When it comes to awesome-sounding upcoming superhero movies, there aren't too many that can trump Fox's forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. It is, after all, the latest installment in one of superhero cinema's most successful and iconic franchises - and, having recently cast the soon-to-be-A-List Oscar Isaac in the title role, the movie seems an obvious choice for over-excitement inducement.
It's also, though, just the first of what could well be a whole lot of Fox-produced X-Movies - the studio has several spin-offs in the works, after all - so the impending arrival of Apocalypse also raises a pretty big question...
What Comes Next for the X-Franchise?
Well, the main theme, it seems? Darkness...
After all, the X-Movies that are already on their way are already pretty lacking in lightness.
Fox's Slate is Full of Murder
Specifically, in 2016 they have Deadpool (starring a psychotic mercenary) coming in February, X-Men: Apocalypse (starring a genocidal prehistoric villain) in May, and then, most likely, Gambit (starring a often-treacherous and untrustworthy rogue ) in October.
And, honestly, there's no likely way of making those movies without a whole lot of (PG-13) bloodshed.
And, Next Up - Wolverine Returns
Sure, it's all the way ahead in 2017, but he's most certainly on his way.
And, if there's one thing Fox seems to have learned about Wolverine, it's that people like to watch him horribly mangling people with his claws.
...And He Might Just Bring Some Extra Darkness With Him
Specifically - remember that long-rumored X-Force movie Fox has reportedly had in development for years, before recently seeming to cut loose?
Well, it seems entirely possible that they're planning on retooling elements of it into a new, expanded X-Universe. After all, with the past-set X-Men movies (First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) seemingly now becoming the primary focus of the X-Men franchise proper, modern-day Wolverine has essentially been cut loose from the film series.
And that might just open up the possibility of Fox establishing a darker, grittier and more Wolverine-centric half of the X-franchise - one set in the present day.
And if that does indeed happen, we might well see - say - Rick Remender's recent Uncanny X-Force run bleed over into the X-Universe, seeing as it combines Wolverine, Deadpool, and a host of other particularly bad-ass mutants into a black-ops team, pulling off missions that other heroes aren't willing to touch.
The first of those?
Foiling the return of Apocalypse.
And, in turn...
That Opens Up an Intriguing Modern Storyline
Specifically, the All-New X-Men, a comic-book team centered around the original comic-book X-Men, who're brought to the future to show their older selves that they've grown too brutal and too militant.
Let's say X-Men Apocalypse goes well - and successfully introduces a young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm, to go with the youthful Beast who's already hanging out with Professor X. Now, if, simultaneously, Deadpool, Gambit and Wolverine are all doing a good job of keeping the modern day action going, we could very well see the two eras come together in another time-travel based movie.
Pitting the youthful, fresh-faced X-Men of the X-Men: First Class generation against older, grizzled, already-introduced versions of themselves?
Possibly even in some sort of Age of Apocalypse-style scenario?
Well, that's just good old fashioned entertainment, right there.