Our first real look at Oscar Isaac’s titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t particularly great, to say the least. Featuring a purple-toned En Sabah Nur, that early official photo inspired a flood of jokes on social media, with people comparing him to everything from a Power Rangers villain to Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Apocalypse has thankfully looked a lot less colorful in the trailers released since then, and with the X-Men sequel hitting theaters next week, Isaac and director Bryan Singer have a few thoughts about their villain’s aesthetic.

Fans weren’t the only ones left unimpressed by Apocalypse’s look in those early photos — as Oscar Isaac explains to EW, he wasn’t particularly thrilled about it, either:

I was not super pleased with those first photos that ran. When you look at those things, you think that’s the representation of the character, and it was a shot from when we were coming out of a portal, and the portal light is purple and so suddenly everyone thinks that the character is purple which is not the case.

The violet lighting was pretty obvious in those images, but it was hard to tell just how much it was affecting Apocalypse’s appearance. Luckily, subsequent photos and trailers showed us that the villain’s appearance isn’t as aggressive as his attitude — or the attitudes of fans, for that matter. Singer goes on to recall similar outcry from fans back when he cast Hugh Jackman as Wolverine:

Can you imagine what it was like for fans 16 years ago when I cast 6-foot-3 Hugh Jackman to play 5-foot-4 Wolverine in X-Men? Can you imagine the reactions I got? I nearly got crucified.

Similarly, fans initially hated the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight. That hate grew more pronounced when WB released the first image of Ledger in full-make up, revealing a major departure from the traditional Batman villain. And now? Ledger’s Joker is revered as the best iteration of the character.

To be fair, Oscar Isaac isn’t going to win any acting awards for his performance as Apocalypse, but Singer explains why it was still important to utilize the actor’s actual talents for such an over-the-top villain:

Instead of giving him CG make up, I thought it was very important that he connect with the horsemen, that he connect with the movie. We built a suit and enhanced Oscar’s size. But nonetheless to be as intimate and persuasive in his interaction with our lead characters, I made the decision to have him for the most part be in human form.

You’ll get to see how well they achieved their goal when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27.

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