X-Men Apocalypse is full of superhero spectacle, but the most exhilarating moment belongs to Quicksilver (Evan Peters). The lightning-fast slacker runs off with Apocalypse thanks to a two-minute sequence set to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” in which — spoiler alert — he saves the students and teachers from the exploding Xavier school. EW takes you inside the scene of the summer.
Quicksilver’s incredible speed makes everything else seem comparatively slow, much like his signature moment in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. “We were shooting with the 3-D Phantom camera rigs in blast-shield cases, traveling at 80 miles per hour through sets that were exploding, shooting at 3,000 frames per second,” explains director Bryan Singer. “A flaming book, for instance, could fly past the camera slow enough for you to read a paragraph of the text. It’s really remarkable footage.” The demolition of the Xavier school was done through both CGI and controlled explosions on Apocalypse’s Montreal soundstages.
The technical difficulty of this two-minute sequence required Peters to work more than any other actor on Apocalypse. He spent a good portion of it on wires or in front of a wind machine. “Some of it [we shot] on a green treadmill,” Peters says. “Some of it is me running around and people frozen in mannequin poses. then we’d bring in Colin Follenweider, the Quicksilver stunt double, to do some of the flips and running on walls, the things I’m just unable to do physically. Colin is from Cirque du Soleil. He’s an incredible acrobat. He’s like a huge deal. He’s amazing. So it’s really cool. They bring him in for the intense stuff. Then they bring me in there and I just try not to mess it up. It’s a huge collaborative effort. And it’s a helluva lotta fun.”
Singer says he chose “Sweet Dreams” to both reflect the time period and the slacker’s own attitude. “To Quicksilver, it’s all a game. It’s like time stands still for him. So for him time and movement are not obstacles which is why he can fix someone’s hair or have a Tab. “
To continue reading more from the Ultimate Summer Preview Issue, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, or buy it here – and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.