This article originally appeared on Den of Geek UK.
This article contains spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse.
Clocking in at 2 hours and 27 minutes, X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t exactly a short movie. With that in mind, you might be surprised to learn that director Bryan Singer left a lot of material on the editing room floor. Although there was no Rogue Cut-sized narrative strand cut out this time, writer/producer Simon Kinberg told Collider that roughly 13 minutes were chopped duing the editing process.
There’s also a little bit on information floating around regarding earlier versions of the film’s script, and how Apocalypse could have played out differently if other ideas had been kept in. Here’s our roundup of everything that didn’t make it into the movie…
More Magneto singing
The scene with Magneto in the forest was one of the best bits of the movie, as we’ve discussed in detail elsewhere. Chatting to The Empire Podcast, Bryan Singer revealed that this scene was originally meant to be longer. This extended version was shot, and featured a reprise of Erik’s Polish lullaby singsong.
“He sings the lullaby [in the forest], and we have the lullaby longer in the bedroom. It enabled him to sing the lullaby in Polish, flawlessly, emotionally, to the newly murdered family,” Singer explained.
“In the context of the cut, it didn’t quite work,” he added. “It’s heart-breaking, because he [Michael Fassbender] went above and beyond. Out of context, as a scene, it’s just amazing and beautiful. In the flow of the picture I had to shorten it a little.” Mr Singer also teased that this longer version of the scene may appear on the X-Men: Apocalypse DVD.
Pyslocke’s tragic origin
Olivia Munn’s Psylocke is a mysterious presence in X-Men: Apocalypse; her origin story is left out and her exact reasons for becoming a horseman are not explained. As far as we know, there’s no deleted scene to fill in these gaps, but discussions were had on set to flesh out the character of Pyslocke.
“It’s something that I talked to Simon Kinberg and Bryan [Singer] about,” Munn told CinemaBlend, “saying that we’re not really showing the audience the genesis of who Psylocke is and why she would go with him. But the backstory of Psylocke that I brought into it just in my head that you can’t see on screen was that she lost her entire family.”
Munn continued: “She has these really great abilities, these powers, and she’s been manipulated by many different leaders because she’s been looking for her righteous path and looking for a family again. […] So that’s what she sees in Apocalypse – yet another maybe righteous leader. She’s looking for someone who will show her the way, and looking for a family.”
Unless there’s a secret deleted scene waiting in the wings that nobody’s talking about, that’s probably the best explanation we’re going to get.
The mall montage
At the very beginning and very end of the promotional clip embedded above, there are glimpses of a mall sequence that didn’t make it into the final cut of X-Men: Apocalypse. It’s alluded to, of course, but in cinemas all we got to see was Jean, Scott, Kurt and Jubilee emerging from a screening of Return Of The Jedi and making some highly meta remarks.
A whole montage of material was cut here, Simon Kinberg told Collider. This included “a group of breakdancers in the mall, and Nightcrawler starts breakdancing with the breakdancers.” Kinberg said this was “profoundly entertaining,” but it “didn’t unfortunately fit within the flow of the storytelling.”
Bryan Singer described another Nightcrawler mall moment to Fandango: “they’re moving through the mall and Nightcrawler remarks about the other people that ‘they don’t fear us.’ And he thinks the mall is this paradise, and that was my homage to Moscow On The Hudson, when Robin Williams came over to America during the height of the Cold War and saw a Bloomingdales and thought it was a temple. But no, it was just an ‘80s mall!”
“I grew up in ‘80s malls,” Singer added. “I even rebuilt an arcade to match the one that I played in when I was a kid called Space Port.” Here’s photographic proof of that….
“Sadly it just got removed from the first act”, Singer continued. “I made a big, sweeping cut. But I’ll put it back in sequence and it’ll be fun.” Apparently, the idea is being floated to add an interactive function to the Blu-ray, allowing fans to reinsert this mall scene while watching the film at home.
There was a record store scene, but no Dazzler cameo
Presumably as part of the aforementioned mall montage, a scene was shot with Jean, Scott and Jubilee in a record store. We know this from the image above, which was shared widely on social media a few weeks ago and features a sizeable Easter Egg – Cyclops is holding a vinyl by Dazzler, a rollerblading mutant pop star ripped straight from the comics.
After Simon Kinberg, James McAvoy and Sophie Turner were pictured with Taylor Swift, a rumor spread around the web that the modern day pop star (and probable rollerblading enthusiast) was due to cameo as Dazzler in X-Men: Apocalypse. Mr Kinberg has since shot down that rumor, telling Collider “Taylor Swift was never Dazzler, that was just us going to a concert. That was misconstrued.”
One thing that definitely did feature in the record store scene was a joke at Sophie Turner’s expense. “She made the fatal mistake of pointing out her resemblance to Boy George on an album cover,” Bryan Singer told Empire, and this comparison wound up being written that into the scene as a gag. “Right after they pick up the Dazzler album, Cyclops says ‘did anyone ever tell you…’, and she’s offended mortally. But it was Sophie who pointed that out to me, and of course I had to shoot that. Sadly it didn’t end up in the film, but it’ll end up somewhere.”
