Bryan Singer Adds ‘X-Men 2′ Writers To ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Team

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 21st, 2014 at 9:12 am,

X Men Apocalypse Movie Writers Bryan Singer Adds X Men 2 Writers To X Men: Apocalypse Team

Moviegoers have yet to see much on next year’s return of the original X-Men movie characters, when mutant heroes and villains from the first trilogy team-up with their younger X-Men: First Class selves in a multi-timeline battle to save the world. The first X-Men: Days of Future trailer, missing most of its special effects, teased the film’s massive ensemble cast facing dark times in the past and present, and as we learned from director Bryan Singer there may even be darker times ahead in the yet-to-be-officially-titled X-Men: Apocalypse followup coming in 2016.

It was a surprise announcement when Singer took to Twitter to namedrop one of the greatest X-Men villains from Marvel Comics (Apocalypse) as the central character in yet another franchise installment coming two years after Days of Future Past. Now we have a few more details on who will be writing X-Men: Apocalypse.

James McAvoy, playing the central figure in X-Men: Days of Future Past as a younger, troubled Charles Xavier, confirmed last week what we had heard previously in that he – and presumably the core cast of X-Men: First Class – are contracted to return for X-Men: Apocalypse. We also know that Bryan Singer, who announced the project, will be back directing.

Simon Kinberg, one of the co-writers and producers on the project,  just signed a 3-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox to help write and product larger Marvel stories for the studio that span multiple films and he’s involved as well. It was Kinberg, if you didn’t know, who pitched to producer Matthew Vaughn the idea of basing the next X-Men movie on the Days of Future Past comics story after all, based on the studio’s desire to see some familiar faces in the First Class sequel.

In what will be good news to fans of Singer’s early X-Men work, the director revealed last night that he and Kinberg will be joined by writers Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty in writing the story for Apocalypse.


Note the mention of Egypt, home of the 5000 year-old Apocalypse character (real name: En Sabah Nur). Little is known about the film version of the character but Singer did confirm that he will not be an alien. He could still use alien technology as in the comics.

Harris and Dougherty helped write X-Men 2 and were initially involved in writing X-Men 3 - with what sounds like a much better story than what we got – before Singer jumped ship to direct Superman Returns. Is this a sign that Singer truly is aiming to “fix” the broken continuity of the films using the time-travel plot device? Is the newly assembled team going to bring back elements from what they wanted to do with X-Men 3 to finish off this new trilogy?

According to the rumors of the setting and how Apocalypse is introduced, not likely. While nothing is official, and clearly the team is still working away on a story, one report had X-Men: Apocalypse picking up right where Days of Future Past left off but taking place mostly (or entirely) in the ’70s. Another conflicting report claims that the studio is aiming to bring back most of the Days of Future Past cast (past and present) for the Apocalypse battle.

At this point, it’s all sounding increasingly like speculation. What we can say is that to face a villain as dangerous and epic as Apocalypse, it would be strange to do so without franchise staples like Hugh Jackman and other members of the original trilogy. Apocalypse strictly relegated to the ’70s might feel out of place considering by then time travel will have already been introduced in the series.


More: What X-Men 3 Could Have Been


Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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!

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  1. But whyyy?! X2 was horrible. Sigh cancel all remainder X films and just bring on X-Force.

    • So says you.

      • X2 sucked. I’m so disappointed with what Singer has done with the X-men and now I’ll probably never get to see a good X-men film since he continues to be in charge and Fox has no clue what they’re doing with this franchise.

    • See, now this is a troll.

      • Says you. Apart from the opening Nightcrawler scene, X2 was terrible.

        • Agreed.

          I’d guess those who say X2 was a great movie either never saw it or stopped watching after that one Nightcrawler scene at the start.

          • X2 was good! Could have been way better though. Nightcrawlers scenes definately made the movie.

  2. Just…Make…Deadpool.

    • Yes! Please!

    • Just cannot wait to see how they make ‘this is what awesome looks like’ freaking awesome!

  3. This sounds interesting good news for the X-Men franchise. Especially Apocalypse won’t be a alien.

    X2 was one of the better films of the franchise imo.

    • X2 was the second worst if you don’t include the Wolverine spin-offs…

  4. I don’t understand, Days of Future Past hasn’t even come out yet so why the Apocalypse buzz so soon? Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for that but lets just wait for Days of Future Past first?

