Almost exactly twenty years ago, way back in the mid-nineties when Ace of Base were topping the charts and everyone was wearing flannel for ill-explained reasons, Twentieth Century Fox obtained the movie rights to the characters of Marvel's X-Men. These rights were put to use in 2000, when Bryan Singer's X-Men was released and became one of the first movies to pave the way for the comic book mania that has currently taken over the film industry.
Singer's third X-Men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, isn't even out in theaters yet, but already there's plenty of speculation on the multiple X-Men movies that are in the early stages of development. Namely: X-Force, X-Men: Apocalypse and another Wolverine spin-off. Producer Lauren Shuler also has Channing Tatum onboard to play Gambit in a standalone movie, and is trying to convince Fox to give it a green light.
Much of the speculation has been based on unconfirmed rumors, and so in an interview with Empire Singer has set the record straight on a couple of issues regarding X-Men: Apocalypse. Unfortunately for those who were eager to get a glimpse of Apocalypse as early as this May, the director has said firmly that he won't appear in a post-credits sting for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Nor will Apocalypse appear as an alien that arrives on Earth to possess Magneto or anybody else. Singer was apparently a little baffled by the rumors, saying, "People were concerned we were making Apocalypse an alien. It's odd. I don't know where that came from."
In the comic books, Apocalypse hails from Ancient Egypt and is the first ever mutant. He is immortal and possesses a staggering amount of power, including superhuman strength and virtual invulnerability to harm, the ability to fly and teleport, and control of his body at a molecular level that enables him to transform himself at will. He has other powers as well, but all you really need to know is that he's a certified badass and the usual Marvel superhero method of putting him in a big transparent cage probably won't be effective (not that it ever is). Singer says that the introduction of an ancient mutant will open up a huge amount of interesting new ideas to explore.
"One thing that interests me is the notion of ancient mutants. What would people thousands of years ago, without the benefit of science, think mutants were? And more importantly, what would mutants thousands of years ago think they were? Gods? Titans? Angels? Demons? And if such mutants did exist thousands of years ago, what became of them? Did one survive?"
Aside from debunking rumors, Singer also offers some concrete details on X-Men: Apocalypse. It will be a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past, rather than another spin-off movie, and will feature the younger versions of characters like Xavier, Magneto and Mystique, but not the older versions of them. It's also worth keeping an eye out for foreshadowing in X-Men: Days of Future Past, as Singer says that, "What happens in this movie brings about what'll happen in [X-Men: Apocalypse]."
Singer is co-writing and producing X-Men: Apocalypse, and is currently negotiating for the director's chair as well. X-Men: Apocalypse is currently set for release in 2016, which is a long time to wait, so in the meantime enjoy this new image of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) tending to an unconscious Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).
X-Men: Days of Future Past has a huge cast of mutants - enough to fill 25 individual covers of Empire's special X-Men issue, but Kitty Pryde in particular played an integral part in the original comic book arc. As well as combining both the young and old versions of many of the main characters, X-Men: Days of Future Past will also have a time-travel plot that may or may not involve multiple timelines and... well, let's just hope it all makes sense on-screen.
Share your theories on how X-Men: Days of Future Past will tie into X-Men: Apocalypse in the comments.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is out in theaters on May 23, 2014. X-Men: Apocalypse is expected to release in 2016.