When Twentieth Century Fox and producer Lauren Shuler Donner brought director Bryan Singer back into the X-Men film universe with X-Men: First Class - a movie Singer was originally set to direct – little did we know that the man behind the first two X-Men films would end up working on an entire new trilogy of series installments. Singer of course, had to drop out of the First Class director’s chair due to scheduling with another project (Jack the Giant Slayer) and so Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) stepped in.
For the First Class sequel, an ambitious project that also doubles as a followup to the original X-trilogy, Singer and Vaughn trade spots as both of their roles expand. Singer is helming X-Men: Days of Future Past with Vaughn producing it and Fox’s other upcoming Marvel movie, Fantastic Four, while Simon Kinberg helps write both. This of course, is just a new beginning for the studio’s own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe where we’re going to see quicker releases between films and stories that span over multiple movies.
It’s because of that plan that Kinberg signed a three-year deal with the studio and it’s how he, Singer and writers Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, are already breaking the story for a Days of Future Past followup titled X-Men: Apocalypse, which will serve as the trilogy-closing installment for the younger First Class team.
We know from Singer’s brief teases of the next film that it’ll be an ’80s period piece (First Class was in the ’60s and Days of Future Past takes place mostly in the ’70s) meaning we’re going to again see slightly aged versions of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, James McAvoy’s Professor X and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast. We wouldn’t be surprised if ’80s Wolverine is in there too considering we’re seeing two versions of him in Days of Future Past.
What other mutant characters could we see on the ’80s X-Men roster fighting off against Apocalypse in a film that’ll feature the most “mass destruction” the franchise has seen and ancient mutants? According to Singer in an interview (translated) with Cine PREMIERE, he wants to bring back two familiar fan-fave characters from the comics.
“I’m considering a Gambit and potentially a young Nightcrawler for Apocalypse. [We were] going to have to Nightcrawler [in Days of Future Past] and even wrote a scene, but I felt that we were forcing too mutants known history.”
Gambit of course, was rumored to be a contender for introduction in X-Men: The Last Stand but that was before Singer – and funny enough, Vaughn too – left the project and Brett Ratner took over. The character did finally get an introduction in the spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch taking on the role, but suffering from the same adaptation issues most international characters face in the franchise – he lost his accent and wasn’t the “Ragin’ Cajun” fans know and love from the books. Take a look at Colossus, Banshee and Pyro for more examples of characters who didn’t get their signature accents either.
As for the one cool X-Men who did get a good translation into live-action, Nightcrawler, the lovable teleporter stole the screen in X-Men 2 when played by Alan Cumming only to never return again. Don’t be surprised to see a younger version of him, alongside Gambit, in Apocalypse. The real question is who will play them. If X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in the ’80s, that’s not far off from where X-Men Origins: Wolverine took place so Taylor Kitsch – who expressed interested in returning to the character – could come back. But then again, producer Lauren Shuler Donner is keen on making a Gambit standalone feature with Channing Tatum, who’s willing to do Gambit’s real Cajun accent.
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, Evan Jonigkeit along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore.
X-Men: Days of Future Past releases May 23, 2014, followed by Fantastic Four on June 19, 2015, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, The Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on July 14, 2017, and an unspecified Marvel film on July 13, 2018.
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Source: Cine PREMIERE (hat tip Smitty)