Explaining the X-Men: Days Of Future Past post-credits sequence

Feature James Hunt 22 May 2014 - 06:00

We take a look at the post-credits sequence of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with spoilers, and explain what it's all about...

This article contains spoilers for X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Marvel Studios might have made the post-credits scene an event for superhero fans, but it was actually Fox who taught us to look for them in every comic book adaptation we go to. From Daredevil to X-Men: The Last Stand to Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, they established it as a treat for fans long before Iron Man made it the must-see part of the movie.

True to form, X-Men: Days of Future Past contains its own post-credits scene, which occurs right at the very end of the credits, where these things should go. It's also one that's not going to make any sense to people who aren't fans of the wider franchise beyond the movies, because it introduces a completely new character.

But enough preamble. If you don't mind being spoilered, scroll down under the image to read what it is that you see, and what we made of it.

The scene opens on the expansive sands of the Sahara desert. It pans behind a hooded figure standing on the dunes, arms raised. In the background, we can hear the chanting of a huge crowd. Probably thousands of people, all calling the same thing. It's indistinct, but seems rapturous, almost worshipful.

Then we see a pyramid, half-completed. Huge stones lift themselves in the air and begin to reconfigure in complex, Rubik's-cube like fashion, completing the pyramid in seconds. The chanting continues. The camera pans around to reveal the face of the hooded figure. It's young, thin man. Chalk white with deep blue lips. Across his shoulder, we see the silhouettes of four mounted riders. Four Horsemen. And the scene cuts to black.

Fans of the wider X-Men franchise will immediately recognise this figure as a version of Apocalypse. And while it's hard to tell, it sounds like the people might have been chanting his given name: En Sabah Nur, meaning The First One.

Born a slave in ancient Egypt under the reign of Rama-Tut, Apocalypse is one of the people who claims to be the original example of Homo Sapiens Superior: the first ever mutant. A being of immense power, he is dedicated to the philosophy of survival of the fittest and a brutal tyrant destined to one-day rule the Earth. And that's not some vague prophecy: people have seen that future and come back to try and stop him - most notably Cable, who was raised under his rule.

Also present in the scene are Apocalypse's Horsemen. Although he's not afraid to exercise his immense abilities himself, Apocalypse is fond of recruiting agents, often unlocking their genetic potential to show how strong they can truly be. His followers include the Clan Akkaba and the Dark Riders, but his most prominent lieutenants are the Four Horsemen: War, Famine, Pestilence and Apocalypse's second-in-command, Death.

If that sounds convenient, that's because those aren't the names of individuals, but titles given to the Horsemen. Most notably, Apocalypse was responsible for restoring Angel's wings after they had been removed, giving him bio-mechanical ones and turning him into Archangel, the Horseman Death. At various times he's also recruited the likes of Wolverine, Gambit and Sunfire, though understandably it's rare he keeps the X-Men brainwashed for long.

As a villain, Apocalypse is easily one of the X-Men's most deadly. Powerful, fanatical and near-impossible to kill, he and his followers have troubled the X-Men on only a few occasions, but it's always a big deal when they do. The biggest storyline to bear his name is the Age of Apocalypse, a story in which a time-traveller accidentally kills Professor X and awakens Apocalypse early, changing the timeline and allowing his rule to begin early. The X-Men, who are led by Magneto in this reality, end up sacrificing everything to stop him and repair the timeline.

Like the first Avengers stinger, this scene is mainly designed to tease the villain of the next movie. It's not a particularly huge surprise, given that the title has already been announced as X-Men: Apocalypse, but it's nice to find out that the title is talking about THE Apocalypse, rather than AN apocalypse.

The design of the character here is interesting. Apocalypse has taken many forms, due to his ability (and need) to transfer himself between bodies to survive, but he's normally depicted as a huge, almost inhuman individual. Here, he's young and not far through his evolution into the powerful villain we know him as. Given that Fox basically ignored the post-credits scenes of The Wolverine, it's unlikely that they'll carry the actor and design over to the next film – but it's also possible that this is indicative of their general approach.

Still, one way or the other, it's interesting that after almost a decade of keeping the X-Men films firmly centred on the Xavier/Magneto philosophical rivalry, they're finally selecting a villain who has his own school of thought, and the raw power to back it up. He doesn't want coexistence with humans. He doesn't even want a peaceful rule. In Apocalypse's mind, the world should be a crucible of war in which only the strongest mutants survive – and his rule is assured through his own superiority.

But the best thing of all about having a new villain is that if Apocalypse is done right, this could pave the way for all the other X-villains who haven't had a proper look in yet. As much as I like Magneto, that's a more exciting prospect than yet another joust between Fassbender and McAvoy.

