Bryan Singer Will Direct ‘X-Men: Apocalypse'; Film Set in ’70s

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 21st, 2014 at 9:14 am,

X Men Comics Art Villain Apocalypse Bryan Singer Will Direct X Men: Apocalypse; Film Set in 70s

Out of the blue, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer revealed last week that another franchise installment is coming in 2016. The X-Men: Apocalypse teaser preceded news that co-writer Simon Kinberg had signed a three-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox to help guide their own Marvel Cinematic Universe by writing/producing stories that span multiple films.

It all begins with Days of Future Past next summer, a time travel story that involves both the casts of the original X-Men trilogy and the younger cast from X-Men: First Class. Rumors last week pointed towards X-Men: Apocalypse serving as a direct followup that would aim to bring back nearly everybody, along with a few new faces, but as we learned today that may not be the case.

Vulture has the scoop on Bryan Singer returning to direct X-Men: Apocalypse which comes as no surprise since we heard previously that it was him and Kinberg who were already planning out what the next X-Men team-up would be about. What is surprising is that they claim to have confirmed that X-Men: Apocalypse will be strictly set in the ’70s following the events of Days of Future Past, meaning no post-apocalyptic future and original X-Men returnees. This directly contradicts Bleeding Cool’s insider who claimed future/present team members would be back as well. At this point, it’s all unofficial and a lot of the rumors sound increasingly like speculation.

If Vulture is correct however, this answers the question about how Fox will get the entire cast to return since if it’s focusing mainly on the First Class stars, they all initially signed with multi-picture contracts for a trilogy. Think of Apocalypse as X-Men: First Class 3 and think of Days of Future Past as a big budget investment (possibly the most expensive superhero film ever made) as a way to boost the brand appeal and box office results, leading into Apocalypse.

X Men First Class Characters 570x209 Bryan Singer Will Direct X Men: Apocalypse; Film Set in 70s

The ’70s set X-Men: Apocalypse story could however, still involve younger Wolverine if Singer and Fox are hoping to involve Hugh Jackman and could still involve a few mutants from the future – namely the time-travelling characters from the comics, Bishop (Omar Sy) and Cable (yet to be confirmed or introduced). Singer and Kinberg could get creative as well with Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen and grab popular mutant characters from Marvel Comics from different time periods in the film universe.

We were hoping for something a little more grand than what this news (if true) paints a picture of. It seems strange to go from Bolivar Trask, Sentinels, time travel and seemingly all of the X-Men to a more closed off story set only in the ’70s, where the continuity of the films is already so far gone from the stories in Marvel Comics. That’s a bit of a waste of the greatest X-Men villain, no? If Days of Future Past is meant to “fix” the timeline in a sense, according to Singer, than having Apocalypse as [spoilers] only in the past isn’t the most logical for the future of the franchise.

X Men Fantastic Four Universes 570x294 Bryan Singer Will Direct X Men: Apocalypse; Film Set in 70s

With Fantastic Four being rebooted in 2015, not involving them in some way (Fantastic Four & X-Men team up against Apocalypse in the Ultimate comics) would also be a wasted opportunity. That is of course, assuming Apocalypse is defeated in X-Men: Apocalypse. He could be a villain for years to come and part of a future crossover event. Time travel and alternate realities open many doors for the series. Read our thoughts (and some potential major spoilers) on how X-Men: Days of Future Past may directly tie into X-Men: Apocalypse here:


More: How X-Men: Days of Future Past Leads to Apocalypse


The Wolverine is now available on home video, X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23, 2014. Fantastic Four opens June 19, 2015X-Men: Apocalypse releases May 27, 2016 release.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie & TV news!

Source: Vulture

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  1. This is what I’m hating about the new way of scheduling/announcing followup films in a series. They’re not even waiting until the one is out to announce the next one. OK, I know that no one’s dying and the good guys in just about every film, but this is not helping to sell the next film as the next big awesome thing if you already know that there’s going to be one after that. And one after that as well. Not only that, but none of this time travel stuff is convincing me that continuity errors are going to be fixed.

