Out of the blue, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer revealed last week that another franchise installment is coming in 2016. The X-Men: Apocalypse teaser preceded news that co-writer Simon Kinberg had signed a three-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox to help guide their own Marvel Cinematic Universe by writing/producing stories that span multiple films.
It all begins with Days of Future Past next summer, a time travel story that involves both the casts of the original X-Men trilogy and the younger cast from X-Men: First Class. Rumors last week pointed towards X-Men: Apocalypse serving as a direct followup that would aim to bring back nearly everybody, along with a few new faces, but as we learned today that may not be the case.
Vulture has the scoop on Bryan Singer returning to direct X-Men: Apocalypse which comes as no surprise since we heard previously that it was him and Kinberg who were already planning out what the next X-Men team-up would be about. What is surprising is that they claim to have confirmed that X-Men: Apocalypse will be strictly set in the '70s following the events of Days of Future Past, meaning no post-apocalyptic future and original X-Men returnees. This directly contradicts Bleeding Cool's insider who claimed future/present team members would be back as well. At this point, it's all unofficial and a lot of the rumors sound increasingly like speculation.
If Vulture is correct however, this answers the question about how Fox will get the entire cast to return since if it's focusing mainly on the First Class stars, they all initially signed with multi-picture contracts for a trilogy. Think of Apocalypse as X-Men: First Class 3 and think of Days of Future Past as a big budget investment (possibly the most expensive superhero film ever made) as a way to boost the brand appeal and box office results, leading into Apocalypse.
The '70s set X-Men: Apocalypse story could however, still involve younger Wolverine if Singer and Fox are hoping to involve Hugh Jackman and could still involve a few mutants from the future - namely the time-travelling characters from the comics, Bishop (Omar Sy) and Cable (yet to be confirmed or introduced). Singer and Kinberg could get creative as well with Apocalypse's Four Horsemen and grab popular mutant characters from Marvel Comics from different time periods in the film universe.
We were hoping for something a little more grand than what this news (if true) paints a picture of. It seems strange to go from Bolivar Trask, Sentinels, time travel and seemingly all of the X-Men to a more closed off story set only in the '70s, where the continuity of the films is already so far gone from the stories in Marvel Comics. That's a bit of a waste of the greatest X-Men villain, no? If Days of Future Past is meant to "fix" the timeline in a sense, according to Singer, than having Apocalypse as [spoilers] only in the past isn't the most logical for the future of the franchise.
With Fantastic Four being rebooted in 2015, not involving them in some way (Fantastic Four & X-Men team up against Apocalypse in the Ultimate comics) would also be a wasted opportunity. That is of course, assuming Apocalypse is defeated in X-Men: Apocalypse. He could be a villain for years to come and part of a future crossover event. Time travel and alternate realities open many doors for the series. Read our thoughts (and some potential major spoilers) on how X-Men: Days of Future Past may directly tie into X-Men: Apocalypse here:
The Wolverine is now available on home video, X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23, 2014. Fantastic Four opens June 19, 2015. X-Men: Apocalypse releases May 27, 2016 release.
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