Next, Till indulges his darker side with a role in director D.J.
Caruso’s psychological thriller THE DISAPPOINTMENT ROOM, also starring Kate Beckinsale. The film will be released later this year.
Till can also be found behind the camera. At age 25 he has already produced three feature films, the most recent of which, ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE, was bought and distributed internationally by Image Entertainment.
Till currently resides in Los Angeles.
EVAN PETERS (Quicksilver) is one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors with critical acclaim in both television and film roles.
Peters is best known for his work in the FX’s Emmy-nominated series “American Horror Story.” Created and produced by Ryan Murphy, the show has featured Peters in all five seasons in a variety of roles, including Tate Langdon, a murderous, psychotic teenager in the first season “Murder House.” The show recently ended its latest season, entitled “American Horror Story: Hotel,” and has been picked-up for a sixth season.
Peters starred in Liza Johnson’s ELVIS AND NIXON. Based off the true historic event, this political comedy will tell the story of the 1970s meeting between President Nixon and Elvis Presley. Peters portrays Dwight Chapin, the White House aide who assists in organizing the meeting. The cast includes Kevin Spacey as President Nixon and Michael Shannon as Elvis.
Peters is currently in production for Brian Buckley’s WHERE THE WHITE MAN RUNS AWAY, in which he is set to star as author Jay Bahadur. The film is based off Bahadur’s The New York Times bestseller “the
Pirates of Somalia.” The film also stars Al Pacino, Barkhad Addi and Melanie Griffith.
Last year, Peters starred in THE LAZARUS EFFECT alongside Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass. From the producer of THE PURGE, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS, the thriller follows medical students as they develop a serum to bring the dead back to life. Relativity, Blumhouse Productions and Mosaic Media Group released the film on February 27, 2015.
In 2010, Peters starred in KICK ASS, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The film follows teenagers and their amateur attempts of becoming superheroes. The film was released by Lionsgate.
Peters first gained recognition for his debut performance as Adam Sheppard in Michael Picchiottion’s film CLIPPING ADAM. Portraying a troubled teenager, Peters earned the Phoenix Film Festival’s Best Breakthrough Performance in 2004.
Other film credits include SAFELIGHT (2015), NEVER BACK DOWN (2008), NEVER BACK DOWN 2
(2011), GARDENS OF THE NIGHT (2008), REMARKABLE POWER (2008); and AN AMERICAN CRIME
Peters starred in ABC’s “Invasion” as Jesse Varon and made regular television appearances in CW’s award-winning series “One Tree Hill,” Disney Channel’s “Phil of the Future,” and ABC’s “The Days.” Additional television credits include “Dirt,” “House M.D.,” “Parenthood,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Mentalist,” and “The
Peters currently resides in Los Angeles.
KODI SMIT-McPHEE (Nightcrawler) will next star as the lead role of Zeta in the Studio 8 / Sony feature film SOLUTREAN, to be directed by Albert Hughes.
SLOW WEST (dir. John MacLean), in which he stars opposite Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It received the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and was released by A24 in the U.S. to rave reviews.
Earlier in 2015, Smit-McPhee was seen as the lead role in an epic 8 part Australian television
miniseries “Gallipoli” (Channel Nine), based on the infamous WWI battle that took place 100 years ago.
In 2014, Smit-McPhee starred in Twentieth Century Fox's DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opposite Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and Keri Russell. The project reunited him with director Matt Reeves, with whom Smit-McPhee previously worked with on the film LET ME IN (opposite Chloe Moretz).
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has grossed over $700MM worldwide.
The film YOUNG ONES (dir: Jake Paltrow), in which Smit-McPhee starred opposite Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Other credits include: AH, THE WILDERNESS (dir: Michael J. Johnson) which premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival; THE CONGRESS (dir. Ari Folman) opposite Robyn Wright and Paul Giamatti which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival; A BIRDER'S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING (dir: Rob Meyer) opposite Ben Kingsley; ROMEO & JULIET (dir. Carlo Carlei) opposite Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth; the animated film PARANORMAN as the lead voice of 'Norman' (Laika/ Universal); THE ROAD (dir. John Hillcoat) opposite Viggo Mortenson, Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron; and ROMULUS, MY FATHER (dir. Richard Roxburgh) with Eric Bana and Franka Potente.
Smit-McPhee was born on June 13th 1996 in Adelaide Australia, and currently lives in Los Angeles.
