Bryan Singer’s initial and highly influential adaptations of Marvel’s X-Men were contemporary stories set in the early 2000s. Then, with the arrival of Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, the title mutants returned to their comic book roots in the 1960s with a new cast of characters that served to introduce the superheroes and supervillains from their very origins. The two out-of-sync franchises famously crossed timelines in Singer’s 70s-set X-Men: Days of Future Past which established that the two realities are quite distinct. But as fans look ahead to the possible end of the world (and the 1980s) in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, others still are looking beyond that film’s May 27th release (in the U.S.) to find out whatever they can about the next, inevitable X-movie.
As CS reports from the press junket of Apocalypse, the next X-Men film will be firmly set in the 1990s, per producer Simon Kinberg. Yes, the decade in which the animated series captured the attention and imagination of every Saturday morning cartoon-watcher, and the decade that saw the explosion of Marvel’s revamped X-Men comic line. But before you get excited and start thumbing through your memory of those 90s-era stories, keep in mind that Kinberg might have been referencing writer-director Josh Boone’s upcoming X-Men: The New Mutants movie, which is currently in development.
If it’s The New Mutants that Kinberg was referencing, setting them in the 90s would be a little odd from a comic book historian’s perspective. The team was introduced in the early 80s and ran under their own title until its cancellation in 1991. The team, or at least some of its members, appeared in other superhero series throughout the 90s but The New Mutants themselves were folded into Cable’s X-Force team in the 90s; new The New Mutants comic book lines were started twice in the 2000s. Basically, The New Mutants bordered the 1990s, but never thrived on their own within that decade, so it’d be a little strange to focus their story during the final years of the 20th century. Now, if the X-Force movie gets off the ground, that would make perfect sense for a 90s setting.
Another movie that seems tailor-made to take place in the 90s is the direct follow-up to X-Men: Apocalypse, a film that will presumably see the younger heroes–Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Jubilee (Lana Condor) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp)–stepping up to the plate under the guiding hand and mind of Professor X (James McAvoy). The curious thing about a 90s-set X-Men film with this cast is that they’ll have united to (again, presumably) defeat Apocalypse, arguably the franchise’s most infamous, notorious, and deadly foe. Where could the team possibly go from there? We’ll likely get a better picture of the future of the X-Men once Apocalypse opens later this month.
Until then, get caught up on some of our other X-Men news:
- Watch: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Videos Spotlight the Four Horsemen [Updated]
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Jennifer Lawrence Debuts Nightcrawler vs Angel Clip
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Star Olivia Munn on Why She Ditched ‘Deadpool’
- ‘X-Men: The New Mutants’: Josh Boone Teases His Super-Powered Cast of Characters
- ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Director Bryan Singer Defends the Look, Sound of His Titular Villain