The special features of X-Men: Apocalypse are giving us a veritable treasure-trove of new scenes and new information - including a brilliantly entertaining glimpse of the young X-Men taking some downtime. Surprisingly, though, one of these special features is confirmation of the main villain of Wolverine III (likely titled Wolverine: Weapon X). The end-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse had left fans confident of the direction the franchise was about to take, and it looks as though we were right!
What's Just Been Confirmed?
The end-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse returned to Alkali Lake, the site of the Weapon X project in the movies. We saw agents of a company called "Essex Corp" on site, collecting DNA samples from the experiments on Hugh Jackman's #Wolverine. It was a cool scene, clearly setting up a future plot, and since then most #XMen fans have (correctly) deduced that it was setup for Wolverine III. The DNA sample will likely be used to create X-23, Wolverine's younger female clone (it's a long story).
The name of the company left X-Men fans in no doubt as to what direction the film would take. In the comics, Nathaniel Essex is the real name of a character who goes by the name of Mister Sinister. He's a powerful, manipulative figure who's obsessed with controlling evolution; cloning is his particular speciality. So X-Men fans were already 100% confident that Sinister would be making his cinematic debut in Wolverine III.
Now, all those deductions have been officially confirmed. The special features for X-Men: Apocalypse include a commentary, and as the post-credits scene rolls, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg discuss the future of the franchise. They originally planned a post-credits scene teasing Deadpool 2, but that idea got scrapped, and they ultimately went in a totally different direction - setting up Mister Sinister and X-23 for Wolverine III.
None of this is a surprise, but it's nice to get confirmation!
What Does this Mean for Wolverine III?
As I've said, this doesn't really give us any new information; the end-credits scene was pretty transparent. That said, the scene was full of implications, and we've now confirmed them all.
Although Wolverine III will be loosely inspired by the popular "Old Man Logan" arc - it's set in the future and features an aged Wolverine - Fox has pretty much abandoned all but the core concept. That approach makes sense; "Old Man Logan" featured Wolverine interacting with future versions of the Hulk, Hawkeye, and the Red Skull, and Fox don't have the license to use those characters.
Instead of the original concept, this confirms that Wolverine is taking on a shady corporation that's been using his DNA to create new superhuman weapons. At the center of the web is Nathaniel Essex, but what we don't know is how Fox will render the character. His origin in the comics is closely tied to Apocalypse, but the timeline established in X-Men: Apocalypse leaves no room for that. It's entirely possible that Nathaniel Essex will simply be reinvented as a sinister scientist, perhaps even losing his super-powers. Or perhaps we'll still see him assemble the terrifyingly powerful Marauders. Only time will tell...
Interestingly, the link between X-Men: Apocalypse and Wolverine III also establishes that this third Wolverine movie takes place in the new timeline created by X-Men: Days of Future Past. That makes it the first solo Wolverine film to be set in the new timeline, and it's going to be interesting to see more of that timeline. Of course, it's entirely possible that Fox will take a loose approach to timelines, splitting Wolverine III off to a new track and diverging yet again in the next tentpole X-Men film, but it's likely Singer and Kinberg haven't decided about that yet themselves.
- So Just What Will Fox's X-23 Be Like in 'Wolverine III'?
- Has the Title of 'Wolverine III' Finally Been Revealed?
- 4 Future Plots Teased in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'!
All in all, this simply confirms what we already knew: Wolverine III will feature a classic X-Men villain, albeit one not typically associated with Wolverine. Fox has a history of heavily adapting the source material, so we'll have to wait for more information on how Mister Sinister will be portrayed. Keep an eye on Movie Pilot for more news as we get it!
Are you excited to see Mister Sinister in Wolverine III? Let me know in the comments!