Panel Report: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ at the 20th Century Fox Panel
After a few days of big surprises at Comic-Con 2015, things are starting to wind down, but we’re not quite done yet. 20th Century Fox arrived in Hall H, bringing X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool and Fantastic Four. Although Star Wars and Batman v Superman were major draws this year, we’ve been really excited to hear more about X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool, as Fox continues to build its impressive franchise universe.
Fox has already asked us to stay until the very, very end of the panel, which means we’re in for a pretty big surprise (you can see it above in our video, actually.)
Fantastic Four is up first, with director Josh Trank and stars Miles Teller (Reed Richards), Kate Mara (Sue Storm), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm) and Toby Kebbell (Victor Von Doom) in attendance. Given the rumors that have been swirling about his behavior on set, Trank receives some very tepid applause, which seems a bit unfair.
Trank reveals that he sent Miles Teller books on quantum physics to help him prepare for playing Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic. Teller himself makes a more interesting revelation: he thought he was going to be cast in the first Amazing Spider-Man movie, and when he didn’t get the part he thought he ruined his chance at being in a superhero movie. Kate Mara adds that she always wanted to do a superhero movie, but she didn’t know much about the Fantastic Four.
Toby Kebbell, who plays the film’s villain, offers an ominous addition to the panel: “I play Dr. Doom. He’s the best villain of all time in any comic book ever. He’s just led by ego. Reed Richards might be a little bit better than him so I just want to destroy him. So I will. That’s a promise.”
Before the panel ended, they showed us the final Fantastic Four trailer, which features some new footage — primarily, we get a better look at Dr. Doom’s face (or his mask, rather), as well as Reed‘s incredible stretching abilities as Mr. Fantastic.
As the panel concluded, we were treated to a very special video message from Deadpool, featuring Ryan Reynolds in full Deadpool costume and talking to us in the audience as if he’s the host on Masterpiece Theatre — if Masterpiece Theatre had a lot of F-bombs. Reynolds says, “It’s only been 11 years in the waiting,” and it’s hard to believe he’s right.
And the panel begins! Reynolds arrives on stage immediately following the video message, and he’s joined by Morena Baccarin (Copycat), Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead), Ed Skrein (Ajax), T.J. Miller (Weasel) and Gina Carano (Angel Dust).
Reynolds acknowledges that Deadpool is, well, special: “I think this character inhabits a space in the comic universe that no other character can ever inhabit.” Then Reynolds throws a bit of shade at X-Men Origins: Wolverine or maybe Green Lantern, adding “I’ve only done one other proper superhero movie — sorry, NOT proper, just a superhero movie…” Maybe he forgot about Green Lantern like most of us did?
Miller jumps in to ask the audience a question: “How many of you kids have seen horses fuck before you kissed your first girl?” If this panel is any indication, then Reynolds wasn’t lying about making an appropriately vulgar Deadpool film.
Reynolds continues to assure fans that he’ll deliver on the promise of a faithful adaptation: “It’s everything we loved about the comics. We have a guy who’s obviously gonna break the fourth wall. I think the most faithful adaptation of a super suit to the comic in a movie I’ve ever seen. This movie has the Merc With the Mouth, and the mouth is never sewn shut in this movie, I promise.” And yes, that’s another knock at Origins.
Next we saw the first official footage from Deadpool, which was super violent (as promised), filled with profanity (as promised) and very funny (also, as promised), with lines like, “You look like Freddy Krueger’s face fucked a topographical map of Utah.” The crowd went nuts for it, offering a huge, lively round of applause and quickly began chanting for a replay of the footage.
We also saw the new, recently recast Colossus appearing in the footage, with Reynolds referring to him as a “chrome covered cock gobbler.”
And speaking of which, that brings us to the X-Men: Apocalypse panel!
Hugh Jackman is the first to arrive on stage, even though he’s not even supposed to be in Apocalypse, but he is Wolverine and has been in every X-Men film to date. Jackman greets the crowd with “I’ve got three words for you guys: Old Man Logan. Read into that what you will.” Speaking to his time in the franchise, Jackman says “Playing the legend that is Wolverine is the greatest part I’ve ever had in my life. I think he’s the greatest comic book character ever created.”
The actor graciously thanks the fans and Fox and adds, “I know they killed off Wolverine in the comics, but in the movies, he’s not done yet.”
Next, director Bryan Singer arrives and starts bringing out the cast (deep breath): Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Lucas Till (Havok), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Tye Sheridan (Scott Summers), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Oscar Isaac (Apocalypse), Olivia Munn (Psylocke), Ben Hardy (Angel) and Alexandra Shipp (Storm).
Hugh Jackman doesn’t have a seat, so he sits on Jennifer Lawrence’s lap, which is about as hilarious as you’d imagine.
X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in 1983, in a time when mutants have become mostly accepted by society thanks to Mystique’s act of heroism. Even though they’re still in production on the sequel, Singer shows us the very first teaser.
We get a quick look at Isaac as the movie’s big bad, Apocalypse, and it looks as though they achieved his transformation using mostly practical effects, which is a very pleasant surprise. The ending of the teaser shows McAvoy as Professor X, now completely bald and sitting in his wheelchair in the more traditional style of the character.
Lawrence says that she’s a bit different in this film from the character we saw in Days of Future Past — she’s more Raven than Mystique this time around. As for Magneto, there’s a Godfather story at work: he’s given up the villainy, hung up his helmet and cape and is trying to live a normal life, but then things start to happen and he’s pulled back in. Just when he thought he was out...
As for Isaac’s role as Apocalypse, the actor says, “This world that we have, it’s not the world it should have been. God’s just been asleep and he wakes up and says it has to change.” It sounds as though Apocalypse will have his Four Horsemen, just as he does in the comics — Isaac refers to Psylocke, Magneto, Storm and Angel as his “followers.” That’s four.
When the panel cuts over to Nicholas Hoult, he apologetically (but charmingly) tells us he can’t concentrate because he’s still thinking about that amazing Deadpool footage. Hoult snaps out of it and tells us that he grew up watching the X-Men cartoons, which may indicate where they’re headed with this — as if the ’80s setting and Jubilee’s whole thing wasn’t a tip-off.
Ben Hardy, who joins the cast as Angel, describes his character as “bitter and angry,” which is something we saw a bit with Ben Foster’s portrayal in X-Men: The Last Stand.
At the end of the panel, we got an incredibly special surprise — as previously promised — as Channing Tatum joined the stage and Fox displayed the official Gambit logo. The casts from Deadpool and Fantastic Four joined the X-Men cast and the entire group posed for a massive selfie with Stan Lee. Take that, Ellen.