  2. The present of the cinematic xmen is a mess so I wont blame them for sticking to the past, also theyre probably tired of bringing back stewart, mckellan, barry etc and just wanna do a “soft reboot”.

    • Cody, who’s Barry?

      • I think he means Halle Berry.

        • That’s Halle Berry’s male alter ego 😛

        • You can tell I care so much by how in no way i checked how to spell her name.

          • Cousin of Dingle Berry?

    • IF they were tired of bringing them back, then why are they in the new movie? Might have something to do with not being able to raise enough money off of the two or three bankable actors from First Class.

    • AGREED.

      After watching the horrible Days of Future Past trailer, I was once again hopeful for the prospect of Apocalypse, their greatest villain. But that lasted a day, then we found out that it’ll just be Magneto possessed by Apocalypse, and I officially gave up on X-Men until Fox releases control. They have no idea what they’re doing. And WHY is Simon Kinberg all of a sudden in charge of Fox’s Marvel properties AND he’s writing scripts for Star Wars and heading up Rebels??? He has only written mediocre to bad screenplays at best.

      WHAT IS HAPPENING?!@$%*&#???

  3. I’m excited and pessimistic at the same time. Singer has yet to prove (in my humble opinion) that he’s worthy to handle this franchise.

    • Couldn’t agree more. As soon as it was confirmed Singer is involved I immediately lost all interest.

      • How can you guys say that? Because the first two X-Men films made some changes to characters and such? Fair enough there, but those are two of the best FILMS that have ever been made about comic book characters, and in my book Singer has tremendous credibility at the helm of the X-Men.

        • I didn’t mind some of the changes Singer made in the first two X-Men movies because after all, you can’t translate everything perfectly to film. My only problem with them is that they just seemed dull and uninspired to me. People talk about the first two X-Men movies as being “the best comic book movies of all time” but I just can’t see it.

          People say the Fantastic Four movies were bad but I’d say the first five X-Men movies (all of them up until The Wolverine basically) are of the same quality as those FF films.

          • I agree that the first 2 X-Men movies were not best of all time but they are up there. IMO X-Men 1 and 2 are way better than the FF movies. I will say that Fantastic Four 1 was horrendous while I enjoyed Rise of Silver Surfer much more. (Except for the cheezy dance scene of Mr. Fantastic)

            The Wolverine was a great movie but was still over-rated.

            I think my biggest problem of the X-Men franchise was the complete disregard for Cyclops (one of the most iconic and popular X-Men). Wolverine stole the show because they wrote him that way. I love Jackman’s portrayal and love the character but I truly believe had they heightened Cyke’s character importance and bad @ss-ness (like in the comics) that he would be a lot more popular, and, possibly, as much as Wolverine has become.

            Cyke should be there leading the team. Plus some of the best moments (action and dialogue in the comics) are through Logan and Cyke

            • Cyclops being a bad-ass must be something new, I never really liked him in the 80’s and 90’s. He always came off as a self-righteous jerk, hell Havoc couldn’t even stand him. As for the film version of Cyclops being a team leader the problem with that was there was never really a team dynamic set-up in the movie that made it necessary to make him seem like a master field commander. There were technically only three X-Men in the first movie and since they made them all teachers it created the appearance they were all on the same level. The few times they went on “missions” in the films against Magneto there was no sense of them being all that experienced fighting other mutants or anyone else for that matter.

              • Cyke is an expert martial artist, expert field commander and tactician, and can use his blasts to take out near impossible to hit objects. Such as using his beams to purposely riccochet off objects to hit a target and even hit superfast moving objects. In the comics, he is one of the few X-Men who can has the ability to take out his own entire team when ganged up on by his own team. Most villains can’t even withstand being ganged up by the X-Men but Cyke can. He is pretty Bad-A.

