Comic book franchises have found great use of period settings over the years. Marvel's The First Avenger found great gravitas when it dropped Captain America in the second World War; Matthew Vaughn reinvigorated the X-Men franchise by taking the Cuban missile crisis and doing somewhat the same. Bryan Singer must have noticed the potential when he sent his latest X-Men instalment to us all flares blazing.
Much like First Class' bell bottoms and turtle-necks, Days of Future Past seemed to relish in the sideburns and flares of the 1970's. So now, with X-Men: Apocalypse, it looks like we'll be getting even more of this period action, from a decade on. In a two hour podcast with Jeff Goldsmith, producer Simon Kinberg revealed that the:
next movie takes place in 1983
So that often loved/equally maligned period will host our heroes come 2016. Here're a few things we'd like to see.
Hank getting to grips with all that flash new tech
Lest we forget, the 80's were the decade of the Walkman, the Compact Disc and the Zack Morris block mobile phone. Arguably the best gag in DOFP came when Hank boasts of wiring "all three channels" in his TV observation room, so if a select few sight gags is where Singer wants to go (fingers crossed) then 80's technology is a sure-fire hit.
Storm conducting a post disco inferno
Disco was born in the early 70's but by 1983 the genre had managed to transform into a chic, yuppie New York scene. They were the last days of the movement, no doubt about that, so why not unleash storm as a lightning-wielding MC.
Dave Cockrum created the look of the character in 1975, the year Donna Summer's Love to Love You Baby went to number 2 in the charts, and it would hardly come as a surprise today if we were to learn that Cockrum had had that legendary diva in mind.
Jubilee & a proper Rogue
Is there anything more 80's than Jubilee? Just check out that visor, and that denim shorts/jacket combo. The bubble-gum chewing, "fireworks" shooter was drawn up to appear in DOFP but was ultimately left out. So now, with Channing Tatum's Gambit already on board, will Singer decide it's time to bring in Jubilee?
We'd hazard a guess so.
Rogue looks to be a trickier task. Throwing her into the mix at this stage of proceedings would be completely out of whack with Singer's original time-frame. That said, however, it seems that under the current circumstances that pretty much anything goes, so would it really be such a shock to see a late teens/early twenties Rogue on show?
With her permed do, headband and shock white streak, Rogue would be another perfect fit for the era and we imagine the producers wouldn't balk at the chance for a love story with her Cajun friend.
Singer suggested that both Kennedy and Nixon were mutants during Days of Future Past but we'll have to wait and see whether the Gipper will get a similar treatment. Perhaps he could have the power of Free Market Capitalism... or something to that effect...
It was the year Reagan introduced his infamous "Star Wars" anti-missile laser plan and we're guessing something so ludicrously Hollywood might be difficult for the screenwriters to resist.
1983's world events
First class showed us the Cuban missile crises and DOFP referenced the Kennedy Assassination before focusing on Vietnam, so we wonder what historical events the director and his team will choose to unearth here?
Well, U.S. troops landed in Beirut and Grenada; Björn Borg retired from tennis after a mutant-like 5 Wimbledon titles in a row; Return of the Jedi and Flashdance opened in theatres; KISS made their first public appearance without any make-up and, unforgettably, McDonalds launched the Chicken McNugget.
Well Mr. SInger, I guess you can take your pick.
Ok ok ok, so the prince of pop is just a bit of an easy target, but Jackson was simply inescapable at the beginning of that decade. Thriller had dropped in November of the previous year but 1983 saw Billie Jean and Beat It top the charts.
It could be tricky but, all things considered, how the hell could they not?
It's difficult to pin down why this period stuff is so enthralling, perhaps these more familiar moments of human crises are just more prone to hitting home. The true strength of the X-Men franchise is that it can shine a light on very human matters of discrimination, fear and prejudice, and so plonking these heroes in such turbulent times is a fine way to let that be shown.
What 80's stuff are you hoping to see? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
[X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) opens May 27th 2016.