“I’m a huge ‘Game Of Thrones’ fan,” director of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Bryan Singer tells Yahoo Movies on the set of the forthcoming X-sequel.
“There’s a crossover between ‘X-Men’ and ‘Game Of Thrones’, they’re both about a younger generation finding their powers, finding out who they are, and what their place in the world is. I like how the show’s about different groups of people moving towards a common goal. They don’t even know if that’s the right goal, who wants to sit on that uncomfortable throne? I don’t! Everyone in King’s Landing is miserable. But for some reason they want that power.”
July, 2015, Montreal, Canada. We’re watching a bald man loom out of the shadows in a stone room, somewhere in a violent foreign land. Emotion wracks his face, and a solitary tear trickles down his cheek. We brace ourselves to hear the iconic line “The horror, the horror” before remembering we’re not actually on the set of ‘Apocalypse Now’, but ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. We’re not seeing Marlon Brando shoot a key scene as Colonel Kurtz, but James McAvoy’s Professor X. His head’s shaved for accuracy, not madness. But we’re not the only ones to spot a similarity.
“We talked about Kurtz and the lighting of that reveal [in ‘Apocalypse Now’],” Singer tells us. “Obviously, they did it for that character because Brando showed up so fat Coppola didn’t know how to introduce him, and he thought ‘I’ll do it very slowly and gradually and hide the body’ because it might be a shock to the audience. There was a practicality, which ended up being a piece of magnificent artistry, with one of the greatest improvised monologues in film history. Here, there’s nothing that direct, but we do laugh about it looking through the monitor.”
Of course, it’s not every day you hear a director compare their superhero project to one of the most adult shows on television, and to one of the darkest war movies of the ‘70s, but it appears ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is a very different beast to its predecessors.