                I agree the movies didn’t present situations for Cyke to fight like he can or show his true leadership abilities. But that was my point. I wrote above that it is the fault of writing and producing of the X-Men movies that he was placed in the backseat. Would they did to Cyke is as bad as if they were to place Captain America in the backseat of Avengers importance.

            • I agree that Cyclops got the short stick, which is frustrating even more because I like James Mardsen. Also, I never liked Halle Berry as Storm; she always seemed really dull to me.

              I would agree that the FF films were more *fun* than the X-Men films, but in terms of general quality? Not even close in my opinion. X1 & X2 took the characters seriously (relatively at least).

              X2 is, in my book, the best film about mainstream comic book characters that has ever been made, this side of The Dark Knight. Not necessarily the most exciting or the best “comic book film” perhaps, but the best film *based on* a comic book.

        • I know right ? God fanboys suck the fun out of everything with their nerd rages -_-

      • I am glad that I am not the only who feels Singer is over rated and hasn’t done the best job with the franchise. In my opinion the First Class has been one of the better movies. Unfortunately it seems that the franchise is going the way as most comic movies…too many characters and less focused on the great stories that can be told. Singer isn’t going to be the answer.

    • @ k(Bläck) I went to somewhat interested to pessimistic. No Cyclops/Jean? No Colossus? Havok as a father to Cyclops?

  4. Admittedly I don’t really know squat about X-Men outside of the movies.
    What I have learned (thanks Screen Rant) is that X3 was as bad to fans of the Comic Books as it was to us unfamiliar with the books and the continuity is a big mess.
    I still read this article as all good/great news though.
    DoFP will get a sequel. Continuing the great (re) start of FC.
    Bryan Singer is staying with the franchise he made great.
    Just tell me Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine again and I’m all in.

    • But if you take a great restart and mix it back in with muddled crap don’t you end up with mediocre at best nothingness? LOL


      • There is definitely a lot of pressure on Singer and co. to promote an awesome movie because they’re going and incorporating the DoFP storyline with the First Class cast suggests that either they don’t fully trust them with their own sequel or that they realized that there were some questions raised about whether or not First Class fits in with the existing X-men universe, etc. The problem is that from the beginning they should have either said it was a complete reboot or they shouldn’t have. They knew what fit and what didn’t fit. And yet, still proceeded to create something that was kind of in the middle, in other words a bit of a mess. Now you’re trusting the same people who created the mess (Remember, Bryan Singer was going to direct X-M:FC) to also fix it?

  5. I definitely feel that there is going to come a time in the next couple years where the comic book film backlash kind of starts and it’s because of these films getting a bit too geeky. The kind phrase is “fan service”. Of course, this is a constant issue with any kind of geek film series with a large built-in fan base, be it sci fi stuff like Star Wars/Trek, or Tolkien on the fantasy side or the comic books. It can’t be helped. Screenwriters are drawing a lot of their ideas from the comics. Hell, comic book writers themselves are doing a lot of the writing now. There’s nothing against using the most recent comic book ideas to help modernize or flesh out some of these characters and stories. But you continue to have to wonder how this is all going to look to the average film-goer who doesn’t know any of this stuff. Who’s the guy on each movie who sits back and says “Whoa, guys, would this make any sense to someone who hasn’t read anything or know anything?”

    • The actual backlash is going to be from all the hack’d badly written stories they are putting on the screen and people are going to not only want to see them anymore they are also not going to want to read the comics anymore cause the comics are trying to mimic the movies.

      I rather have a well written comic book geek story that is good and bit complicated than nonsense for the sake of making money. But that is me.

      And I don’t get why a fan of a comic is called a geek but a fan of a well written series of novels ( i.e Agatha Christie or Dickens or even Shakespear ) are considered intellectuals.

      Comics are often times creative, well built and intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving when done right ( i.e. Days of Future Past ).

      Its long time we stopped using “geek” and “fanboy” in my opinion.

      • Spoke the words exactly of what I was thinking Taychon.

        Backlash will be at the poorly written stories and the overdoing it of the same ole characters.