ALEXANDRA SHIPP (Storm), an American actress and singer, was recently seen in Universal Pictures’ STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, which topped U.S. box offices for three successive weeks and became the most successful music bio in history. Prior to that, Shipp starred in Lifetime biopic, “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,” playing the lead role of Aaliyah. Shipp was also seen on VH1’s sequel to 2002’s DRUMLINE, “Drumline 2: A New Beat,” where she plays the lead role of Dani Raymond. The premiere drew 2.4 million viewers and became a trending topic on social media.
A triple threat, as an actress, singer, and dancer, Shipp possesses a star quality that is apparent both on-screen and off-screen. Aside from her acting and singing career, she is an accomplished songwriter, a pianist, and an avid guitar player. Shipp is currently working on her first EP.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Shipp moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career at 17. She is best known for her role as KT Rush, on Nickelodeon teen drama-mystery series, “House of Anubis.”
Shipp made her film debut on Fox feature film, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL, playing the role of Valentina. She has done guest star appearances on hit shows including Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” opposite Liev Schreiber, ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” Nickelodeon’s
“Victorious” and MTV’s “Awkward.”
Shipp currently resides in Los Angeles.
BEN HARDY (Angel) is a graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama and performed at the Donmar Warehouse in The Physicists. Straight after that, he performed in The Judas Kiss in the West End opposite Rupert Everett. Shortly thereafter he went on to act in the BBC series “East Ender.” X-MEN:
APOCALYPSE is his first feature film.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
BRYAN SINGER (Director, Producer, Story) is known for directing films that can be characterized by his bold visual style and richly drawn characters. Singer’s feature film debut PUBLIC ACCESS received the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 1993 and quickly gained widespread attention. In 1995 Singer directed THE USUAL SUSPECTS, a twisting mystery/thriller which won two Academy Awards®.
Singer followed with two wildly successful films – the summer 2000 blockbuster, X-MEN, and the even more successful 2003 sequel, X2: X-MEN UNITED.
Following the massive success of the first two X-Men films, Singer was tapped by Warner Bros. to direct SUPERMAN RETURNS. He next helmed the World War II thriller VALKYRIE, which starred Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, and Tom Wilkinson.
In 2014, Singer returned to the X-Men universe as director and producer on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which grossed close to three-quarter of a billion dollars.
On television, Singer directed the pilot and served as an executive producer on the Emmy and Golden
Globe award winning television series “House.” He also served as Executive Producer on the ABC Emmy and Golden Globe award nominated television series “Dirty Sexy Money,” starring Donald Sutherland.
Singer has also directed and produced a myriad of other projects through his Bad Hat Harry Productions banner; a motion picture, television and video game production company he formed in 1994. A few of his producing endeavors include the feature length documentary LOOK, UP IN THE SKY: THE
AMAZING STORY OF SUPERMAN, the SyFy Channel miniseries “The Triangle,” the genre film festival favorite, TRICK ‘R TREAT, and the sci-fi web series “H+” for Warner Bros.
In total, Singer’s projects have grossed more than two billion dollars worldwide with a career lasting
over 20 years.
SIMON KINBERG, p.g.a. (Screenplay, Story, Producer) has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most prolific filmmakers, having written and produced projects for some of the most successful franchises in the modern era. His films have earned more than four billion dollars worldwide.
Kinberg graduated from Brown University, and received his MFA from Columbia University Film School, where his thesis project was the original script, MR. AND MRS. SMITH. The film was released in 2005, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
In 2006, he wrote X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, which opened on Memorial Day to box office records,
and began his ongoing relationship with the franchise. In 2008, Kinberg wrote and produced Doug Liman’s film JUMPER for 20th Century Fox. In 2009, Kinberg co-wrote the film SHERLOCK HOLMES starring Robert Downey Jr, directed by Guy Ritchie. The film received a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
In 2010, Kinberg established his production company Genre Films, with a first look deal at 20th Century Fox. Under this banner, he produced X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, executive produced ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, and wrote and produced THIS MEANS WAR. In 2013, Kinberg produced ELYSIUM, which starred Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, directed by Neill Blomkamp.
On Memorial Day of 2014, Fox released X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which Kinberg wrote and produced. The film opened number one at the box office, received critical acclaim, and went on to gross more than 740 million dollars worldwide.
In 2015, Kinberg had four films in release. He re-teamed with Neill Blomkamp to produce CHAPPIE, starring Hugh Jackman and Sharlto Copley. Kinberg produced Disney’s CINDERELLA, starring Cate Blanchett, directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film grossed more than 500 million dollars worldwide, and was nominated for an Academy Award. In addition, Kinberg was the co-writer and producer of THE FANTASTIC FOUR.
His final film of the year was THE MARTIAN, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon. The film has grossed more than 600 million dollars worldwide, won two Golden Globes (including Best Picture), and was nominated for seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture for Kinberg).
