X-Men: Apocalypse isn't even in theaters but just like this time two years ago, its creative team is already speaking to its followup. We knew before X-Men: Days of Future Past released in theaters in 2014 that its 2016 successor would introduce Apocalypse, and now, we might be able to say the 2018-19 followup to Apocalypse could explore the cosmic side of the X-Men comics.
Yes, the long-running X-Men movie series may finally head into space!
This shouldn't come as any surprise since it's a) long overdue and b) was teased by the fact that Apocalypse is now in the X-Men universe. His technology from the comics is alien in nature after all, and the concept art and imagery from the X-Men: Apocalypse marketing seem to suggest that possibility too.
Speaking with Fandango during the X-Men: Apocalypse press junket, director Bryan Singer spoke more about his desire to get cosmic with the next X-Men installment, building off an idea he revealed several years ago when he said Fox really wants to delve deeper into the Marvel Comics lore and fully take advantage of its biggest stories.
They did that by first introducing time-travel in Days of Future Past to give the franchise a chance to reboot itself using new and familiar faces, and they're doing that again this year by introducing Apocalypse and a few other notable things from the comics.
Speaking to the news that the followup to X-Men: Apocalypse will again skip a decade further up the timeline to the '90s, Singer explains:
“That was something Simon [Kinberg] and I discussed a long time ago, all the way back to when I first pitched the studio on First Class -- that they do each movie in 10-year increments. It’s a nice way for the audience to kind of keep track of the timeline, and it’s fun to play in these different eras. So that’s a good starting point.”
“But we’ve also introduced the tenants of time travel, which already exists in the comic book. Also I imagine – and this is the first time I’ve actually answered the question this way – but another thing that’s been introduced in the comics is a big alien, interstellar tenant within the X-Men universe that hasn’t been explored. And to me, that might be kind of fun because I’m a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan, and exploring the X-Men universe and being able to utilize that would be exciting, visually. “
That's more than a tease. We know from chatting with Singer and writer-producer Simon Kinberg on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse last summer that they were already planning a followup and that they could take the series to space after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy if they wanted to. At this point it's a matter of when since the next team-up movie from the studio seems to be New Mutants which we know shoots in 2017. We're not sure when New Mutants is set in terms of the timeline or how it connects to Apocalypse or the next X-Men movie, but there's also Wolverine 3 shooting soon followed by Gambit and the Deadpool sequel.
We did hear last year that Singer and co. could be back in Montreal - where the last two movies shot - to make another 2018 movie but with New Mutants seemingly on the fast track perhaps that project is taking its spot while Singer works on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
As for the exciting idea of Fox finally taking advantage of its vast amount of cosmic Marvel licenses (many of which Marvel Studios very much wants back), the most likely option (since Fantastic Four series is dead again) is an exploration of The Dark Phoenix saga which was recently rumored to be the subject of the next movie. With Sophie Turner playing a younger Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse who clearly has visions of a fiery apocalyptic future (from the teaser trailers), and the creative team's interest in making up for how Phoenix was handed in X-Men: The Last Stand, this is the most logical story choice.
And with the Summers bros. (Cyclops and Havok) finally together in a movie, perhaps we can even get to see an adaptation of their space pirate father and the Starjammers too, which means the alien Shi'ar Empire could enter the fold given their history with the Phoenix being from the comics. What do you want to see from the X-Men series?
Directed by Bryan Singer, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is produced by Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner, and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor and Ben Hardy.
Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens theaters on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018 (possibly The New Mutants).