        I think the big deal for me is that the movie franchise is X-Men, not the Wolverine, Magneto, and Professor X show.

        I love all the actors and their portrayals of those characters. But there are so many stories out there and many key characters in the X-men universe. Hopefully DOFP will deliver with more on the likes of Storm, Colossus, Kitty, and Iceman. Hopefully the movie is not too riddled with Wolverine, Magneto, and Professor X. Give other characters their due.

    • I don’t see the backlash until maybe sometime after 2020. By then, Disney will be in Marvel Phase 85, Spiderman will be working on its third reboot, and Justice League would have been released and bombed because Synder and his vision destroyed it. Honestly, considering that Xmen started this whole comic book craze I feel they have a chance to survive but not this way. Fox and Singer need to say “Guys we are going to start this thing over.” Have the reboot include the characters from the 90’s tv series that everyone loves INCLUDING GAMBIT!!!!

      • While I disagree with your remark about Snyder, I do agree with what you said at the end, especially with including Gambit. To add to that, make him a stronger character than what we saw in Wolverine Origins. No offense to Taylor Kitsch but that was not the Ragin’ Cajun I grew up with.

      • While we are at it, I hope Rogue in DOFP will be the spunky southern belle with an attitude like in the comics and 90’s show. Her character was badly written in the first 3 movies.

      • Hear, hear! Gambit and Rogue reboot!

    • Yeah but you don’t see Peter Jackson changing, drastically, the story of Lord of the Rings or Hobbit. It is pretty faithful comparing the faithfulness of Fox’s X-Men franchise. Think of the backlash that people would have if origins, characters, and story were all changed greatly for those movies.

      Same with Star Trek. The reboot time travel gave the new series the liberty to play with stuff but it is fairly faithful reboot to the original important characters being there. It’s not like the new Star Trek movies took Spock and Kirk and under-utilized them and making them seem unimportant. That is what they did with the original 5 X-Men. (Cyclops, Jean, Iceman, Beast, and Angel)

      X-Men 1 should have used the original 5 from the comics no matter what story they were telling. Fox had a chance to kinda fix stuff by doing First Class. Yet they left out Jean Grey and Cyclops.

      Fox has had so many opportunities to change the story just enough but still remaining faithful to origin. They missed a lot of those chances and missed even more to fix them.

  6. If this means that they are sticking to the First Class cast, I’m happy to hear it. Nothing of real consequence is lost, IMO, by leaving behind the older versions of the same characters (well, other than Rogue and a couple of the others who were young in the original films). I would not say that Apocalypse is “wasted” by including him in a story set in the 70s, with Fassbender, McAvoy, Lawrence and hopefully younger Cyclops and Storm, etc.

    DOFP sounds promising, but I hope that for Apocalypse, the franchise gets off on a somewhat fresher path. In any case, though, I am glad that Brian Singer is set to direct. He’s done well with the X-Men films, by me.

    • However the article does point out that you create this whole other future timeline with characters that are only in that timeline and then in the next film completely shut that out seems weird. Of course, we have no idea what state everyone is in at the end of DoFP until we see the film, so a lot of this is speculative as to who is going to be in the next one and how they will engage Apocalypse.

  7. Off the top of my head it sounds like they are going to fix the future in which the mutants lose and i the process branch the timeline towards a future where the mutants had won and Apocalypse rules the earth.

    • in*

  8. Please get Kevin Grevioux to voice Apocalypse.

  9. They need to build Apocalypse saga in various movies, with the final one for Original cast and X-Force joining forces. Just one movie for Apocalypse and only for First Class cast is a huge mistake and a big wasted opportunity. Adult Cyclops, Gambit and Archangel HAVE to return and be part of it. So… fingers crossed that’s the big plan

  10. Maybe its because A LOT of fans loved (mainly) Fassbender and Lawrence in First Class.
    So maybe they think: “Why keep wasting screen time in their boring old and mature (respectively) selfs?, So from now on, lets “reboot” the franchise in the 70´s!”

    Thats what I think.

    • They can’t reboot the franchise by Singer constantly having to reference his own films. First Class was a reboot according to fans on the Internet and had so many either intentional or unintentional links to the original movies it was kind of hard to call it a reboot.

      Using an established time travel set-up from the comics to try and validate the First Class movie makes no sense since that film had nothing to do with anything established in print or any other media regarding the X-Men. Trying to reverse retcon some coherent story now for the few characters from First Class they are probably going to use again for whatever else they are going to attempt may just end up coming across like much of the series, random and not meant to move any larger story along.

      • a reboot according to them.. not according to me.

        • When did anyone involved in the production of First Class say it was a reboot? And if they did then they have gone back on that assertion by making Days of Future Past.

          • You got lost dude… I didnt say ,nor anyone in the production I think, First Class was a reboot.
            I wrote that Xmen Apocalype could be like a reboot for the franchise.
            Cause I remind you that key characters like Cyclops and Jean Grey are dead in the future.. plus the previous stuff I already said about Fassbender more likable for fans as Magneto than Sir Ian Mckeelen.. as well as Jen Lawrence as Mystique.

  11. You know, I kinda envision this happening the same way “Wolverine and The X-men” handling the story (or would have should it had been given a second season). I mean, the show started using the “Days of Future Past” storyline (with several changes, but kept the core story pretty much together), and teased “Age of Apocalypse” at the end of the last episode.

  12. I just hope Apocalypse looks the way it is portrayed in the comics and animated series. I would hate to see him as smoke, visions, or a blur such as in F42 or Green Lantern.

  13. Should have just reboot the whole franchise in line with Fantasic Four instead of trying to “fix” a past trilogys failures.

    • Brilliant, since the reboot of the FF seems to be off a great start. LOL.

      I think they need to put a lot of new people in charge of this stuff…to bad it won’t happen. If I see Halle Barry as Storm again I will screen. I don’t know why they just did not cast Meg Ryan as Rogue.

      I mean I pretty lost all hope when Kelsey Grammer was Beast. I kept waiting for Bebe N. to show up as Vera and Ted Danson to show up as Wonder Man…oh…and Rhea would have made a great Toad! *groan*.

      • Hey, Kelsey was a great Beast. His voice is pretty much what I always pictured whenever I read the comics.

      • You’re right on with Halle as Storm but I completely disagree with you about Grammar. IMO, his portrayal of Beast is the only thing worth seeing in X3.

        • I was thinking the end credits were the best thing about X3 LOL.

  14. Like the development of the DC/WB movie universe this whole Xmen movie franchise thing seems very rushed. However, they do seem to have had a grand plan in place for awhile now. I will reserve judgement till right after I see DOFP.

  15. I hope this 70s Apocalypse movie does NOT involve a younger Wolverine as part of the X-Men. It would make no sense in the X-Men film canon. The first time Wolverine meets the X-Men is in X-Men 1.

    The only reason Wolverine joining the team in Days of Future Past can work is because his future consciousness already knows of the X-Men — and it’s his future consciousness in his past body working with the team.

    If Wolverine’s future consciousness is returned to his present body at the end of Days of Future Past, then Wolverine should NOT be involved in the 70s Apocalypse movie. If he was involved, it would destroy the events of X-Men 1 when he joins the team for THE FIRST TIME.

    Come on Singer, please don’t ruin the story for the sake of a poster child.

    • I think praying for it not to be ruined at this point is like asking to win the lottery. Statistically pointless.

    • But time travel.

      Even if old Wolverine’s consciousness goes back to the future, there’s a chance the old X-Men – now knowing how strong and loyal he is – would recruit him then. Maybe he even remembers? Maybe not. They can write him in just as easily as they can write him out. It just depends on the story and studio demands and Jackman’s interest.

  16. I don’t understand the direction they’re going in, at all. How can this major conflict take place in the ’70s? It’s a big convoluted mess. I get that some of the key players are getting too old to resume their parts; I guess it’s better than my line of thinking which was to whirl them forward in time, replacing oldie Xavier and Magneto. This franchise needs a reboot, regardless of whether or not Days of Future Past is good.

    Ideally I’d like to see the rights go back to Marvel, but that isn’t gonna happen anytime soon.

  17. I’m a fan of the X-Men as much as the next guy. I do enjoy the movies that have been made thus far for what they are worth. I do own all of them simply because I love the super hero genre. Although having said that and regardless of me being a fan of these movies… I really just wish they would pull the plug. Sell the god damn rights back to Marvel. Let it be for a short bit. Start from scratch and do them justice down the road. I LOVE Hugh Jackman as Wolverine but for the love of god am I ever sick of all of the movies (minus First Class) being about him or giving him all the screen time. I don’t hate him at all I just really wish they would focus more on the other characters too. !*Cyclops*!

  18. @Levi

    Not exactly. It would just mean the “first class” time period was altered because Xavier sent Wolverine’s consciousness back in time (an alternate reality).

    • Yeah, they could go that route, too I guess. But establishing an alternate reality over halfway through a film series (AND it being a prequel — chronologically speaking in relation to the original trilogy) can make it pretty dang confusing.

  19. I’m really happy, I thought First Class was great and while I’m looking forward to DOFP, I was hoping the original cast wouldn’t be crowding Fassbender/McAvoy/and Lawrence forever. Have Jackman join them and make the X-men a period piece for the forseeable future.I don’t see how having it take place in the 70’s hurts Apocalypse or SInister.

  20. Thanos, Apocalypse, and if Darkseid appears or is teased in the Batman and Superman move, I’m going to flip.

    I don’t know much about X-Men, but isn’t Apocalypse supposed to be their biggest villain? Is anyone upset that they’re tossing him into this universe so soon?

  21. I don’t believe any of it. I think the confirmation of a 70’s setting is deliberate misdirection on Singer’s part.

    • are u sure?

      Fox seems to be in love with Lawrence and Fassbender right now

      I understand it, but…. isnt it possible to do one movie to each cast or what?

      They are doing 4 Avatar movies, Im sure they can do 2 big X-Men movies, one for each cast

  22. ALRIGHT!!! Apocalypse is not an alien, Bryan Singer set to return to direct it just hope he does not back out he knows how to work these x-men films. Also like I have been saying over and over I hope Bryan Singer bring back Cyclops, and uses Gambit since he said he is one character he would like to use in the films. Also Archangel has to be in this as well as Sinister. Singer was going to use Archangel in X-2 but now he gets a chance to use him and Apocalypse all in the same film I am extremely excited.

    • Yes, definitely bring back Cyclops in a big way for certain, and Mr. Sinister would be a pretty welcome character to appear as well. And throw in Omega Red for good measure, by thunder!

  23. That suck’s

  24. I didn’t much care for First Class, kinda was hoping they’d ditch the cast after DOFP.

  25. Say what you want… All the comicbook movies from Fox have sucked! I didnt mind The Wolverine tho. Every X-Men movie should ve had a reference to wolverine as a subtitle bc those movies were all about him. I didnt mind him or the actor but it wasnt all about him. Personally I think it would be refreshing to reboot the movies w/out Singer involved at all and give us a more realistic wolverine. A short hairy chizeled dude that always wreaks of cigars and no one ever wants to be around him and give him a bad ass fight scene but make the movie about all of the X-Men and not just Wolverine!!!

    • a g****** men

  26. I just hope they have Apocalypse’s four horsemen. If they don’t I will be disappointed. I’m tired of Magneto being the main villain. Bring on Mr Sinister, or Omega Red or even Moses Magnum. I hope Master Mold is in Dofp.

  27. Apocalypse looks like one of my high-school gym coaches…and about as friendly!

  28. oh good he can ruin the only good xmen movie every made (first class). bryan singer is a terrible director.