Bryan Singer has taken an interesting approach to the X-Men franchise. He built it, left it, returned to it by picking up a sequel to a prequel, which in turn became a quasi-reboot that now, says the director, will lead to the conclusion of the previous six movies while also working as a “rebirth.” While this may seem convoluted, it doesn’t hold a candle to the kind of storytelling contortions the X-Men comics have had to do over the decades.
Speaking to EW, Singer said X-Men: Apocalypse “is kind of a conclusion of six X-Men films, yet a potential rebirth of younger, newer characters.” Specifically, the movie will be introducing Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) among others. It’s preparation for losing current cast members like Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender, who probably won’t renew their contracts.
“This is the true birth of the X-Men,” Singer says. “This is how it happens,” although it will now be on his terms where Nightcrawler is no longer introduced after trying to assassinate the President like in X2. It’s also interesting that there will basically be two team-assemblages in a three-film span, but that’s the demands of franchise filmmaking, and I like seeing how Singer is trying to balance those demands with his own vision the X-Men series. Now we just have to wait and see if he managed to pull it off.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens May 27, 2016, and also stars James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and Oscar Isaac. The movie will have a panel at Comic-Con on Saturday where Singer is likely to show the first footage from the superhero film, which will be set in 1983, and have the mutants “taking sides as the godlike Apocalypse plots world destruction.” Why anyone would want to side with Apocalypse on destroying the world (unless that mutant has been warped like Archangel) is beyond me.