Already, the Jean Grey/Culture Club-era Boy George comparison has been used as a piece of viral marketing…
This scene will probably end up on the DVD or Blu-ray home release, as well, we hope.
Jubilee uses her powers
Lana Condor made her debut as Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse (picking up a role previously played by Katrina Florence in X-Men and Kea Wong in X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand), but wasn’t given a lot to do in the final cut.
During Empire’s spoiler special interview with Bryan Singer, the director mentioned an unused scene where “you get to see Jubilee use her powers. Unfortunately I couldn’t use it in the film.” He mentioned this while detailing the mall montage, which could mean that Jubilee was showing off her powers around the same time that Jean Grey was eying up albums and Nightcrawler was break dancing.
Speaking to IGN before the film came out, Lana Condor explained that her light-based powers were going to look less like the sparkly fireworks of the cartoons and the comics and “more like… in Days Of Future Past when Kitty Pryde is like holding Wolverine like this [mimes hands by the side of her head] […] it’s going to look more like that power that’s kind of streaming from her hands.”
In that very interesting IGN interview, Condor also described having wires strapped on her arms and LED lights on the palms of her hands. We should get to see this scene eventually, because Bryan Singer said this to Fandango: “We do have a moment where Jubilee uses her powers that you’ll see on the DVD.”
More Scott and Alex
During his interview with Fandango, Bryan Singer also mentioned a deleted scene that featured a “farewell between Scott and his brother [Alex].” He added this: “It’s strange for the audience sometimes because they say, ‘It’s a good scene, why did you remove it?’ But if you sat in a theatre and watched it with all those scenes back in, it may seem good, but slow. And I don’t want the audience to feel that.”
It’s unclear exactly when this scene would have slotted in. Perhaps it would’ve been before Scott headed off to the mall, with Alex saying a quick “see you later” and suggesting that he’s not planning to hang around at X-Mansion for long now that Scott is settled in? That’s pure speculation on our part, it must be said, but a quick goodbye like that before Havok’s accidental death could’ve upped the emotional ante somewhat. Perhaps the home release will provide some answers.
Jean helping Scott with his powers?
This image was shared a fair bit during the promo build up to X-Men: Apocalypse’s release, but was nowhere to be seen in the finished film. Jean seems to be using her powers to help Scott control his, which is a neat way of visualizing their growing relationship.
It’s not clear, though, if this is just a cool poster-esque image or a genuine scene that was shot for the movie. Judging by the outfits, if this was ever a part of the film, it must’ve been part of the final fight against Apocalypse.
Wolverine “the drill sergeant”
Hugh Jackman’s cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse is a very violent and memorable scene, but it wasn’t always set in stone. As Simon Kinberg told CinemaBlend, there were multiple Logan-based concepts floating around at the ideas stage of the film’s development.
“There were a lot of iterations of how Wolverine would enter and exit the movie,” Kinberg explained. “There was a version when he was going to come in at the midpoint of the film and be like the drill sergeant for the kids and take over as their leader. And we felt like that stepped on Jen[nifer Lawrence]’s role in the movie and becoming their leader.”
“As we were, again, conceptually brainstorming the script, we knew that the kids were going to be abducted, or that a lot of our main characters were going to be abducted and taken somewhere. So we thought it would be interesting to take them to Alkali Lake, and that they would naturally, potentially… that the Weapon X program would be there, and maybe that was a place to find Wolverine.”
This was the only scene that Hugh Jackman shot for the film, but it’s interesting to know that it wasn’t the only Wolverine idea considered. X-Men: Apocalypse could’ve wound up being a very different movie, by the sounds of it.
Magneto locked up?
At the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto walks away a free man, despite the global destruction that he’s been involved in. Empire asked Simon Kinberg whether the idea to punish Erik was ever discussed behind the scenes, and it turns out that it was.
“We did still talk about Erik being incarcerated at the end of the movie,” Kinberg confirmed, teasing the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse ending on a darker note with Magneto imprisoned rather than having a polite chat with Professor X before wandering off.
“Ultimately, we felt like, if you put Erik in prison, you wouldn’t have rehabilitated him,” Kingberg added. “We felt, in a way, that there’s something about his relationship with Charles that potentially could rehabilitate him. And yet, bad things keep happening to him, and he keeps losing family members and he keeps getting pissed off and becomes himself.”
By the sounds of it, leaving Erik out in the open and ending his Apocalypse arc with a quiet scene with Charles was deemed a more interesting place to leave Magneto – from a character standpoint – than locking him up in another metal-free prison.
But still, with all these deleted scenes and unused ideas floating round, it’s hard not to wonder about the vastly different X-Men: Apocalypse that could’ve come to pass. Perhaps a version could have been made that would’ve earned more universal praise from critics and audiences…