Armageddon Revealed As Villain? It Remains To Be Seen
A synopsis, allegedly the official one to Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class," has been making the rounds online, and if correct, it provides confirmation of the story's plot while, at the same time, hinting to audiences at other details of the story (emails to 20th Century Fox to verify the synopsis were not answered over the weekend).
So far, we know that the film will follow the early relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr -- played respectively by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender -- and their maturation in becoming Prof. X and Magneto. There's also a massive ensemble cast including the likes of Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), January Jones (Emma Frost), Oliver Platt (Man In Black), Caleb Landry (Phoenix), Lucas Till (Havoc), Edi Gathegi (Darwin), Jason Flemyng (Azazel), Zoe Kravitz (Angel), Bill Milner (young Magneto), Morgan Lily (young Mystique), Alex Gonzalez (Riptide), Laurence Belcher (young Prof. X) and Ray Wise (U.S. Secretary Of State).
Full synopsis after the jump. Though note, not much of it is actually new or something we don't already know.
'X-Men: First Class' charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.
Screenrant argues that, as the word is capitalized in the synopsis, "Armageddon" likely refers to the 'X-Men' character rather than an event. However, the end-of-days event is actually also capitalized being a reference to the site of the epic battle rather than the battle itself and we've already learned that the main villain is Sebastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon. Why would the film need another super-villain on top of the main super-villain? Furthermore, the character Armageddon's origin stems from a genetic collaboration between Apocalypse and Jean Grey, but with Grey not appearing in Vaughn's film and the film acting as a prequel to her appearance in the "X-Men" time-line, all signs point to Armageddon the character not actually appearing in the film (this all appears to be fanboys looking too deeply into something that's not there, frankly).
So it's probably status quo then with the main antagonist for the mutant movement coming from the Hellfire Club, led by Bacon's aforementioned Sebastien Shaw, as producer Bryan Singer himself discussed. The club is a secret society made up of influential members of the community, with sinister plans led by Shaw, a mutant with the power to absorb kinetic energy and use it to increase his strength. How they are involved with an impending Armageddon remains unknown.
The most intriguing element from the above synopsis is probably the revelation of the "secret history of famous global events" which seemingly affirms it'll embed the mutant movement in that real-life history (a la "Watchmen") and reiterate in particular the civil rights theme explored in previous films. The story is setpreviously noted to take place in the 1960s with JFK as president and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X notably advocating social change. Either way, it sounds like Jane Goldman and Vaughn have done well with revitalizing the 'X-Men' franchise for a modern context.
"X-Men First Class" hits theaters next summer on June 3rd.