Simon Kinberg Talks X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, Calling It a “Disaster Movie, Extinction Level Event”

     May 25, 2014

simon-kinberg-x-men-apocalypse

X-Men: Days of Future Past is off to a grand start with a $90+ million opening weekend, but screenwriter Simon Kinberg is already looking ahead to the follow-up film, X-Men: Apocalypse.  He’ll reteam with director Bryan Singer on the next X film, which aims to follow through with the timeline-altering events of the current mutant movie.  There’s a lot to keep track of over the entire slate of X-Men films, but it feels like the universe is ready to leave some of the confusion behind and move forward in a big way with the inclusion of what is arguably the comic series’ biggest bad.

Kinberg not only talked about the post-credits scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past and how it leads into X-Men: Apocalypse, he also commented on which characters will carry over and how they’ll impact the story, as well as the ambitious “extinction level event” they have planned.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say, but mind the spoilers.

simon-kinberg-x-men-days-of-future-past-interviewFirst of all, if you missed any of our recent coverage of Kinberg’s comments, you can get caught up with his reflection on X-Men: The Last Stand here, and Steve’s interview with him for X-Men: Days of Future Past here.  As for the newer content, Kinberg recently spoke to IGN about the tone of the 2016 film X-Men: Age of Apocalypse and its title villain:

“The thing that we’ve spent the most time talking about is not just the visual execution of the character, which is its own challenge – creating a character that’s the most powerful I think of any mutant villain that we’ve seen in the X-Men movies so far. More powerful than Magneto. The kind of scope and scale we’re talking about is like disaster movie, extinction level event. Sort of Roland Emmerich-style moviemaking, which you’ve never seen in an X-Men movie, or any superhero movie, which I think is exciting.

But we’ve also been talking about how to give him a real emotional and philosophical underpinning. So he’s not just somebody who’s out there destroying the world because he can. What he’s doing is – in his mind – justified and validated by a real compelling, coherent philosophy. He tries to proselytise and convert people – maybe some of our most familiar characters – to come to his cause. “

x-men-days-of-future-past-josh-helmanIn another interview with Vulture, Kinberg talked about the continuation of characters from X-Men: Days of Future Past and how they’ll stay honest to those moments in Apocalypse:

Stryker is a character that keeps reappearing in the franchise, perhaps because he’s one of the only identifiable bad guys the X-Men have encountered. And then, in the final beats of the film, it turns out he’s Mystique — the ultimate “WTF.” Will that payoff in the future?
We really wanted to do something subtle with Stryker in this movie. We wanted it to be the beginning of the origin of him. He’s in the shadows most of this film. In some ways, Stryker was included in order to trigger something for Wolverine. How would it impact Wolverine, going back in time and seeing this guy who is going to manipulate him in the future. That was just interesting. Stryker’s been interesting in the books and the Brian Cox version was fantastic. But the last moment in the movie with the Mystique reveal… there’s for sure more to that. As we follow the characters in to X-Men: Apocalypse, we have to address that and make it a real thing.

apocalypse-x-menAt the end of this movie, you tease Apocalypse, one of the Big Bads of the X-Men universe. Is there a lot of pressure shooting one of these introductory, post-credit stingers?
The hope of Days of Future Past is that people like it and, even though we changed a ton from the original comic, we stayed true to the essence of it. But the hope is also to broaden the audience, people who aren’t necessarily hardcore X-Men fans, or maybe haven’t even seen an X-Men movie, go see this movie. Hopefully the event of the cast draws people in. So the pressure on Apocalypse is to do something similar. Broaden the audience and stay true to the core ideals of the comics and fans. I don’t approach this stuff as a business, I approach it as a writer and an artist, so how do we do something different?First Class was so different in tone and character. Days of Future is a completely different movie. Science fiction and ambitious. I want Apocalypse to feel ambitious.

How does that character complicate the world for you? We know he builds pyramids with his mind.
It’s more of an opportunity. For most of these X-Men movies, Magneto is the villain. Or Stryker. So the idea of having a new villain and super powerful villain. It’s extinction stakes, which these movies haven’t visualized before. The best superhero movies have subgenres. Days of Future Past is time travel sci-fi. Apocalypse is a disaster movie mashed up with superhero movies.

X-Men: Apocalypse opens May 27, 2016.  Here’s more with Kinberg:

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