How The X-Men Franchise Connects and can Reboot Infinitely

Bryan Singer, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy on X-Men: Apocalypse Set
Bryan Singer, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy on X-Men: Apocalypse Set

Later in the day on set, a very happy (after a wonderful day of shooting) Bryan Singer spoke excitedly and candidly about how this series, one that he started nearly two decades ago, can uniquely reboot itself, potentially over and over again, and all of that can still be considered "canon" because of what that means in the world of the X-Men. How did that - and the limitless possibilities now available - affect the development of X-Men: Apocalypse?

"Again, fucking with the reboot idea. I get to take control and reboot my own movie. I rebooted the universe so now anything can happen. So here's the plan, in my head, again giving away the plan because of the alcohol- The soda water. What happens when you use Days of Future Past to erase movies like X1, 2 and 3, yes you can erase those events that occurred, but I also was very adamant about having what we call 'The TiVo Scene' - The scene in that room with all the video cameras in Days of Future Past, I call it the TiVo scene.

'I developed this piece of technology that records television.' The point is, time's immutability. The idea that time is like a river. You can splash it and mess it up and throw rocks in it and shatter it but it eventually kind of coalesces and this is, again, theories of quantum physics. It's all based in quantum physics. So what I'm doing with these in-betweenqueels is playing with time's immutability and the prequel concept, meaning that yes we erased those storylines and anything can happen. That means the audience goes into the movie thinking that anything can happen. I mean anything, anyone could die. Any possibility could occur, but characters are still moving towards their immutable place.

Jean and Scott, are they meant to be together? Is Scott this guy who hates schools, who hates authority, destined to become a leader? You don't know. Is Jean ever going to discover the full potential of her power? You don't know, but we move in those directions character-wise but then we have the freedom story-wise to do whatever the fuck we want because we erased those three movies. So it's an amazing opportunity. It's an amazing filmmaking opportunity that nobody has done - well, I did with Days of Future Past and it enables me to do that. I can do anything I want. The prequel, you don't know where it's going and yet you do kind of know where you want it to go, where you want to see those characters end up, and that's the beauty of it, of Days of Future Past, of what it did for me. That's why I fought so hard to make sure we have that Beast, Hank McCoy talk about the theory of time's immutability, because that defines what I'm doing with this universe and with these prequels to X1, 2 and 3 which are erased or are they not? Does that make any sense?"

Given the idea of immutability of the larger timeline, what does that mean when it comes to the final scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past when Logan wakes up in a happier future and sees the older, original X-Men enjoying what appears to be a "happy ending"? Does that mean all the movies must lead to that result?

"Time can always be fucked with, we've now learned that. We've now learned that once you alter time that could be the future, but I don't believe if you look at all the X-Men movies and Days of Future Past, I don't believe that's definitive."

Simon Kinberg said earlier in the day that it was definitive, but Singer took the opposite stance, explaining that anything can still change:

"I'll kill any of those characters any day I want. They're all fair game. Anything can happen. When two things are happening simultaneously in quantum physics it's whats called the Super Position and when the Observer finally observes the outcome that's called the 'Collapsing of the Super Position' which is what happened when Wolverine woke up and saw all the happiness.

So, yes, that is the outcome we hope for. That is the outcome we aspire to and that's the outcome we are moving towards, but we saw in Days of Future Past another dark world. What says that can't happen again? What says the awakening of a being that has such power and can acquire the power to destabilize that? So anything is possible. That's what we'd like to think happen, that's what Simon would like to think is a good outcome, but to me it's fair game."

It's a great way to look at it, acknowledging that these limitations (of a defined outcome in the future) don't exist. Otherwise, the conclusion of each chapter in the larger universe can be somewhat predicted. Singer and any other director can do what they want, tell their own stories with characters and still be able to do the unexpected to take the audience on a ride. One that can go anywhere. Even space! But for now:

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