X-Men: Days of Future Past was a pretty massive success. Not only was it the highest grossing X-Men film yet, but at a worldwide total of $746 million, it bested the previous record-holder, X-Men: The Last Stand, by a margin of nearly $300 million. Needless to say, 20th Century Fox was quick to move on a follow-up, and now we have X-Men: Apocalypse poised to open in theaters on May 27, 2016. Bryan Singer returns to direct, and as the title suggests the story will revolve around the titular villain wreaking havoc on the X-Men team. We know that this film will focus on the First Class cast with the addition of Wolverine, and we also know that there’s yet another time jump as this story takes place in the 1980s.
I recently got the chance to speak with Days of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg in anticipation of the film’s release on Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th, and since Kinberg is also returning as co-writer and producer on Apocalypse, he took the time to speak a bit about what fans can expect from the next X-Men film. In addition to discussing the 80s setting and the large scale of the pic, Kinberg also revealed that the film will get deeper into the relationship between Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and will explore the impact that Charles and Erik, separately, have had on Mystique. Read on after the jump.
Kinberg previously revealed that X-Men: Apocalypse is the close of a trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class, and he told me that the relationship between Beast and Mystique will be getting more screen time in this next film than it did in Days of Future Past:
“I will say that [X-Men: Apocalypse] is definitely the close of a trilogy for those First Class characters, which isn’t to say we won’t see them in future movies, hopefully we will, but it’s a completion of an arc for them. I think that the friendship between Erik and Charles, which has always been so integral to the franchise, is something we’re continuing to explore and hopefully deepen with Apocalypse. And the relationship between Beast and Mystique is a really interesting one that we didn’t have a lot of time to explore in Days of Future Past, so we’ll have an opportunity to do more of that in Apocalypse.”
First Class can be seen Erik’s story and Days of Future Past can be seen as Charles’ story, so I asked Kinberg if Apocalypse would similarly single out one of the main characters. He declined to go into any details about the story’s focus given that it’s still very early, but he did say that Apocalypse explores how the influence of both Erik and Charles has impacted Mystique:
“Part of what’s really interesting about Mystique’s character is that she is, in some ways, the child of both Erik and Charles. She grew up with Charles and then she sort of became a woman with Erik, so her being the cross-pollination, if you will, of those two philosophies and those two men is something we can explore in the movie too.”
With regards to the film’s 1980s setting, Kinberg said that he and Singer have been very much enjoying writing in the time period:
“We’re having a lot of fun with the idea of the 80s. It’s a decade that Bryan and I both grew up in and so the music, the style, the aesthetic, the legacy of 80s movies is something we’re really having fun with.”
“There are some very big set pieces. I don’t know what the budget’s gonna be because we’re still a ways away from budgeting the film, but I can say that Fox has a lot of creative confidence in the team that made Days of Future Past—myself, Bryan, Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker. All of those people are coming back so in terms of a sandbox they’re definitely giving us a lot of room to play creatively and take chances the way that we took some chances on Days of Future Past, and do some radical things just as I think we did some radical things in Days of Future Past.”