During production of X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg were already beginning to plan ahead for the film's followup which we now know as X-Men: Apocalypse. Before Days of Future Past even hit theaters, Apocalypse was given a 2016 release date - a smart decision by Twentieth Century Fox which paid off when Singer's return to the director's chair for Days of Future Past resulted in a big hit among critics and at the box office.
Plot and continuity issues aside, the X-Men franchise is in a good place once again, certainly a better place in news headlines than Bryan Singer found himself near the film's release. A scandal involving lawsuits and sexual abuse dominated the news cycle as Fox attempted to promote their biggest X-Men film in April and May, and the situation forced Singer to avoid any interviews with the press. He couldn't promote his own film but didn't stop the latest X-Men team-up from being a smash hit for the series.
Singer still however, worked away on the story for X-Men: Apocalypse with Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty, but rumors in June pointed towards the possibility that the studio may have wanted to distance themselves from the director, from a PR perspective, and go with someone else. Whatever the case was, Singer was always going to be a part of X-Men: Apocalypse, and now it's being confirmed that he will be back in the director's chair as well. According to Deadline, Singer has come to a deal with Fox and signed on to helm X-Men: Apocalypse, making this the fourth X-Men film he will have directed.
Singer and Kinberg haven't been shy about dropping hints and ideas for Apocalypse, previously confirming that it'll take place a decade after Days of Future Past and finally introduce what might be the X-Men's greatest villain from the comics. The '80s set film picks up from where DOFP left off and looks to introduce younger versions of key original characters including Cyclops and Jean Grey. There's also word that we could see some of the (older) original cast back as well in addition to Hugh Jackman who will of course return as Wolverine for Apocalypse as well as Wolverine 3, which may shoot immediately after.
Speaking with Yahoo however, Simon Kinberg answered fan questions about Days of Future Past and Apocalypse and emphasized that the next film will focus squarely on continuing the "past" (First Class) portion of story, and reiterated that they would have to recast the original characters to include them. As for the new characters we met in the future portions of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kinberg says we could potentially see them down the road again in other X-Men films.
We do know that Apocalypse, the character, is introduced as a result of the timeline changes in X-Men: Days of Future Past so we're still holding out hope that we get glimpses or hints of the future again as well, and better yet, an introduction of time-travelling characters like Cable, the future son of Cyclops. That last part just became a lot more relevant and likely given the news last week that Fox is going ahead with a Deadpool movie, also in 2016, since Deadpool and Cable shared a Marvel Comics series together.
X-Men: Apocalypse begins shooting in April so it won't be long until we learn more on the casting front.
Deadpool is scheduled to hit theaters on February 12, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. In other Fox/Marvel film news, Fantastic Four opens August 7, 2015, followed by Fantastic Four 2 on July 14, 2017.
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