There's been plenty of activity in the X-Men Apocalypse[X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267)world these past weeks. Casting has hit a power stride as Jean Grey has been announced to be taking the form of Game of Throne's Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-McPhee will be taking up the role of Nightcrawler, Tye Sheridan is our new Cyclops and Alexandra Shipp will be the new Storm. Got all that?
In With the New X-Men
One of the big casting questions that remains is whether this will be the first X-Men movie that won't feature Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen as Magneto. A while back Patrick Stewart claimed McKellen would definitely be returning but Fox has since shut down those claims saying that neither actor would be appearing, reiterating that the film will be set in the 1980's.
So is X-Men: Apocalypse being set-up as laying the foundation for the future of the franchise with this younger cast? Could Fox be denying the presence of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen to simply prevent elements of the plot from being revealed? Has the X-Men universe put an end to their time travelling for Apocalypse? Oh, and what about Wolverine?
Since Fox has announced a 2017 [Wolverine 3](movie:1166878), it could be that Hugh Jackman is indeed sitting this one out. Seeing how his character ended up at the end of Days of Future Past, it makes sense that he wouldn't necessarily be involved in the Apocalypse scenario. But Fox does have a replacement in mind to fill the wise-cracking Wolverine sized hole.
Just a Tidbit of Gambit?
Channing Tatum's Gambit is the exact kind of ass-kicking, wise-cracking comic relief the X-Men movies need if Wolverine isn't going to be around. He's the perfect actor to carry the kind of mutant swagger that will be missing without Hugh Jackman. Though Michael Fassbender's Magneto has not been short on mutant swagger. Here's hoping that Gambit won't just be popping up in a post-credits stinger. Heck, he's got top billing on Apocalypse's IMDb page!
The biggest technical detail that makes it seem like Gambit and Channing Tatum won't be appearing for very long in X-Men: Apocalypse is the release dates for his two movies being so close together. In all likelihood Apocalypse and [Gambit](movie:612399) are going to have to be shooting at around the same time. Even the talents of Channing Tatum may not allow for him to shoot a starring role in two movies at the same time - even though a May X-Men that's heavy on Channing Tatum could make audiences very receptive to an October Gambit.
There are a lot of interesting things going on in these last couple X-Men movies that makes it a bit difficult to figure out where things are going. And I doubt that X-Men: Apocalypse is going to be any more straightforward. The plot of the Apocalypse storyline in the Marvel books is filled with alternate realities and from the looks of some concept art that Bryan Singer just dropped on Instagram, there might even be more sci-fi elements in store for us.
The Ship to Deliver Cable?
That ship is (al)most definitely "Ship". An alien spaceship that the character of Apocalypse finds among some Egyptian pyramids. Remember the Egyptian setting of that post-credits scene from [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) below? The ship is basically what turns the character from a powerful mutant into the crazed villain bent on world domination. It may also be a sign of other things to come. "Ship" has a hand in the origin story of Cable as well.
What's most head-scratching is the current timeline these characters are in. If Fox is setting up a young cast to be the future of the franchise, does this mean they're planning on sticking with these movies taking place 20 or 30 years in the past? If Gambit and Cable shows up in [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267), does that mean future appearances of these characters have to adhere to this timeline as well? So many questions...