The summer blockbuster period is upon us, which means that studios are already getting busy with production on next year’s summer blockbusters. Among them is X-Men: Apocalypse, the next entry in director Bryan Singer’s superhero prequel series, and David Ayer’s supervillain team-up film Suicide Squad, in which the bad guys and girls of the DC universe have to learn how to play nice.
Singer has already begun promoting X-Men: Apocalypse on Instagram with a photo of James McAvoy getting his head shaved to play Professor X, and another of a mysterious group of fighters wielding bows and arrows in the forest. The latter image confused a lot of people, since the soldiers(?) were wearing suits and ties with no distinct military markings.
One possibility is that the child in that image was a young mutant, and Singer has since shared another set photo from the same location shoot which could back up that theory. The image shows 1st AD Josh McLaglen wielding a crudely-drawn cutout of an owl on a stick, which Singer explains in the caption is a “a mutant guided incoming owl.”
One of the cap-wearing fighters can be seen just peeking in on the left edge of the image, confirming that this is from the same scene as the last set photo. One mutant from the comics with the ability to control animals is Lin Li, who lives at the X-Mansion after it becomes the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, so Lin might be the child in the picture. Jean Grey (played by Sophie Turner) also has the ability to communicate with animals that possess high intelligence, but owls are pretty stupid even by bird standards.
‘Owl on a stick’ might sound like an unusual baseball game snack, but the cardboard cutout most likely serves the purpose of letting the actors know where they’re supposed to be looking during takes where a CGI owl will later be added. Often this is achieved using a tennis ball on a stick, but it seems like McLaglen wanted to go the extra mile.
Meanwhile, a new Suicide Squad set photo has emerged showing Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in full costume as Killer Croc, courtesy of blogger Thalia Worldwide. This isn’t that much of a revelation, since the Killer Croc look already debuted in an official Suicide Squad cast photo, but it never hurts to see things from a different angle.
The photo does offer a first look at Killer Croc’s bare-chested look, revealing a torso that’s covered in grey scales (the make-up process must be pretty gruelling). The overall look resembles the more human version of Killer Croc from the comics, though Akinnuoye-Agbaje obviously isn’t quite as tall as his comic book counterpart.
We’ll keep an eye out for more set photos and news as production on X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad continues.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be in theaters on May 27th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad August 5th, 2016.