Bryan Singer to Direct 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' But with Which Mutants?
Though X-Men franchise launching director Bryan Singer, who knocked X-Men: Days of Future Past out of the park this past summer, was confirmed to direct the forthcoming 80s set sequel X-Men: Apocalypse for 2016, some legal troubles came up that could have prevented him from getting back behind the camera. With charges in those legal matters being dropped recently, now Deadline reports Fox has closed a deal for Singer to return. Funnily enough, the news comes just as writer Simon Kinberg had a chat about what team of mutants we'll see on the big screen this time around. And it's in line with hints we've heard before.
Previously, when asked about which X-Men we'll see come into the mix, Singer said:
"I don’t want to get too specific, but we’ll introduce familiar characters in a younger time. That’ll be fun to show the audience. I call these movies in-between-quels. It’s a mind-fuck, sometimes, in terms of where things fall in the timeline!"
Singer also was quoted as saying, “My next goal is how did the X-Men come together? That story hasn’t been told yet, so [Days Of Future Past] is the inbetween-quel. It’s in between the birth of that relationship with Charles and Erik and the formation of the X-Men.” That would mean that mutants like Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm would likely be involved. And Singer has indicated that due to the timeline, about 20 years before the events of X-Men, it's likely that Famke Janssen, James Marsden and Halle Berry would be recast with younger actors. And speaking with Yahoo, without confirming the characters' presence, screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg, said that would have to happen:
"If we included some of the original X-Men, like Storm, Jean, Scott, and others, yeah we would have to recast them, because Apocalypse takes place a good twenty years before 'X1,' which now insanely was fifteen years ago. It would be very hard to do. Halle, Famke, and Jimmy, and others have done such wonderful jobs of bringing those characters to life and they're so identified, those actors, with the parts now. So it would be a tall task, but I also would have said before 'First Class' there would be no way we could find actors who could stand alongside Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and I think we managed to with Michael and James finding their own interpretation of the characters, not doing an impersonation. So, are we going to have to recast? If some of those characters were in the movie we would, but we'll see."
And just as we've assumed and heard before, with the new timeline established in the 80s after Wolverine's consciousness traveled back and changed history (for the future and past), the film will follows the younger First Class cast. When asked about future X-Men like Kitty Pryde and Bishop coming back, Kinberg says, "The X-Men film that we're working on now as everybody knows is X-Men: Apocalypse and that really follows the stories of the let's say First Class X-Men. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, many others of that generation of X-Men…it will really be the continuation of the 'past' of 'Days of Future Past.'"
So we'll get a mix of the First Class cast and the "new" mutants who will go on to be Xavier's official first collection of superheroes known as the X-Men. Singer has previously said that he would like to get Nightcrawler and Gambit (likely playing by Channing Tatum in a standalone film coming up too) in on the mix too, and while they've had involvement in a couple previous X-Men films, Days of Future Past allows for story arcs to change that we've already seen. In a somewhat confusing way, Kinberg explains:
“One of the things we talk about in 'Days of Future Past' is that you can change the future, it’s like a stream that moves in one direction—you can create a new ripple in it, but you certainly don’t change the current. What we did in 'Days of Future Past' changed some things, but like you see of the film, they end up back in the mansion in the future, so most of the current continued in the same direction, so most of the things you see in [the earlier films] still happened but with slight adjustments.”
So while the timeline has been changed, that doesn't mean we won't see familiar characters and some of the paths of our characters stay the same. For example, with Wolverine situated in the 80s now and already in contact with Charles Xavier and Magneto before the events of the original X-Men film from 2000, that pretty much changes his place in the history of the X-Men (though we're still waiting to see how he ends up getting his adamantium claws and whatnot). But that won't stop the original team from coming together.
We've heard Hugh Jackman might shoot X-Men: Apocalypse back-to-back with a sequel to The Wolverine, but we'll see what happens. Anyway, there's clearly some interesting elements at work in the sequel, and we're very excited to see how the story continues after the stellar time traveling sequel reinvigorated the franchise and combined casts from the original and prequels franchises. But we've got a lot of time to wait until the film hits theaters. The script is still being finalized and the film isn't set to arrive until May 27th, 2016. Stay tuned to see how everything adds up.