X-Men Apocalypse is the grand finale - not just of the current trilogy that begin with X-Men: First Class, but also the impressive run that Bryan Singer has been involved with going back 15 years to 2000's first X-Men movie. Not long ago, Simon Kinberg, a writer and producer on most everything Marvel related at Fox - think of him as Fox's version of Kevin Feige, addressed how big an impact X-Men Apocalypse will have on the mutant world at Fox that is now expanding beyond Deadpool, Gambit and Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine outing with recently announced The New Mutants.
“Things that happen in one film are acknowledged by the other movies. The result of the aftermath of ‘Apocalypse’ is something that will impact the course of history in the world in much the same way that the end of ‘Days of Future Past’ did. From 1973 forward, the world knew about mutants. A mutant took a football stadium and dropped it on the White House. That’s not the history we were raised on. So, instead of ignoring it, all of the movies that come after that in the timeline acknowledge it and embrace it, and it becomes part of the complicated reality of ‘X-Men’ history on film.”
What is interesting about this statement is that it sounds like there isn't a plan to hit a reset button after X-Men Apocalypse or to snip it off into it's own alternate reality, which is kind of the case when it comes to the comic books and where Age of Apocalypse sits in that universe. How will X-Men Apocalypse continue to influence the world of Fox's Marvel movies? Is Deadpool immune since it's being released 3 months ahead of Apocalypse?
Channing Tatum's Gambit
Channing Tatum has been expected to appear in X-Men: Apocalypse ever since his movie was announced and he was cast in it. The Hollywood Reporter announced his role and the heavy talk of Apocalypse that came with it. His Gambit finally took the big step of having a script get turned in and Tatum made some interesting comments about where the movie is heading in regards to the X-Men universe. It definitely sounds like Gambit will be going along the lines of Deadpool and aiming for a more subversive and tongue in cheek kind of superhero movie.
"Josh Zetumer just turned in the first draft of the script, and it's killer. None of us were sure how he was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we're going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It's always about saving the world (Laughs), but maybe we're going to shift things a liittle but. There's so many ways you can take [an origin story]. You could do it like Batman Begins, or a different take and go the Guardians of the Galaxy route. All I can say is, I'm super excited."
What is good to hear is that there is the intention of Gambit having to "deal with the X-Men world" and this isn't being considered a stand-alone movie. Less is clear in that regard about Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool movie which has always carried with it a certain amount of Fox testing the waters for this character and the ability for R-rated superhero movies to once again prove successful.
The best thing X-Men Apocalypse can do is set the stage for the future X-Men movies - to be able to give audiences and fans a sense of what to expect the next time they walk into one of Fox's Marvel universe. According to Kinberg's statement, in future movies, this will be a world where superhuman mutants have battled it out and been in the headlines since the 60's and are a known quantity. This should allow movies like Deadpool and Gambit to open up and explore the many avenues that this opens up.
Hugh Jackman & Wolverine's Last Stand
While Deadpool is likely to see our Merc With a Mouth seeking some revenge on the people behind the Weapon X program, and Gambit will probably be opening up the doors of the Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild and such - less is known about where Hugh Jackman's Wolverine might be headed in Wolverine 3. Given that his movie will probably the most closely tied to Bryan Singer's X-Men Universe, this movie might be most affected by the events of X-Men Apocalypse.
The only thing we've heard from Jackman and director James Mangold on the third Wolverine solo outing is that they were looking at a specific storyline from Wolverine's extensive comic book history as a jumping off point for the movie - though there was no elaboration on which storyline. There have been hints that the Old Man Logan premise could serve as a fond farewell story for the character that has been the connective tissue for the past fifteen years of X-Men movies.
In the sense of Wolverine 3 being a coda or epilogue for Bryan Singer's X-Men universe, Old Man Logan would be a perfect choice - offering a forward jump to look at the dystopian future that could possibly spring forth from the events in X-Men Apocalypse. But assuming that X-Men Apocalypse does finish on some sort of happy ending, the movie could use Old Man Logan's future "what if" scenario to act as its own one-shot kind of movie.
At this point Hugh Jackman's Wolverine has traveled all over the place in his character's timeline - this is a perfect opportunity to make a coda or epilogue for his character and not be beholden to the X-Men movies. Of all of Fox's Marvel Mutants, Wolverine doesn't have to establish his place in the X-Men movie universe like Deadpool and Gambit have to in their debuts. The focus should be on sending Logan out with a solid finale and in this sense, the sky, and the future, is the limit.
What do you think? What kind of future do you think X-Men Apocalypse is building towards? What would you like to see in Fox's expansion with Gambit and Deadpool? What kind of finale should Hugh Jackman's Wolverine be given? Let your mutant power flag fly in the comments section below!