It’s not clear yet what comes next for the X-Men movie franchise after Wolverine 3 (starring Hugh Jackman) in 2017, but we know what’s ahead for the property in 2016. Deadpool and Gambit solo films are going to be released next year before and after, respectively, director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse: the conclusion to the X-Men: First Class trilogy (and certainly the biggest X-Men live-action feature to date).
Production has begun on Apocalypse, which catches up with the younger Professor X/Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto/Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), and Mystique/Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence) in the early 1980s, when a new threat emerges in the form of a newly-awakened ancient mutant known as Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac).
Apocalypse, as X-Men comic book/cartoon fans are well aware, is perhaps THE most powerful mutant of all time, and one who has a massive God complex for it. In fact, Apocalypse is a bit like the movie he’s debuting in, as illustrated by the way Singer described his new X-Men film to Empire:
“It’s a big monster of a movie. The stakes are so high and global and the villain is so mythic. It’s definitely an X-Men movie, but it really feels different.”
Charles, meanwhile, has restarted his academy for young mutants, following his life-changing experience during the time-travel storyline from X-Men: Days of Future Past. New concept art released from Apocalypse shows Professor X in his wheelchair and admiring the newly-built X-Men’s jet engine alongside two other people (including, presumably, Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult)), as well as shaggy-haired Charles wearing the Cerebro helmet – suggesting that he will not be bald yet, when Apocalypse picks up in the 1980s.
The last pic appears to show Apocalypse, awakening in the film’s present-day setting – as one of the pyramids he constructed thousands of years ago (a process that was shown happening during the Days of Future post-credits scene) is now an underground relic of ancient history… a bit like himself.
Click for Full-Sized Version:
We’ve already gotten to glimpse some of the younger mutant students under Charles’ watching in Apocalypse, thanks to leaked set images that’ve shown characters like young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) – not to mention, the official image released that revealed Kodi Smit-McPhee as young Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler. Apocalypse co-screenwriter Simon Kinberg spoke to Empire about how the future X-Men – like Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp) – figure into the main storyline for Apocalypse – and how they’ll differ from their older counter-parts in X-Men films past.
“They’re as much a part of the movie as our main cast. Scott is not yet the squeaky-clean leader. Storm is a troubled character who is going down the wrong path in life. And Jean is complex, interesting and not fully mature. It’s fun to see someone struggling with their powers when you know one day they’ll become the most powerful person in the world.”
Will we get to see these young actors settle into playing these mutants for more than one X-Men movie? Well, for now, that’s not at all clear – and rumors about the X-Men franchise getting rebooted after 2017 aren’t making the picture any clearer, either…
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 (X-Men: 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.