    • The only reason they announced it was to get some buzz after Wonder Woman was casted and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer dropped. Only reason.

      • They announced X-Men:Apocalypse before DC said who would play Wonder Woman and before they released the trailer.

    • I think they’re playing the social media buzz wars game against DCE, Marvel Studios & Sony since it was the biggest week of superhero movie news ever, lol.

      It’s also possible Apocalypse is Part Two of the Days of Future Past story…

      • Rob,

        I think you’re right. It has to be. It seems silly to create what is being called the most expensive comic book movie to date and then create a sequel that just uses First Class Characters again. The fact that it is being released in 2016 means they want both the old and young casts back to conclude the story.

      • If it winds up a 2 part story I really hope they bring Rogue back as a badass along with Gambit. That would be totally EPIC to finally have the versions of these characters we deserve. Bring back Anna and utilize her way better but replace Taylor Kitsch with someone else. Taylor couldn’t act himself out of being trapped in a barn.

  5. Am I the only one who thinks that when they finally catch this trilogy up to present time they should just pretend the first trilogy never existed? We could do with a whiny Cyclops and weak, teeny-bopper Rogue and we could also do with some Gambit! Oh and let’s not forget killing Professor X and “humanizing” Mystique and Magneto.

  6. I’m fine with Fox having the X-Men, overall they’ve done a decent job but I wished, for the love of god, they’d give up Fantastic Four back to Marvel. Or at the very least the cosmic characters like Silver Surfer, Galactus and whatever other sh*t they have.

    • I gotta agree that FF would be much better served at Marvel. As a superhero team themselves in terms of their powers and characters, they are pretty ludicrous, and very difficult to transform properly to screen in a believable and effective way. A stretchin man, an invisible woman, and a rock-skinned, uh, thing? Only Torch works well. But the main reason that FF would be better with the Marvel studio is that they have so many storylines and villains and characters who tie in with other major storylines that the Avengers have been a part of. Also, Doctor Doom is an awesome villain and who wouldn’t want to see him go toe to toe with Tony Stark/Iron Man? But with regard to scripts, well, I get the big impression, that most other people on SR are getting as well, that Fox is kind of feeling the heat from both the MCU and Sony/Spiderman, and lighting a fire under the X-Men franchise. They know that X-Men is a solid number 3 in terms of box office and buzz behind the MCU/Avengers and Spidey and need to grab the hype back. Of course, whether this is all a good thing or not remains to be seen. It sounds to me like they were kind of forced to show their hand with announcing Apocalypse earlier than they wanted to. They should have really worked on it in secret (to the extent that that is possible nowadays) and waited until DoFP was actually out or soon to be out to announce Apocalypse. Oh well.

      • I agree with you that Marvel/Fox showed their hand early. But can you blame them? Despite being the oldest ‘modern’ CBM franchise they’ve got A LOT of competition from their siblings over at Disney and Sony and their rivals over at WB/DC are starting to gain momentum. Flaunting Apocalypse was the best thing they could do to remain relevant. If Marvel/Fox wants to stay in the race they NEED for DOFP to live up to expectations and for the FF reboot to be good. Hopefully then they could move on to the good sh- like Deadpool and Cable.

        • no pressure though :D

  7. It will be interesting to see what Days of Future Past achieves and if, it could find a way to bring back the Phoenix (Jean Gray) as she was one of the more complex and interesting characters (Framke is also an amazing actress). Marvel have spoken about her rebirth (or second coming) for sometime.

  8. X2: X-Men United is one of the series best, and in my opinion the best.
    So this sounds like a good idea, but like Singer these writers also worked on Superman Returns which was lackluster at best.

    Hopefully like Singer, this would be a return to a world these writers understand. However, this is Singers third directorial outing and fourth work on the franchise while this will be a sophomore outing for the writers.

    I think the combining of the X2 writers along with those creative forces of First Class is a good idea in theory. We need to really wait to see how Days of Future Past turn out.

    On another note, I hope Apocalypse don’t relegate solely to the First Class timeline. It should be a massive event.

    • it definetly should!

      Apocalypse could even lead to a full trilogy, involving all cast on different periods, you know, first on the 80′s, then XForce and finally the final episode with all of them together, at least X-Men with Cable and crew.

