The upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse will serve as the final chapter in the X-Men film trilogy that began with Matthew Vaughn's 1960s-set X-Men: First Class and continued on with Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that hopped back and forth between a post-apocalyptic future and the 1970s. Apocalypse, as was also directed by Singer, picks up in the new timeline created by the events in Days of Future Past during the 1980s - wherein the first mutant, a being known as Apocalypse or En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), awakens after thousands of years and sets out to create a new world order... one where only the strongest or "fittest" mutants will be allowed to survive.
Much of 20th Century Fox's marketing for Singer's next X-Men film has centered not on Apocalypse himself, but rather his Four Horsemen: a group of mutants whom he assembles to serve at his side at a given time in history. During the 1980s, the group includes Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Michael Fassbender), who has shed his mutant identity and led a quiet life following the events from Days of Future Past; Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm (Alexandra Shipp), who in the '80s is but a young woman surviving on her own in the streets of Cairo; Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke (Olivia Munn), a warrior with telepathic mutant abilities; and Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel (Ben Hardy), the winged mutant who takes on the name Archangel upon getting his wings "upgraded" by Apocalypse into a collection of sharp metal blades.
The trailer marketing for X-Men: Apocalypse has alluded to Magneto and Storm's reasoning for joining forces with En Sabah Nur, though Psylocke and Angel's motivation for doing so in the film remains something of a mystery. Isaac's Apocalypse himself has been likened to a cult leader - one who knows how to tap into his followers' needs/desires - by the movie's cast, while 20th Century Fox has now release individual posters for each of the Four Horsemen that alludes to the personality traits and "qualities" that lead each of them to join forces with Apocalypse. To be more exact:
- Archangel is "Savage. Dark. Fallen."
- Storm is "Fury. Lost. Survivor."
- Magneto is "Rage. Pain. Vengeance."
- Psylocke is "Lethal. Fierce. Merciless."
You can check out the corresponding X-Men: Apocalypse character posters, below:
X-Men: Apocalypse may be the final installment in the X-Men: First Class film trilogy, but it has become increasingly clear over time that this movie is also designed to help kick-off a new era in the X-Men cinematic franchise. Case in point: both Singer and X-Men: Days of Future Past/Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg have now alluded to the idea of future X-Men films "going cosmic" - which is to say, exploring X-Men comic book stories set in outer space - and rumors are circulating about key players in Apocalypse being part of the New Mutants movie that filmmaker Josh Boone is currently developing for Fox. Indeed, as far back as Summer 2015, there were rumors that Fassbender and James McAvoy (who plays the younger Charles Xavier/Professor X) had reached an agreement to appear in another X-Men film - or more - after Apocalypse.
Similarly, the critical/commercial success of the Deadpool movie has restarted the conversation about a potential X-Force film down the line - one that could even plausibly include Munn's version of Pyslocke and Hardy's Archangel, for that matter. After all, time-travel as a plot device will continue to be part of the X-Men movie universe hereon out, what with Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) already lined up to join forces with the time-traveling mutant Cable in the upcoming Deadpool 2. Hence, it will be all the easier to bring together mutants from different points in the timeline of X-Men films in the future (while abiding by the "rules" established for the X-Men cinematic universe), including those that are featured in Apocalypse and modern-set installments alike.
X-Men: Apocalypse will open in U.S. theaters on May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017 and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Source: 20th Century Fox