April 19, 2016
'X-Men: Apocalypse' Viral Campaign Focuses On The Rise Of En Sabah Nur

You certainly can't claim the people behind X-Men: Apocalypse don't understand viral marketing. With the movie coming in just over a month, X-Men: Apocalypse is getting a new focus on the titular villain in the form of a new trailer. Instead of showing action from the movie this time around, we're getting a deeper look at the man (or mutant) that this super powerful character was before taking on his current title.

When we meet Oscar Isaac's character in X-Men: Apocalypse, he is a powerful foe who can make other mutants more powerful simply by being around him. In the comic books, there isn't a great deal known about him, and the movie takes this approach to some degree as well. What is known or at least guessed at when it comes to Apocalypse, otherwise known as En Sabah Nur, is that he is the world's very first mutant, and he appears to be thousands of years old. In the new X-Men: Apocalypse video, we're led to believe there was actually a television program that took a look at the history of En Sabah Nur and his travels through history.

As we're shown in other promotional material, this X-Men: Apocalypse character did not just travel through history. The villain tended to bring death and destruction wherever he went. The new trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse is put together like it might have been taped on a VCR thanks to some rather grainy footage and 1980s background music. Those who play extra close attention might notice the "narrator" for the short clip is none other than George Takei.

Just 49 seconds long, the trailer is just long enough to show us small outlines of Sur when he made appearances at various times and locations. The video is just the latest in what has become quite the viral marketing campaign for X-Men: Apocalypse. Social media was abuzz thanks to Universal Pictures releasing a number of pictures supposedly showing the superpowered mutant in places like the fall of the Mycenaeans. According to the caption on the photo, his appearance there caused more than 200,000 casualties.

As Variety points out, X-Men: Apocalypse relies heavily on its titular villain awakening after going into some kind of hibernation for hundreds of years. En Sabah Nur finds that the world he is in now, the modern world, is worse than any situation under which he has lived. This time, he's decided homo sapiens need to be wiped off the face of the planet so that mutants can live forever in peace. Apocalypse is believed to have amassed the powers of other mutants, adding them to his own and making him a formidable enemy to Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men. Joining the fight on the side of humanity is Mystique, a mutant who has switched sides often throughout the franchise.

On the other side, along with several mutants who we haven't seen before, is Magneto, who himself has changed sides a number of times in previous movies. One of the most interesting things about the viral campaign 20th Century Fox is carrying out is there just aren't many movies that focus this much attention on the bad guy. X-Men: Apocalypse is different in that regard, especially since most of the other iterations in the Marvel Comic Universe films almost make the villains the afterthought. In X-Men: Apocalypse, the villain is going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the heroes as far as face time goes. This viral campaign and the promo video underlines that exception. X-Men: Apocalypse is due to hit movie theaters in the United States on May 27.

[Image via Marvel Entertainment/20th Century Fox]