THE MARTIAN is Kinberg’s tenth film to open number one at the box office.
Kinberg produced the X-Men spinoff movie DEADPOOL, starring Ryan Reynolds, which became a global blockbuster. He is also producing GAMBIT starring Channing Tatum, and the next Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman. In addition, Kinberg is producing MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, which with Kenneth Branagh directing and Ridley Scott producing.
Kinberg is also writing and producing one of the upcoming Star Wars films. He served as consultant on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, and he is the creator and executive producer of the animated show
“Star Wars: Rebels” on the Disney networks.
HUTCH PARKER (Producer) is a film and television producer with an overall producing deal at 20th Century Fox. Recent producing credits include FANTASTIC FOUR, as well as the 2014 blockbuster XMEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and the hit THE WOLVERINE.
Parker spent the bulk of his career as a film executive at 20th Century Fox (1995-2008). Parker served as President, and subsequently Vice Chairman of the Film Group (1999-2008), where he oversaw all of 20th Century Fox film operations including the animation division. During Parker’s tenure at Fox the studio enjoyed six record breaking years with films such as AVATAR, the X-MEN franchise, MASTER AND COMMADER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, TAKEN, MINORITY REPORT, BORAT, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, ICE AGE, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, I ROBOT,
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (among others).
In 2008 Parker was appointed co-chairman of New Regency Entertainment (co-owned by 20th Century Fox) overseeing all of both film and television operations (MR. AND MRS. SMITH, MARLEY AND ME, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, among others).
Prior to Fox, Parker held the positions of Senior Vice President of Production at HBO and Senior Vice President of Orion Pictures. Hutch was born in New York and graduated from Princeton University.
LAUREN SHULER DONNER (Producer) has in the past three decades established herself as one of the most successful and versatile producers in Hollywood. To date, her films have grossed over $4 billion worldwide.
Shuler Donner was bound for success from the beginning, as the first feature film she produced was the smash hit comedy, MR. MOM, one of the top ten grossing films that year. She then went on to produce
LADYHAWKE starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer and ST. ELMO’S FIRE and PRETTY IN PINK, both of which created a new phrase in teen lexicon, Brat Pack.
In the early ‘90s, Shuler Donner produced the box office smash hits DAVE and FREE WILLY, two of the top ten films of 1993. The critically acclaimed DAVE was nominated for both an Academy Award (Best
Original Screenplay) and a Golden Globe (Best Picture-Comedy). She went on to produce YOU’VE GOT
MAIL, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, RADIO FLYER, 3 FUGITIVES, the sequel to
FREE WILLY and CONSTANTINE, with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. As head of The Donners’ Company, she has executive-produced VOLCANO, BULWORTH and JUST MARRIED. Shuler Donner’s other productions include TIMELINE with Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, SHE’S THE MAN with Amanda Bynes and HOTEL FOR DOGS, starring Emma Roberts.
Shuler Donner also produced THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES for Fox Searchlight Pictures, which was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson,
Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo and Paul Bettany. This film won multiple People’s Choice awards - Favorite Film and Best Dramatic Film among them. It also won Best Picture from the NAACP Image Awards.
In 2000, Shuler Donner began a new franchise with X-MEN and followed up in 2003 with X2. The second film was released by Fox and broke box office records with an opening weekend total of $86 million dollars nationwide. Not only did the film gross $406 million dollars internationally, it is also the only sequel of 2003 to receive critical acclaim as well. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND was released in May, 2006 and a month later it was on its way to the half billion dollar mark worldwide. In 2011, she produced X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, the fifth film in the X-men franchise, which received critical raves.
Her most recent films are THE WOLVERINE, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which became a global blockbuster, and this year’s DEADPOOL, which has become the biggest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
In October 2008, both Shuler Donner and her husband, Richard Donner, were awarded stars next to each other on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame. She and Richard were also honored by The American Cancer Society in June of 2006 and by Lupus L.A. in 2008. She has been recognized for her body of work in 2001 by Premiere magazine with the Producer Icon Award, and was recognized by Daily Variety with a Billion Dollar Producer special issue. In June 2006, she received the prestigious Crystal Award from Women in Film.
They were also awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Ojai Film Festival in November of 2008.
