X-Men: Apocalypse, the followup to last summer's Days of Future Past, is just a few weeks out from beginning its shoot in Montreal, and as each week goes by, we learn of another mutant character from the Marvel Comics making an appearance.
Joining the returning leads from X-Men: First Class (James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult) will be a massive ensemble of newcomers playing younger versions of the many (most?) of the core X-Men characters and just last week Jubilee was also cast while rumor has it Psylocke may be announced soon as well. One character yet to be cast who we also know will be in the film is that of Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel.
Bryan Singer took to social media today, his preferred venue of choice for X-Men movie announcements, and shared a revealing piece of production art that confirmed Angel will indeed appear in X-Men: Apocalypse.
A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on
Note the bird trapped in a birdcage imagery, and the vendor on the bottom left selling concessions to the crowd. It's a show, and whether or not Angel is a willing participant is a key question, but not the key question. It's the when of it all that doesn't add up. Is this in the '80s? Are mutants in danger in this era due to the (very public) '70s events of X-Men: Days of Future Past when Magneto dropped a stadium around the White House?
X-Men: Days of Future Past used time-travel to essentially undo X-Men 3 - where Angel first appeared in the present day (played by Ben Foster) - and helped allow the franchise to further ignore the existence of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it was still chock full of inconsistencies. Angel being introduced in the '80s as a young adult would further add another inconsistency. Then again, we're not entirely sure anymore exactly when the bulk of X-Men: Apocalypse takes place and during what segments we meet the new, younger versions of Jubilee (Lana Condor), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). It's possible there are multiple time periods explored in the story.
A photo posted by Holly Lawson (@lilbearlawson) on
Now that time-travel is fair game in the X-Men film franchise, and its use brings Apocalypse into the fold, it's not hard to imagine creative ways it can be utilized again in Apocalypse - especially if the '80s set film plans to connect to Deadpool, Gambit and Wolverine 3 in some fashion. Hugh Jackman teased in December that there could be connections between Apocalypse and Wolverine 3 but things may have since changed.
Angel is a particularly important character when it comes to Apocalypse stories in the Marvel Comics since he was the first X-Men character to be kidnapped and brainwashed by Apocalypse to becoming one of his Four Horsemen, specifically as Death. It's this event where Angel is transformed into the far more lethal, blue-skinned, metal-winged Archangel (pictured below), a character that seems an obvious choice for inclusion in the films, based on his visual design alone. As a side note, Archangel is a personal favorite of Apocalypse actor Oscar Isaac.
One possibility is that Apocalypse gathers various different recognizable X-Men to serve as his Four Horsemen and perhaps he does this by gathering them from different time periods. That's one way to get Hugh Jackman's Wolverine involved in a key role again, one that's different for Jackman to play (as a villain). Wolverine of course, was at one point also the Horseman of Death (so was Gambit!) and that'd be one way to get Wolverine in a mask finally before Jackman says farewell to the character in 2017's Wolverine 3.
We'll leave the speculation up for discussion so join in on the comments and share your thoughts!
As for Angel, expect to find out who's playing the character very soon. It's possibly Ben Hardy (EastEnders) though, who was cast in a major unnamed role a month ago. All the film needs now is a younger Iceman and we'll have the five original X-Men all aboard, proving that Fox is successfully re-starting the entire franchise and building for the next trilogy of core installments after the current contracts expire with X-Men: Apocalypse.
2018's untitled X-movie might very well be an all-new X-Men with the original characters. All they'd need back is Beast (Hoult) and Professor X (McAvoy) to re-sign. That or said movie is actually X-Force and can make use of characters like Archangel or better yet, Cable - another rumored character often namedropped as a potential X-Men: Apocalypse character and who, of course, is a time-traveler with major ties to Apocalypse (and Deadpool...).
Stick around for more X-Men movie news in the coming days as production begins and casting rounds out on both Deapdool and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, Gambit on October 7 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.