MAJOR SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse ahead! Please DO NOT read further, unless you’ve either seen the film or do not care about being spoiled!
X-Men: Apocalypse was by no means a bad film. Though it may not have lived up to the hype after the record setting Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse was still a solid entry in the X-Men franchise. There were many memorable scenes that stood out and made the film very exciting to watch. One particular scene that certainly was the most emotional was the scene that involved Erik Lehnsherr and his family.
What Happened During That Scene?
Unfortunately all of the videos online from this film have been taken down due to copyrights. However, I'll give you a refresher on this specific scene.
***Update*** Full scene has surfaced. Watch it below!
After Erik was seen using his powers while saving one of his coworkers at a factory, he is eventually ratted out by another worker. Not knowing where their daughter is, Erik and his wife go searching for her only to find Polish police holding their daughter Nina captive. What happens next is utterly heartbreaking.
Once Erik agrees to turn himself in, Nina’s uncontrollable mutant powers begin to show. Not wanting to see her dad arrested, a flock of birds arrive and start attacking the Polish officers. Unfortunately, one of the officers was holding a bow and arrow pointed directly at Erik’s wife and daughter. In his panic, the officer mistakenly releases the arrow and it goes completely through both Erik’s wife and child, killing them instantly.
Immediately following that event, Erik is seen sobbing while holding onto a cherished necklace he gave his daughter just a few days prior. Erik removes the necklace and uses it to slice the throats of the officers who witnessed the event. He also screams out to the heavens with the top of lungs proclaiming, “Is this what you want from me?! Is this who I am? Is this who I am?”
And just like that, Erik begins to turn back to his old ways, becoming the villain he had tried to buried in the past: Magneto. It was a poignant moment that stood out in the movie, and director Bryan Singer couldn't say enough about Michael Fassbender's performance there:
In case you can't watch the video, here's the transcription of Singer's comments:
"It was one of the most beautiful things, and I cried at the monitors. [Co-producer Jason Taylor] grabbed a Kleenex; [Simon Kinberg], who very rarely shows emotion, [was] completely emotional. And I remember after the scene happened, Michael finished the scene, I walked across the woods, and I hugged him. And I held him and said, ‘Thank you for that gift. Now I need you to do it again [laughs].’ Because I have to move the cameras! He said, ‘Yeah, sure, no problem!’ And he did it again and it was amazing, and it broke my heart.”
Singer said that roughly one year ago, and now we know exactly what that scene entailed.
But There Was Actually Far More To That Scene Than We Saw
Yet for as compelling as that moment was, Singer revealed there was actually more to that scene and Erik Lehnsherr's back story. Unfortunately, the entirety of it did not make the theatrical cut of the film. It's unfortunate, though, because the full scene would have really given the film even more of an emotional impact.
In an audio commentary that you can hear on the Blu-Ray/DVD, Singer talked at length about the extended scene that he had to cut out because he felt it was actually too much of an emotional pull for audience members. The next scene took place shortly after both his wife and daughter’s death. The part that was cut from the movie was when Magneto is seen mournfully reciting a lullaby in Polish to his deceased family.
This Was One of Singer’s Most Difficult Decisions In His Film Career
Singer has had his fair share of criticisms over the years. From his decision on the look of Apocalypse all the way to unfortunately having chosen to direct Superman Returns over X-Men: The Last Stand, Singer has dealt with it all. Now, Singer may eventually add cutting this scene as yet another decision that he'll regret in hindsight to his resume.
Apparently it was one of the more difficult decisions Singer had to make in his entire film career, mostly because it left such an emotional impact to everyone on set. Here's what Singer has to say on the audio commentary regarding that extended death scene:
“In the scene individually it is heartbreaking. As the collected experience, when you watch it in the movie, it felt to the audience like you were pushing for too much emotion, like going too far. And so I cut the scene, but to this day it’s one of the most heartbreaking cuts and I owe Michael an email to explain why I made the cut, and it will be on the DVD.”
Why The Poem Lullaby Should Have Been Left In The Film
Singer did a phenomenal job including strong character development between Erik and his family at the beginning of the film. We saw Erik have a few scenes where he spoke to his wife about their future, and with his daughter about having to cope with being a mutant. Nina understood that if people learned about her dad's powers, they would once again have to relocate for their safety. Unfortunately, as we all know, he was found out and exposed to the authorities and the tragic part was that it happened when he was trying to be a good man. Erik’s decision to save one of his coworkers from certain death actually came back to haunt him and his entire family.
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But I can’t help but think leaving the lullaby scene in would have greatly improved the emotional punch Singer was going for. Sure the scene was already quite heart-wrenching (I did shed a tear or two in the theater), but I believe that this poem would have made even more of an impact on the audience as it would have allowed us to further sympathize with this character. Magneto shouldn’t be entirely classified as a villain, but rather someone who’s lost and wants people to respect his own kind.
If you got the Digital HD version then you've already seen this scene, and if you're waiting for the Blu-Ray/DVD version, it will be released to the public on October 4.