Shuler Donner is a dedicated philanthropist who thrives on giving back to the community. She was on
the board of directors for Hollygrove Children’s Home until it merged with EMQ in 2006. She has been on the advisory board of Women in Film, was a long-time member of the advisory board of TreePeople, and is an exBoard member of Planned Parenthood. She is serving currently on the advisory board of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the advisory board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, USC School of Theater, is the Treasurer for the Producers Guild of America, and is on the executive committee of the
Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
STAN LEE (Executive Producer), the chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics, is known to millions as the man whose superhero characters propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic-book industry. Hundreds of legendary characters, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, The Silver Surfer, Thor and Dr. Strange, all grew out of his fertile imagination. Lee served as executive producer on many of the hit films based on those Marvel Comics titles
It was in the early 1960s that Lee ushered in what has come to be known as The Marvel Age of Comics, creating major new superheroes while breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, The Human Torch and The Sub Mariner.
During his first 25 years at Marvel, as editor, art director and head writer, Lee scripted no fewer than two and as many as five complete comic books per week. His prodigious output may comprise the largest body of published work by any single writer. Additionally, he wrote newspaper features, radio and television scripts and screenplays.
By the time he was named publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972, Lee’s comics were the nation’s biggest sellers. In 1977, he brought the Spider-Man character to newspapers in the form of a syndicated strip. This seven-days-a-week feature, which he has written and edited since its inception, is the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips, appearing in more than 500 newspapers worldwide.
In 1981, Marvel launched an animation studio on the West Coast and Lee moved to Los Angeles to become creative head of Marvel’s cinematic adventures. He began to transform his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into Saturday morning television and paved the way for Marvel’s entry into live-action feature films.
Lee has written more than a dozen best-selling books, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Christmas, The
Origins of Marvel Comics, The Best of the Worst, The Silver Surfer, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, The Alien Factor, Bring on the Bad Guys, Riftworld, The Superhero Women and his autobiography Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.
TODD HALLOWELL (Executive Producer) served as executive producer on Bryan Singer’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. He has also served as executive producer and second unit director on Ron Howard’s RUSH, FROST/NIXON, ANGELS AND DEMONS, THE DA VINCI CODE,
CINDERELLA MAN and the Academy Award winning A BEAUTIFUL MIND.
Hallowell started his career as assistant art director (and Ron Howard’s photo double) on Roger Corman’s GRAND THEFT AUTO, which was Howard’s directorial debut. Hallowell subsequently served as art director on BACK TO THE FUTURE, DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS, FLETCH, and the pilot for Michael Mann’s groundbreaking television series “Miami Vice.”
Hallowell moved up to production designer on ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING, BURGLAR,
VITAL SIGNS, THE DREAM TEAM, CLASS ACTION and Howard’s PARENTHOOD. He directed the second unit sequences in STRIKING DISTANCE, ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and MONEY TRAIN.
Continuing his collaboration with Howard, Hallowell served as associate producer/second unit director on BACKDRAFT and FAR AND AWAY, and he multitasked as executive producer, production designer and second unit director on THE PAPER.
Hallowell worked as executive producer/second unit director on Howard’s RANSOM, EDtv, THE
MISSING, and the box-office hit DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS.
For Howard’s award-winning APOLLO 13, Hallowell repeated his duties as executive producer/second unit director and received The Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild of America.
JOSH McLAGLEN (Executive Producer) graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a major in History. After working with his father, director Andrew McLaglen, as a stuntman and a production assistant, he joined the DGA in 1984.
In 1987 he became a 1st AD on the TV miniseries, AMERIKA and his latest film, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE marks Josh's 44th film as a First Assistant Director. In 2002, he started working in a dual capacity as a Co-Producer/1st AD and now works as an Executive Producer/1st AD.
McLaglen has had the pleasure of working with accomplished directors such as Taylor Hackford, Robert Zemeckis, Francis Lawrence, Barry Levinson, Michael Bay, Bryan Singer, Shawn Levy and James Cameron. He's been nominated twice for the DGA Award: AVATAR in 2009 and TITANIC, which he won in 1997.
McLaglen is one of the pioneers of the motion capture technology and has the distinct honor of having the two of the three highest grossing films of all time, Avatar and Titanic, on his resume.
NEWTON THOMAS SIGEL, ASC (Director of Photography) began his career as a painter and experimental filmmaker at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. His films began to take on a documentary flavor while covering the Central American wars of the 1980s. These included the Academy Award Winning WITNESS TO WAR: DR. CHARLIE CLEMENTS and the theatrical success of WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE.
Catching the eye of Haskell Wexler, Sigel was given his first narrative opportunity on LATINO, a film based on Sigel’s own life experiences in combat. As he gained more ground while shooting second-unit with
Oliver Stone on PLATOON and WALLSTREET, it wasn’t long before Sigel was a renowned cinematographer in his own right.
