Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past injected the 14-year old franchise with a fresh surge of energy, with the film’s box office success and critical praise (from most quarters, anyway) immediately ramping up our expectations for the 2016 follow-up, X-Men: Apocalypse.
The past few weeks have seen a number of updates on the “1980s period piece,” such as the possibility of a spinoff centered on Evan Peters’ scene-stealing Quicksilver, the intention to hone in on the relationship between Magento (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and the casting shortlist for younger versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey.
As for the actor playing the ancient, incredibly powerful title villain, we previously heard that The Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy was wanted for the role, but a new report from The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider claims that of “three names” he’s hearing of as contenders for the role of Apocalypse, Hardy isn’t among them.
Brought to our attention by Shadow and Act, Sneider recently called in to Meet the Movie Press, hosted by Mark Reilly (SchmoesKnow) and Jeff Weintraub (Collider) to discuss their recent scoop regarding the recasting of Cyclops and Jean Grey, and at around the 32-minute mark, drops a broad hint about one of the actors he’s heard is in the running for Apocalypse, saying:
“We heard him say the word ‘apocalypse’ a lot last year.”
Inductive reasoning leads us all to the conclusion that Idris Elba is the name Sneider is teasing. Last year’s Pacific Rim included Elba, whose rousing speech to rally his troops for the impending battle with the kaiju contained the line “Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!” That line went viral, with Elba repeating the phrase countless times across the social media landscape.
Elba is of course already involved in another Marvel franchise at a competing studio with his role as Heimdall in the Thor series. We assume he’ll return in 2017′s Thor: Ragnarok, but aside from a rumor that Heimdall will appear in next year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the future of his character has yet to be officially addressed.
Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg has said that the intention is to present Apocalypse as a charismatic mutant leader, and they will need a star with charisma to burn. With Elba having been previously considered for the role of James Bond and set to reprise his leading role in the BBC America revival of Luther, he is poised to remind audiences of just how arresting his presence can be.
Stay tuned for more details on the possibility of Idris Elba taking on the role of Apocalypse as they emerge.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be released in theaters on May 27, 2016.