Now that X-Men: Days of Future Past's box office gross reached the $700 million mark, let's look ahead to the next film in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse. While it's unclear who would direct, the franchise's central creative force Bryan Singer recently posted a glimpse at the first page of the superhero movie's treatment. Although it doesn't give us much information about the film, it does reveal that it would start off immediately after the ending of Days of Future Past's post-credits sequence.
If you didn't stick around to watch the film's stinger, it revealed ancient Egypt and a young mutant named En Sabah Nur (AKA Apocalypse, "The First One") wielding large stones and bricks with his mind to build pyramids. In the background, you can hear people chanting his name while four distant figures on horses can be also seen. These are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a group of mutants that help En Sabah Nur to do his bidding. The question is who will be the Four Horseman in the new X-Men movie?
While there are many iterations of the Four Horsemen, the monikers of Death, Famine, Pestilence, and War have always remained. Apocalypse switches out mutants for his evil band with every era and time period, so the roster changes up through the comic book's run. At one time, Wolverine was Death after Apocalypse captured the mutant and pitted him against his longtime foe Sabertooth for the deadly position. Wolverine won the battle, as Apocalypse extracted Sabertooth's adamantium to bond to Wolverine's skeleton. Could the same thing happen in the new movie?
Well, Hugh Jackman said he's unsure how many more X-Men movies he'll appear in after Days of Future Past. As long as Wolverine is at the center of these movies, it's likely that Jackman will stick around as long as he can. While talking to IGN, Jackman talked about the future with the X-Men.
"At one point, you're right, I said I was pretty sure [that ‘The Wolverine’ would be my last outing in the role]. But I'm less sure as it goes along. Because after seeing this movie, the whole thing feels fresher to me than ever. And during this movie...I don't want to spoil anything, but it's kind of like a clean slate, so who knows where it's going to go. As long as I have the passion for it and the fans will have me."
If Jackman does agree to be in Apocalypse, it would be his 8th go-around as Wolverine since the film series started in the year 2000. Over that time, Wolverine has always been an anti-hero or at best a reluctant hero. Is it me, or does it seem fitting for Wolverine to play the role of the bad guy in the new movie? You could have a clear character arc with Wolverine trying to fight the power of Apocalypse, while at the time, we could seeing the very popular mutant fight other members of the X-Men.
Making Wolverine a bad guy would change his dynamic with audiences. Want to see Wolverine fight Cyclops? Want to see Wolverine fight Beast? Maybe we'll get our chance to see some X-Men on X-Men action. Honestly, it's about time superhero movies subvert audience expectations and make Wolverine one of the film's villains.
If Wolverine is Death, then it's likely that Deathbird could be War, Caliban could be Pestilence, and Rory Campbell could be Famine. These characters have yet to be introduced in the X-Men cinematic universe, but it could be a good enough reason to introduce new blood in the film series. It could also introduce The Skrulls (who fit in with Wolverine's abduction), but I'm going to leave that for another article in the future. Although Bryan Singer said that the new movie is based on the Age of Apocalypse storyline, it's completely unclear if the movie would go in the same direction. We'll certainly find out on May 27, 2016 when Apocalypse hits theaters everywhere.