What Simon Kinberg Learned From X-Men: Apocalypse

Simon Kinberg talks the importance of human versus global stakes and suggests that scale and scope don't matter in a good film.

X-Men Apocalypse - Oscar Isaac Destruction

X-Men: Apocalypse wasn't the most poorly received of the X-Men films, but it came awfully close, ranking only a step up from X-Men: Origins - Wolverine in critics' approximation. Even without adjusting for inflation, the film's domestic box office did more poorly than the original film in 2000. Considering the current popularity of the superhero genre, not to mention the incredible success of 20th Century Fox's own DeadpoolApocalypse's disappointing metrics were undoubtedly its own doing.

While the success or failure of a film can be attributed to a team effort, writer/producer Simon Kinberg could rightly be served a massive slice of the blame pie. With rumors recently abounding that he would be making his directorial debut for the follow-up film, X-Men: Supernova, many fans have had rightful doubts. Fortunately, Kinberg is extremely forthcoming about the mistakes he made on Apocalypse and seems to be learning from them.

In a recent interview with, Kinberg talks about what went wrong in the most recent X-chapter, and how he plans to rectify it in the future:

"As the writer of it, I thought when we started the movie and when I wrote the movie that we were telling the story of a family splitting apart and coming back together. In the final movie its in there, but it’s a little buried, and the movie on the surface became about a guy who wanted to destroy the world. The guy that wanted to destroy the world is a superhero movie from 25, 30 years ago. Today’s superhero movies that we love the most –the Dark Knight movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, the first Iron Man movie, those are movies about human beings in relatable circumstances that happen to have super powers.

Fantastic Four - Michael B Jordan and Simon Kinberg
Michael B. Jordan and Simon Kinberg on the set of Fantastic Four (2015)

"I think Apocalypse became more about global stakes than human stakes. That’s the lesson I learned from the movie, that human and personal stakes always trump global stakes. It’s something that Bryan did, if you go back to the first X-Men movie, what Magneto’s trying to do is something global in scale, but ultimately it’s about saving Rogue. The movie is about Wolverine and Rogue, a guy who doesn’t want to be connected to anybody and a girl who’s lost. They find each other, and in finding each other they find each other with the X-Men. It was a brilliant way of telling that story. I think with Apocalypse we got away from that a little bit. Maybe we all got a little enamored in the possibility of seeing the world get destroyed and do some things in terms of scale and scope that we haven’t done in the X-Men movies. Scale and scope don’t matter. Audiences today know it’s fake, they’ve seen the world blow up a million times in video games and movies."

Even the best artists don't always bat 1000, so hopefully, fans will be willing to give Kinberg the benefit of the doubt on Supernova. Despite being involved in a number of high-profile failures (X-Men: The Last Stand), Kinberg also has some legitimate hits under his belt (X-Men: Days of Future Past). He certainly has the experience to validate an ever increasing role in the franchise. Let's just hope that experience has improved his consistency.

Do you think Kinberg is a good pick for Supernova? Let us know in the comments section, and stay tuned to Screen Rant for all the latest updates on the X-Men series as they hit.


NEXT: X-Men: Supernova - Simon Kinberg on the Possibility of Directing

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