Redesigning a comic book character for a movie used to be so easy. You’d just directly rip off their costume from the comic book, make some adjustments so it looks a little less silly, and then add a few lines to the script about how the character knows they look silly. It’s called “being self-aware,” and it’s terrible. But it works. The other route is to ignore the traditional costume completely, but still reference the original costume in some way so the audience knows you’re dropping it on purpose. For more information, see the scene in the original X-Men were Cyclops makes a joke about Wolverine wearing yellow spandex.
We live in a post-Leto’s Joker world now, though, and crap like that will no longer cut it. Movie versions of comic book characters have to be in-your-face, over-the-top, and covered in tattoos. Not even X-Men: Apocalypse’s Nightcrawler—played by Kodi Smit-McPhee—is exempt from this rule, as evidenced by these preview images of how he’ll look in the movie. As you can see, instead of the traditional blue fur and tail, Nightcrawler now has a tattoo on one arm that says “Blue Fur,” and one on the other arm that says “Tail.” Along his chest you can see a cross—a reference his Catholicism—and an image of that scary face that Jake Gyllenhaal made in the movie Nightcrawler. Finally, the word “BAMF” is tattooed across his forehead.
Of course, he is blue, so a lot of those details are hard to see: