Bryan Singer is calling the shots on the followup to X-Men: Days of Future Past, titled X-Men: Apocalypse, with a cast that includes several new X-Men franchise actors. The director made the trip to Washington D.C. this past weekend – attending the Correspondents Dinner with Apocalypse cast members Sophie Turner (the young Jean Grey) and Tye Sheridan (young Scott Summers/Cyclops).
However, Singer and company are now back on the Montreal studio space used for Days of Future Past as production on Apocalypse gets underway – right on schedule, too. To celebrate the occasion, the first official image showing Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) – costarring in Apocalypse as the young Kurt Wagner – in his full Nightcrawler get-up for the film has been unveiled.
Singer posted pictures from his DC trip with Turner and Sheridan on his Instagram account (see: their visit to the Lincoln Memorial), along with a video showing off McPhee’s Nightcrawler and his teleporting capabilities – noting that today is the “First day on set!” for the Apocalypse film production – before a different video of the young Kurt Wagner was posted through the official X-Men Movies Twitter account.
Both videos have since been removed (“Catch him before he’s gone…”, get it?), but we have screenshots from both clips, below (click for the enlarged version). McPhee has also posted an official Nightcrawler image on his own Instagram account, for the time being.
McPhee’s Kurt Wagner has a haircut befitting a young adult (mutant) in the 1980s – where the story for Apocalypse will take place. Otherwise, though, his makeup style and physical appearance seems to be in keeping with Alan Cumming’s look as the older Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United (as well as past comic book/cartoon TV series versions of young Kurt). That’s unlike Nicholas Hoult as young Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast, whose exterior is expected to continue evolving in Apocalypse from his Days of Future Past appearance.
McPhee recently offered assurances that elements like the character’s religious faith will be carried over in Apocalypse, while teasing that Kurt may still be the son of Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) in Singer’s new X-Men film – or, failing that, that the pair may be related in some other fashion. However, for the time being, that’s not confirmed, so keep that in mind while speculating about how Kurt Wagner fits into the story for Apocalypse.
Days of Future Past and Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg also took to Twitter to commemorate Apocalypse beginning production – having posted an image showing a theater marquee that lists Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi as “Now Showing,” with the tease “Back to the 80s…” It sounds as though Apocalypse will pick up specifically in 1983 (or possibly early 1984), then, in keeping with the tradition of having each X-Men: First Class film trilogy installment take place almost exactly ten years apart (First Class in the early 1960s, Days of Future Past in the early ’70s).
Apocalypse, like its predecessors, will reportedly incorporate the political climate of its setting into its narrative – wherein the powerful mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who was glimpsed in ancient times during the Days of Future Past post-credits scene, re-awakens in the ’80s. It’s heavily speculated that Apocalypse’s return could be a ripple effect from the timeline changes in Days of Future Past, meaning that not every X-Man’s fate will be so fixed as some fans might otherwise expect.
X-Men: Apocalypse will bring back James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Lucas Till as Havok and Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert.
Joining the cast are Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, Tye Sheridan as young Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as young Storm, Sophie Turner as young Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-McPhee as young Nightcrawler, Lana Condor as Jubilee, Ben Hardy as Angel and Olivia Munn as Psylocke. X-Men Apocalypse is written by Simon Kinberg (Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four (2015)), Dan Harris (X2) and Michael Dougherty (X2), and is directed by Bryan Singer.
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12th, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27th, 2016, Gambit on October 7th, 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3rd, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on June 9th, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13th, 2018.