The journey to next month's X-Men: Apocalypse hasn't been an entirely smooth one for Bryan Singer. When Oscar Isaac's mega villain was first revealed, fans criticised his voice, his look and his colouring. Some apparently picked on the fact that he wasn't as tall as he probably should have been.
And then, when subsequent trailers added a new layer of effects to Isaac's voice, other fans complained that he sounded too augmented. Sometimes you just can't catch a break.
The voice is now a done deal, and it's the effects-laden version we will hear when the film comes out next month. As Singer explained to IGN, the first trailer used Isaac's real voice as a place-holder because the finished article hadn't yet been created. So you can put aside concerns that he won't sound menacing or exotic enough.
Singer gave some insight into how the effects heard on the newest trailer were managed:
What I'm doing is something very unique. It hasn't been done before. We're rerecording his entire performance because the suit's creaky and makes all kinds of noise, you can't really use any of it anyway. But I want his performance. So he's being recorded in ADR using a standard Sennheiser microphone, but also with a bass mic to his right cheek and a bass drum mic to his left cheek. These two microphones have the ability to pull vocal range out of his voice that the human ear cannot hear. And I can take that vocal range that I've now recorded, and I can pull it and use it to augment his voice - and that with a little digital magic can create a voice that's both completely governed by his performance but is not natural.It ebbs and flows and moves through the movie, and changes, so he doesn't just have one single voice. He speaks with different voices depending on different moments in the film. So it's really kind of cool. It's the first time I've ever had the tools to sculpt a performance in post-production, that was already given to me on set and chosen in the cutting room."
He also acknowledged the issues with the first look at Apocalypse that had some fans wondering why he looked so purple with a pink hue. That was down to a pink light that turned everything a slightly wrong colour, and as Singer says "They maybe just should have taken the pink out of the picture -- I should have taken the pink out of the picture. I'm going to take some blame for that. My fault, not Entertainment Weekly's. That's the picture I gave them.
It just goes to show how precisely fans pick over the slightest release when they're excited for the finished project.
And as for Isaac being "too small", Singer says he had the same issue when he cast Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and that ultimately, it came down to acting ability rather than just
"I could have made him a giant through the whole movie, or some muscle-bound guy who can't act -- I could always do that. But the reality is, among his many powers -- and you will see him change size -- but among his many powers is his power of persuasion, and it was very important that he'd be able to connect with his horsemen, at their level, and that he'd be played by a guy who can actually act like Oscar, who's a fantastic actor.
It actually says a lot that Singer is willing to address (and explain away) fan concerns. This is in stark contrast to the occasional "head-in-the-sand" approach to criticism other directors favour. And to be fair to him, he could have simply said the vision is his and there's nothing we can do about it.
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