X-Men: Days of Future Past is still over a month away, but there’s no time to waste! We already have to start talking about the sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, even though it doesn’t come out for over two years! Director Bryan Singer and co-producer/co-writer Simon Kinberg spoke to EW about their plans for the film, and revealed that they will be taking elements from the 90s comic book series, Age of Apocalypse, but won’t strictly adhere to the alternate universe aspect of the story. Kinberg explains that Apocalypse “won’t necessarily create an alternate universe, but there may be some swapping things that I’m playing with.” Does that mean the time-travel in Days of Future Past might alter our reality to suit the needs of the new story, but not so drastically as to make the world unrecognizable? Kinberg also goes on to say that “From a visual standpoint it actually may be a bigger movie than Days of Future Past because there’ll be disaster movie imagery, like the title would imply.” Disaster imagery? In a superhero movie? Ridiculous. People would never go for that.
Regarding the connection between Future Past and Apocalypse, Singer tells EW that one movie doesn’t directly lead into the other (I’m reading that as “no cliffhanger”), but “what it does is it sets up possibilities.” Singer goes on to say:
“But what we’ll discover in Apocalypse is that events in this movie made that happen. Apocalypse deals with ancient mutancy. What would humans have thought mutants were? What would mutants think humans were? You’re dealing with gods and things like that. And what if one survived and what if that found its way into our world?”
Again, I’m starting to think that Future Past alters the timeline in a way that gives Singer and his writers (in addition to Kinberg, X2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty are also working on the script) the freedom to introduce elements that won’t interfere with the previous X-Men movies, so it’s not an alternate “universe” where everything has changed, but one where audiences won’t have to ask, “Wait, if this happened, why wasn’t it referenced in the first X-Men?” In other words, they might be taking a page from the Star Trek playbook.
As far as casting, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult will all return. However, Singer also says he wants reintroduce Gambit and Nightcrawler for the movie, which will be set in the 1980s. If that’s the case, I hope those characters will have time to develop as opposed to Days of Future Past, which will be packed with mutants, but looks like the focus will be primarily on the First Class crew and Wolverine.