Moviegoers have yet to see much on next year's return of the original X-Men movie characters, when mutant heroes and villains from the first trilogy team-up with their younger X-Men: First Class selves in a multi-timeline battle to save the world. The first X-Men: Days of Future trailer, missing most of its special effects, teased the film's massive ensemble cast facing dark times in the past and present, and as we learned from director Bryan Singer there may even be darker times ahead in the yet-to-be-officially-titled X-Men: Apocalypse followup coming in 2016.
It was a surprise announcement when Singer took to Twitter to namedrop one of the greatest X-Men villains from Marvel Comics (Apocalypse) as the central character in yet another franchise installment coming two years after Days of Future Past. Now we have a few more details on who will be writing X-Men: Apocalypse.
James McAvoy, playing the central figure in X-Men: Days of Future Past as a younger, troubled Charles Xavier, confirmed last week what we had heard previously in that he - and presumably the core cast of X-Men: First Class - are contracted to return for X-Men: Apocalypse. We also know that Bryan Singer, who announced the project, will be back directing.
Simon Kinberg, one of the co-writers and producers on the project, just signed a 3-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox to help write and product larger Marvel stories for the studio that span multiple films and he's involved as well. It was Kinberg, if you didn't know, who pitched to producer Matthew Vaughn the idea of basing the next X-Men movie on the Days of Future Past comics story after all, based on the studio's desire to see some familiar faces in the First Class sequel.
In what will be good news to fans of Singer's early X-Men work, the director revealed last night that he and Kinberg will be joined by writers Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty in writing the story for Apocalypse.
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 19, 2013
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Note the mention of Egypt, home of the 5000 year-old Apocalypse character (real name: En Sabah Nur). Little is known about the film version of the character but Singer did confirm that he will not be an alien. He could still use alien technology as in the comics.
Harris and Dougherty helped write X-Men 2 and were initially involved in writing X-Men 3 - with what sounds like a much better story than what we got - before Singer jumped ship to direct Superman Returns. Is this a sign that Singer truly is aiming to "fix" the broken continuity of the films using the time-travel plot device? Is the newly assembled team going to bring back elements from what they wanted to do with X-Men 3 to finish off this new trilogy?
According to the rumors of the setting and how Apocalypse is introduced, not likely. While nothing is official, and clearly the team is still working away on a story, one report had X-Men: Apocalypse picking up right where Days of Future Past left off but taking place mostly (or entirely) in the '70s. Another conflicting report claims that the studio is aiming to bring back most of the Days of Future Past cast (past and present) for the Apocalypse battle.
At this point, it's all sounding increasingly like speculation. What we can say is that to face a villain as dangerous and epic as Apocalypse, it would be strange to do so without franchise staples like Hugh Jackman and other members of the original trilogy. Apocalypse strictly relegated to the '70s might feel out of place considering by then time travel will have already been introduced in the series.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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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