Further Reading:
X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (Vols. 1-4) X-Men: The X-Cutioner's Song X-Men: The Twelve The Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix Rise of Apocalypse Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1

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should have done Mr Sinister first - then lead onto Apocolypse

what i really want is a film about the X-Men, as in the team. as much as I'm looking forward to DOFP (on saturday - i cant wait) I'm a bit over it all being about the likes of Xavier, Magneto and Mystique. Give me Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolvie, Storm, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde and Rogue any day!

Just got back from seeing this down here in Australia... Brilliant movie, the last 10 minutes are cinematic gold, Few good cameo's most given away in the trailer and spoiler sheets but still good none the less.

They didn't ignore the post credits scene of wolverine...

What? The last 10 minutes suck. The rest of the movie was unreal especially the sentinel fights in the future, that was gold.

well, as much i and everyone else likes apocalypse(even in that pic above he beats jean easily), I cant wait for a real dark phoenix saga! cause dark phoenix is in top 10 most powerful marvel character of all time, and she can easily outpower apocalypse! and we need a proper phoenix!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait, yo

if you look at it like Magneto and Charles came to Logan to tell him about the impending threat of the Sentinels (the ones we saw in the future) then no they didn't ignore them.

Although for any of that to work with the timeline presented in Days of Future Past wouldn't Mystique be dead or locked up being experimented on but instead she has been present throughout all 3 original X-Men films so not sure if they overlooked that or we are just suppose to imagine that she escaped and the whole plan with the sentinels was forgotten since the 70's.

I am going to take some convincing it wasn't aaron taylor-johnson. So is there anyway that apocalypse could be quicksilver? He appeared to have Magneto-esque powers and marvel have hinted at quicksilver being in the next one and obviously ATJ is playing him in The Avengers 2

I think you're in for a treat then. =)

All I'm saying is that you will love the ending, just saw it an hour ago :-)

The ending brought my love of x men again

it was Sinister, not Apocalypse.

The pyramid was built to keep/protect Apocalypse cocooned in his sarcophagus, waiting for a sacrificial ritual. The chanting ritual is being led by Sinister. Coz if you think about it, why would Apocalypse build a pyramid??? For what? Pyramids are for Pharaohs (prophets) which is what Apocalypse was. For the mutant kind.

I think what Sinister was doing was protecting Apocalypse' tomb, in preparation and anticipation for a sacrificial ritual. And besides, i don't think Singer would lay it out instantly. He is a brilliant writer/director with all of his fake-outs. And also, thats why its called a "teaser."

That's exactly what I thought it reeeeally looked like him! Messed with my head...

Was that Saoirse Ronan at the end, playing Apocalypse in the film?? Looked an awful lot like her. Definitely looked like it was a girl.. Either her or Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who I'm positive it cannot be.

I couldn't agree with you more.

I'm curious to see how they introduce Apocalypse in the 80s timeline. How are the younger mutants going to face such a powerful villain? Even Professor X and Beast aren't as powerful in the First Class timeline as they are in the original trilogy. It will be interesting, but I will decided if I want to see that play out tonight.

To avoid spoilers of DOFP, my comment shall focus on the initial of each word.

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Well, that comment was totally worth the effort.

Er, they already said it's going to be set in the 80s.

I think you're alone on this one.

The endcredits show Apocalypse and the 4 Horsemen.
But did anyone notice something at the beginning of the movie?
There was a boy with hair like Rogue.
Brown with a white streak.
I know a guy from the comics who has that kind of hair.
This might be Nathan Summers (or the alternate Age of Apocalypse Nate Grey.)
In other words: Cable.


I've never used Face palm before, but it seems appropriate. I really should do some research next time...

... Am I the only person who thought that skinny character was actually Ozymandias? He was Apocalypse's scribe in the comics, and he was able to move and manipulate stone if I remember rightly.

The movie implied that Mystique was locked up and experimented on in the 70's. When she got out she joined up with Magneto with a fresh hatred for mankind.

It was just a young dude. Probably 12 and already incredibly powerful.

100% it was not Aaron Taylor Johnson. Way younger and skinnier.

He had the grey skin and blue lips and they were chanting En Sabah Nur.

Magneto will join up again and Cyclops, Jean, Nightcrawler and Gambit are said to be in the next one. Its gonna be great!

It was at the beginning of the "new timeline", not the movie itself. But that particular kid also stroked me as someone important, and I didn't know who he was. So it must be what you said he was. Son of Jean and Scott?

I defiantly thought it was sinister.