After working with Director Bryan Singer on THE USUAL SUPSECTS, a cult classic, the two went on to collaborate on eight more films, including Singer’s recent X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Sigel’s seminal work, THREE KINGS, changed the direction of cinematography with its groundbreaking use of exotic film stocks and lab processes. In 2010 he photographed Nicolas Winding Refn’s Hollywood debut, DRIVE, which after winning Best Director Award at Cannes, has been universally praised for its dazzling look.
A sampling of Sigel’s other work includes CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND and LEATHERHEADS with longtime collaborator George Clooney, Bryan Singer’s X-MEN, X2: X-MEN UNITED, SUPERMAN RETURNS, and VALKYRIE, Terry Gilliam’s THE BROTHERS GRIMM, and Alan Ball’s directorial debut, TOWELHEAD. Sigel also photographed Bob Rafelson’s dark noir tale, BLOOD & WINE, starring Jack
Nicholson and Gregory Hoblit’s FALLEN, starring Denzel Washington, among others.
Most recently, Sigel collaborated with Master Yuen Wo-Ping, the Grandmaster of Martial-Arts Cinema, on CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: SWORD OF DESTINY. Sigel also shot LEAP YEAR, starring
Amy Adams, Robert Redford’s THE CONSPIRATOR and FRANKIE AND ALICE, starring Halle Berry.
In addition to his cinematography credits, Sigel directed HBO’s “Point Of Origin,” as well as “The Big Empty,” starring Selma Blair that he co-directed with his wife, J. Lisa Chang.
He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Director’s Guild of America, and the motion-picture Academy.
GRANT MAJOR (Production Designer) was nominated for four Academy Awards and four British Academy of Film Awards (BAFTA) for his work as a production designer on THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and KING KONG. Major won an American Film Institute award for THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, as well as an Art Director’s Guild Award for THE TWO TOWERS and again for THE RETURN OF THE KING. Major finally claimed his Academy Award and a Los Angeles Film Critics Society Award on the third installment of the trilogy THE RETURN OF THE KING. He was nominated by the International Press Association for a Satellite Award in 2003 for both THE RETURN OF THE KING and for his work as production designer on WHALE RIDER, winning for THE RETURN OF THE KING.
Previously, Major received a New Zealand Film and Television award for Best Design on Peter Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES in 1995. Two years later, Major picked up the same award for THE UGLY. Major's other film credits include Jackson's THE FRIGHTENERS, MEMORY AND DESIRE, AN
ANGEL AT MY TALBE, MISTER PIP, EMPEROR, GREEN LANTERN, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN
DRAGON: SWORD OF DESTINY, and, as art director, for OTHER HALVES. Major’s work as an art director for television includes telefilms “Hercules” and “The Grasscutter,” the series "Hanlon," as well as commercials and news programs.
Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Major’s career in design began at Television New Zealand. His background ranges from production design for Commonwealth Games ceremonies to designer for the New Zealand Pavilions at the World Expos to design consultant for the Louis Vuitton 150th year party NY, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris. Major received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater The Auckland University of Technology.
JOHN OTTMAN, A.C.E. (Editor, Composer), as the right-hand man—as both composer and editor—to Bryan Singer, has scored such iconic modern films as THE USUAL SUSPECTS, X2, SUPERMAN RETURNS, and VALKYRIE. Ottman has proven himself equal to the challenge of horror (GOTHIKA, ORPHAN), comedy (THE CABLE GUY, BUBBLE BOY) action (KISS KISS BANG BANG), thrillers (UNKNOWN, THE RESIDENT), superhero films (FANTASTIC FOUR, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER) and animation (ASTRO BOY).
He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his score to the ABC series “Fantasy Island.” In 2013 Ottman edited and scored Singer’s large-scale fantasy film JACK THE GIANT SLAYER for Warner Bros. In
2014 Ottman edited and scored Singer’s critically acclaimed X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST for Twentieth Century Fox and scored Universal Pictures’ action thriller NON-STOP directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Coming up next for Ottman is THE NICE GUYS, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, for Warner Bros.
Ottman’s childhood in San Jose, California, was marked by a love for both music and film. After graduating from the USC Cinema School, Ottman connected with Bryan Singer and forged a fateful collaboration that saw Ottman enter the field of film scoring—resulting in the thriller classic THE USUAL SUSPECTS. Singer says: “John astounds me with his seemingly endless ability to do anything. Not only does he constantly surprise me with his genius as a film editor, but he has invariably gone on to flabbergast all of us with his evocative and inspiring music.”
MICHAEL LOUIS HILL (Editor) was a co-editor on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. He won a Streamy Award for editing the miniseries HALO 4: FORWARD UNTO DAWN, and is an editor on the television series “Hollow Ship” and “H+” and the feature film MAX STEEL.
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