mutant fight club

Mutants have always fought mutants in the X-Men comics and films, whether as a way to improve their stills, and therefore their chances for survival, or out of deep ideological disagreements. Mutants will definitely be pitted against one another in the film X-Men: Apocalypse, thanks to the efforts of the first mutant, Apocalypse, to gather a cadre of powerful mutants in order to fulfill whatever crazed plan is in his head.

Now Bryan Singer has shared a new Instagram post, one of many from the set of the film, in which Ben Hardy, who plays Angel, takes part (willingly or against his will) in a fight club in East Berlin in 1982. Check that out below, along with some speculation about what it means for the movie. (Slight possible spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse follow, but there’s nothing below that hasn’t been offically revealed.)

Here’s the shot. Note the tag marking it as 1982, which suggests this could be a recent flashback.

To the best of our knowledge, most of the film’s action really begins in 1983. We hope that he ends up being a hero, but we know that Angel spends much of the film as one of Apocalypse’s horsemen, and that his conversion comes about relatively early in the film. And during the film’s Comic Con panel,

Ben Hardy said that Angel is like “every angry or bitter thought I’ve ever had embodied in one person.” We know that could apply to his time with Apocalypse, but one doesn’t just go from being a calm person to being one of Apocalypse’s henchmen, and perhaps his time with the fight club has hints to Angel’s early mindset.

#eastberlin #1982 #fightclub #benhardy #angel #xmen #xmenapocalypse

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

The idea of a underground mutant fighting area has recurred a few times in X-Men comics over the last few decades. We can only guess who else we’ll meet in this version — this would be a great way to introduce a minor character or two, and give audiences a taste of some mutant power there isn’t room to explore elsewhere in the story.

But perhaps this isn’t a mutant-run business, but one in which mutants, despite being openly known and generally accepted by the public, are exploited like sideshow attractions. That could help explain Angel’s anger. This concept art, revealed months ago, seems to line up with this Instagram post.

angel-fight-club-concept

If Angel is a caged bird here, and one freed by Apocalypse and the other early Horsemen recruits, perhaps that explains his allegiance to the villainous mutant.

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X-Men: Apocalypse opens on May 27, 2016.

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