It's still not "official," but Fox is expected to reveal some major news and increase the hype surrounding Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past at their Comic-Con 2013 panel this Saturday, and rumors are indicating that it might have something to do with the immortal mutant Apocalypse.
A quick recap of what we know so far: the bulk of the cast of the first three X-Men films will be featured in DoFP along with the main players of X-Men: First Class in a time travel story based on the beloved 1981 comic book story by Chris Claremont.
Faced with a dystopian future world where mutants are hunted down and exterminated by killer robots called Sentinels - the invention of one Bolivar Trask (to be played by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) will send Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to the 1970s in an attempt to prevent this future from happening. Chaos presumably ensues.
It seems we have the broad strokes of the plot, but so many details remain a mystery. That's not stopping one more rumor from resurfacing - a "source" has told MovieWeb that perennial X-Men villain Apocalypse will be involved with Days of Future Past, and will be a powerful presence in subsequent cinematic adventures within this universe. So sayeth this anonymous source:
"He's definitely a big part of Fox's whole plan for a big 'X-Men' universe with spin-off movies. 'The Avengers' really is the template here."
When asked if, indeed, Apocalypse will show up in Days of Future Past, the source responded:
"I won't say too much about that. You'll just have to wait and see."
And you know what? We argued for this character's inclusion some time ago. In the comics, Apocalypse is "the first mutant," originally a slave known as En Sabah Nur. His shape-shifting ability made him immortal and nearly invincible. He eventually integrated alien technology to become the insidious Apocalypse, proving to be a major antagonist for the X-Men for thousands of years. Apocalypse's 'survival of the fittest' mentality could prove a challenge even to Magneto (to be portrayed in two different time periods by Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender), whose role in the first three X-Men films has depended on his commitment to putting mutants before humans.
Normally, rumors like this should be taken with several tons of salt. However, this time, various signs point to its validity. The nature of Apocalypse appears to dovetail with comments Bryan Singer made in an interview with Bleeding Cool several months ago:
"The movie is about destiny. What is your fate? What were you supposed to do, what should you have done when you were younger? What didn’t you do that would have made for a better future? And what if you could go back and change that?"
This theme - applicable to basically every thinking, feeling human in existence - could certainly use a powerful opposite force like Apocalypse. And while Singer wouldn't confirm this villain's presence, his responses were either a carefully-designed series of red herrings or genuine, on-the-spot awkwardness, e.g. “I can’t tell you” and “This is how it gets started, when somebody starts piecing the little bits together…”
It's probably a safe bet that Apocalypse will have a long-term, epic arc as a villain in multiple X-films, along the same lines as Thanos in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. And while we haven't seen much at Comic-Con beyond a display of the rather disturbing Sentinel heads, Fox is certain to try and blow everyone's mind this Saturday with their official panel.
20th Century Fox hosts their panel at Comic-Con 2013 on Saturday, July 20th.
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23rd, 2014.