    • Don’t quote me on this but I believe Singer said that Apocalypse will be with just the first class peeps. I’m fine with that.

      X2 is my fave X-film as well. To me its a no brainer. The only other X-film that comes even remotely close to it is First Class or maybe Singers first X-Men film.

      The movie is packed with incredible infinitely rewatchable scenes. Nightcrawler at the white house, bezerker Wolverine in the X-mansion, Magneto breaking out of jail, any scene with P Stewart or Ian Mckellan (those dudes are AMAZING!!), Pyro torching the cops, Death Strike, Mystique breaking into the complex disguised as Wolverine, Jean Grey parting the red sea *ahem* I mean alkali lake.. Amazing movie from start to finish, and in my opinion one of the best CBMs ever.

      *mic drop*

  9. I have read the “What X-Men 3 Could Have Been” article some time ago but after rereading I would like to comment, that at least the writer(s) have a strong idea of where to take that story of Phoenix and depicting Cyclops. We would never know how the story would have turned out movie-form but I think it still shows that these writers, at least at one point in time and perhaps still, have a lot to say and good potential ideas to bring to the franchise that is coming along

  10. It’s called X2, not “X-Men 2″ Screenrant.

    • Thanks Levi!

      For simplicity sake, we refer to it as that. Just like we mention Thor 2 and The Avengers 2 at times even though those are not the official titles.

      • Oh okay. Just making sure. I was pretty positive you guys knew that, so I was wondering why you called it “X-Men 2″ haha. Makes sense now.

  11. This apocalypse movie is a mistake. Days of Future Past is yet to be released – what if it flops or isn’t well received? Both situations are slightly possible at this stage. The X-men franchise is not as high profile as it was in the 2000s.

    At least wait and see how the next X movie does first.

    • And not to be too morbid about this, but every studio has to keep the Paul Walker factor in mind. At any moment one of their big stars, or directors or writers can die. Ones that you built franchises around and planned movies in advance for. It can happen! So as a studio investing ungodly amounts of money that you hope to make back in profit, you have to be careful in leaving yourself with many options and not committing anything too early to the game. Now, writing a script is pretty cheap relatively speaking. Sure, the best writers are paid well, but nowhere close to what actors and directors get. It’s a bunch of guys or a guy sitting around on laptops putting down words. They can do what they want. The script will likely be changed many times. By many people. So really it doesn’t mean much until they start casting, making other announcements and then actually filming.

    • @lebsta,

      That’s a formula for franchise death in this day and age.

      Fans expect movies every year or two. If Fox didn’t start putting together a story for a followup until next summer, there’d be four years in between movies – meanwhile, Sony and Marvel Studios put out 1-2 annually.

      • @Rob.

        Yep I agree, but there are only certain franchises that can get away with this approach. (Almost anything Marvel, Transformers, Fast and Furious)

        The X-franchise now isn’t as box office reliable – in terms of the current grosses attained by other comic book movies.

        First Class didn’t even gross $400 million. I may be wrong I get the sense the First Class characters will get more screen-time than the previous X-men cast.

        There’s also the issue of the Apocalypse story and how it will work? Will Wolverine do something in DOFR to spark off yet another alternate timeline?

  12. This hype train that Singer has constructed needs to slow its roll before it derails. X-2 was not very good, so I have no faith in the writers creating something that is interesting and not convoluted.

    • Yeah, this whole train that not just Singer is running but the whole comic book movie thing is on is going to come crashing to a halt soon. And the reason why is geek overload. I mean, we’re all geeks here who either read comics, or know a lot about them, or have read all the articles here on SR talking about the different characters and subplots. But the problem is that average Joe filmgoer (and there are more of them than there are of us) has zero clue who Apocalypse is, or the Collector, or Thanos is. Most are probably still wondering who the hell that was at the end of the Avengers. And I’m sure a lot of people are still puzzled as to who that was at the end of Thor 2 and what the heck is going on. The studios have to tread a very fine line (which is nothing new, it’s been mentioned a lot) between being faithful to the source material and the hardcore fans and producing something that the average person with no background can understand and enjoy. It hasn’t come yet, but it has to. The problem with Fox is that the X-Men is even more geekier and esoteric than the other stuff out there. A lot of the mutant stuff was kind of fought in their own little world. A lot of that old Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio and Rob Liefeld stuff, to me, was just cool looking people fighting other cool looking people. It became harder and harder to relate to it and became more or more meaningless. You didn’t know why they were fighting and you cared even less. The comics got more expensive, they certainly looked prettier but the stories became more and more shallow. Magneto and Xavier go from enemies to friends and back so often it was worse than pro wrestling.