He was in the beginning apocalyptic scenes as well, at the very beginning with Xavier's monologue. He found that X-Man belt on the ground in the dust.

They didn't ignore the wolverine post-credit sting did they? It set-up Wolverine re-joining Professor X and then Days of Future Past is set some years after that scene...

ugh! that wasn't a guy that was Scarlett Johansson! They are merging x-men and the avengers. remember in winter soldier???? "Are they ready to know who you are" that wasn't a guy!

Just heard a radio ad for X-Men - Days Of Future Past describing the film as "The Avengers of the X-men Universe"!!!
I can't imagine that DOFP will struggle at the box office but it seems a bit desperate to use what is essentially a competitors success to advertise your own film!
If Fox are allowed to mention "The Avengers" in their adverts then why can't Marvel mention Mutants in their movies?

A boy? I thought it was a girl in the post credit scene. I admit it was late and I had 3D glasses on so I could be wrong.

Both my wife I agreed that we thought it was a girl, which is why I did not initially think it was Apocalypse himself, but rather some herald of his. It was only after reading articles like this one that I came to believe that it may be him. To be honest, my eyes were more focused on the Horsemen in the background.

The next movie should have more two fisted slamming action since survival of the fittest is what Apoc is all about!

Was that the same kid? I'm going to see it again so I'll make sure to pay attention.
But if it was indeed the same, then he couldn't be the son of either Jean nor Scott, since, you know.. And even if he was product of genetic experiments like the comic, then he would be out of place in the school at the end..

Unless they reboot the series,which is unlikely,I can't see them doing that after the last stand

Fox didnt ignore the post credits of The Wolverine, it explains how he, Xavier and Magento come together as seen in the future

I know I thought it might have been the Scarlet Witch or some variant of what with Quicksilver being in the movie.

They're not mutants, they're 'miracles'.

He's also in the scene where Logan woke up and everyone is alive. He's the kid before the rogue and bobby scene. :)

Maybe it will be like X2; everyone teaming up but against a mutant not a human?

Maybe it will not be exclusively set in the 1980's?

Maybe they will need outside help - from X-Force perhaps?

So we have two timelines now?

1. First Class /Origins: Wolverine /X-Men /X2 /Last Stand /The Wolverine...

2. First Class /DoFP /Apocalypse...

Marvel already clarified this. Selene is the first ever mutant, waaaaaaaaayyyy Older than Apocalypse.

cautwomen (dot) com/2014/05/lest-we-forget-selene-is-really-really (dot) html

No. There's 1 time line. Bryan Singer's timeline as DoFP has pretty much deleted all non-Singer films out of the cannon

No. We have had a soft reboot. First Class, Origins, X1,2,3, The Wolverine, and the post apocalyptic 2023 scenes in DoFP all occur in one timeline.

The new timeline is the pre-73 bits of Origins, First Class, DoFP, Apocalypse

i don't think they ignored the post-credits of Wolverine at all. it can still be applicable to this movie.

This movie essentially resets the timeline by changing the past. So there is no reason why Phoenix can't make a comeback.

Yes but actually Cable was the son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor,who is a Jean Grey clone created by Mr Sinister.

Yeah, and it's most likely that with Trask death no one was clever enough to carry on the Sentinel project so it's development was in baby steps.

Obviously they weren't, but for all the world it sounded as though they were chanting escargot, which would've been a bit silly.

Like you said, it cant be, but it did look a lot like Aaron Taylor-Johnson

If they want to make a really bold move the next film should create an age of apocalypse timeline and the next few films after that should be the various x teams trying to fix history.

The last stand didn't do the Phoenix saga. It just said jean went crazy. A real one could be done, but only after they show her with her true strength in a different film, I think.

The kid stroked you? Calling Operation Yewtree.

"As much as I like Magneto, that's a more exciting prospect than yet another joust between Fassbender and McAvoy."

Hear hear.

Here are some Marvel characters more powerful than Dark Phoenix. The One Above All, Living Tribunal, Thanos with Heart of the Universe, Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet, Mad Jim Jaspers, White Phoenix of the Crown, adult Franklin Richards, Death, Eternity, Infinity, Abraxas, Oblivion, Galactus, every single Celestial, pre-retcon Beyonder, pre-retcon Molecule Man, Rune King Thor, Those Who Sit Above In Shadow, Shuma Gorath, Dormammu, etc.

I was convinced it was Saoirse Ronan. Awkward.

So has this ruled out Nightcrawler existing? Not that I was a huge fan the first time round.
Quicksilver was excellent - the kind of character that needed more screen time, but was not spoiled by having too much.

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