It's an interesting time for the X-Men. After two movies focusing on a young Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Beast and how the mutants first came to the attention of the world, we're now at the end of a trilogy with [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) - likely without Wolverine and looking at the arrival of Apocalypse, or En Sabah Nur, who wants to bring about the mutant awakening.
A New Era of X-Men
X-Men: Apocalypse is looking like it will feature the first stages of the initial forming of the X-Men as a superhero team. Joining this Apocalypse fight are the classic X-Men characters of Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and, curiously, Gambit. It's thought that Fox is going very young with most of this additional cast so that they can set the characters in place for the next wave of X-Men movies - but the inclusion of Gambit to the movie could mean a lot more than just Fox setting the character up for his own spin-off.
The Death of Gambit
Gambit has quite the history with this En Sabah Nur character. The story in the Marvel comic books goes that when Apocalypse arrived on the scene and started trying to conquer the world, Gambit tried to infiltrate Apocalypse's inner circle and ended up being turned into one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. Specifically, Death. Yes, this was a plan that suffered a bit of a backfire, but the "Celestial technology" that temporarily turned Gambit into death ended up staying with the character and becoming part of his superhuman powers.
Through that Instagram of X-Men Apocalypse concept art that director Bryan Singer posted, the idea that we'll be seeing some "Celestial technology" seems pretty certain. The vehicle that came to be known as Ship is of ancient Celestial origins. While Gambit's traditional set of powers are nothing to sneeze at, Fox may be introducing the character with some extra dimensions in the form of beefed up powers and a permanent Celestial Death infection that could be a kind of Hulk-like problem that could emerge from Gambit from time to time.
Nathan Christopher Charles Summers
The other character that this concept art may be alluding to is Cable, who not only has a habit of jumping around time much in the way these X-Men movies have, but the technology in Ship infected a certain baby that Apocalypse kidnapped by the name of Nathan Summers - let's not forget, he's Cyclops' son. Who then grew up in the future and returned to the past as the cybernetic enhanced human warrior known as Cable.
The characters of Cable and Apocalypse are well intertwined throughout the Marvel comic universe and if there was ever a time for Cable to be introduced to Fox's cinematic universe, I don't think you could pick a better one than X-Men Apocalypse. At least once, Cable has used his abilities to travel back in time to stop Apocalypse and I wouldn't be surprised if we see Cable coming to the rescue at some point during the movie.
A Touch of Angel?
There was also the recent casting announcement of Ben Hardy to X-Men: Apocalypse and while his role is being kept under wraps, if you look at the young Eastenders actor, you can easily come to the conclusion that he is playing Angel - another victim of Apocalypse's reign of terror. While Angel is a founding member of the X-Men he was also a mutant recruited by Apocalypse to become one of his horsemen. Much like Gambit's plan to infiltrate and take down Apocalypse, Angel played a big role in Apocalypse's defeat and allowing the X-Men to use the Celestial Ship for the purposes of good rather than evil.
After Angel's escape from the cult of Apocalypse is when the character started going by Archangel and became much more of a brooding, moody character. This had a lot to do with the torture and experimentation that Apocalypse put Angel through while he was under his Horseman control. Part of the reason Angel ended up being recruited was due to the loss of his natural mutant wings and Apocalypse's promise that he can restore them. This, of course, doesn't go quite as Angel would have suspected and he ends up with some crazy metal wings and some blue skin by the time En Sabah Nur is done with him.
So on top of a new Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm, will we also see the debut of Gambit, Cable and a new Angel before [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) is over? I'd say the chances are looking pretty good if for no other reason than these characters are all so closely tied to Apocalypse as well as the future of Fox's mutant universe. Either way, for the first time on screen it looks like they are setting up the arrival of Apocalypse as the event that truly unites the X-Men as a team.