  13. I’m actually very excited for DOFP. I have prepared myself for any continuity changes or story adaptions. I know longer expect the films to be like the comics and it helps me appreciate/enjoy them more. I have a feeling that DOFP will give fans what we’ve been wanting for some time now. But concerning this Apocalypse stuff, Bryan Singer is strategically trying to steal the spotlight from other comics book movies and it’s working kind of well. He’s announced some majot X-Men things or debuts of other relevant franchise. Has anyone realized that we haven’t heard a word about Captain America ever since DOFP, MOS 2, and ASM2 has been announced. Poor Captain, LOL.

    I don’t particularly agree with Apocalypse being solely contained to the 70s timeline. The X-Men or the Brotherhood aren’t strong enough (in my opinion) to go against someone as powerful as En Sabah Nur, especially if he’s using Alien technology. But all this is not confirmed. Plus, if they use him in the third installment of First Class, it doesn’t mean he won’t turn up in X-Men 4 or 5 with the original X-Men franchise. I don’t care how they adapt the stories, as long as Cyclops and Jean Grey are brought back, Rogue is given her powers, other characters get as much screen time and heroic action as Wolverine and Gambit and Nightcrawler return the to franchise. Also, give me Jubilee.


  14. I feel like showing apocalypse in a button scene would have made all the geeks in the audience blow there need wad…excuse my vulgarity.

    Does anyone know who owns the rights to Ms. Marvel? Isn’t that who rogue got her flying and strength powers from?

    • Pretty sure Marvel owns the rights to Ms./Captain Marvel since she’s predominantly an Avenger.

  15. Get Dennis Haysbert

  16. Good, since they are bringing back people, why not bring back Cyclops and give the viewers what they really want?

    • Because when it comes to the X-men, Fox/Singer rarely if ever give us what we really want.

  17. I know that this is pure speculation, but another website mentioned the possibility that Singer may be adapting the Age of Apocalypse story line published in the 90′s, if that turns out to be the case, all I can say is that I’ve read X-men Age of Apocalypse when I was 13 years old, it was the most epic story arc I have ever read in a comic book. I remember reading it and picturing in my mind as if it were a movie and I thought back then that if it would be adapted properly into a movie the result would be an epic motion picture event. Once again I dont know if Singer and Co intend to adapt this specific story arc, but it would be a shame if that’s not their intention, because it has such an amazing potential for a great movie, but maybe not in Singer’s hands, I dont think he has what it takes to achieve that final result, a greater director like Peter Jackson or James Cameron would be more fitting.

  18. I just want to see Cyclops, Archangel ,Gambit and Rogue have some story. By the time they bring them back they will have no good story lines for them I mean they already miss out on all the Sentinel smashing. They need to bring them in now.

    • Actually I’d like to see Gambit and Rogue with their own spin-offs, since they lack any well constructed screen time and its less than likely that will be amended within the core story lines. Gambit would likely be easier to pull offs.

      and someone asked for Jubilee ? I swear there was a likeness of her in the final seen of X2, amidst the group of mutant children who were sitting with Xavier. At the time I thought there was too much focus on her for it to just be an extra.

  19. Not that anyone cares but I’ve decided I’ll wait until Sky Movies Premiere shows DOFP so I can watch it for free and not have the abject disappointment and waste of cash that I felt when I paid to see First Class at the cinema.

    The only X-Men movies they got right was The Wolverine but apparently, a lot of people here hate good quality movies and prefer cheesy, cringe-worthy, hard to watch guff like the original X-Men trilogy and First Class (I mean, it also helps explain the hatred for IM3 but the love for The Avengers too).

    I don’t want Disney/Marvel Studios to get hold of the franchise, I just want it to fall into the hands of people at Fox who care about it and who will put forth nothing but the very best they can write for public consumption.