X-Men: Days of Future Past’s Post-Credits Teaser, Explained.

Slate's Culture Blog
May 22 2014 1:28 PM

The X-Men: Days of Future Past Post-Credits Teaser, Explained.

Beast and Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past
If you just saw the stinger, you might be thinking, "WTF was that?"

© 2013 Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved

If you’re familiar with the X-Men comics, you might have a good idea what’s going on in the post-credits scene after X-Men: Days of Future Past. If you’re not, you’ll probably react like most of the people in my theater, with a resounding “Wha?

(Spoilers ahead, obviously.)

If you haven’t seen the movie or didn’t stick around, here’s what it shows. The camera starts in a desert and closes in on a hooded figure standing on a giant sand dune, facing away from us. Crowds of hundreds bow to him below, chanting “En Sabah Nur.” As he raises his hands a giant pyramid begins to assemble in the air overhead. The camera pans around the figure to reveal his pale face and blue lips, as well as four horsemen standing on a hill in the distance. (I couldn’t quite make out the actor during his brief appearance, but he strongly resembles Aaron Taylor-Johnson, which could be a little confusing: Taylor-Johnson already appeared playing Quicksilver in Captain America: Winter Soldier’s post-credits teaser for the next Avengers.)

Here’s what it means. “En Sabah Nur” is the Egyptian name of one of X-Men fans’ favorite villains, Apocalypse. In the comics, Apocalypse grew up in ancient Egypt and has grey skin and blue lips. Typically, he is accompanied by four horsemen, loosely modeled after the Biblical Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Once you know that the sequel to Days of Future Past is titled X-Men: Apocalypse, it doesn’t seem hard to put two and two together.

We don’t know much about X-Men: Apocalypse, but Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer (who will return to the sequel) has said that it is “somewhat” based on the Age of Apocalypse storyline. It will also feature the younger cast (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult) of First Class. Singer added, to Entertainment Weekly:

Apocalypse deals with ancient mutancy. What would humans have thought mutants were? What would mutants think humans were? You’re dealing with gods and things like that. And what if one survived and what if that found its way into our world?

X-Men: Apocalypse is due out in 2016.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.