(Warning - Potential SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse are to be found below...assuming you haven't already read the comic-book Age of Apocalypse, that is...)
Now, for all that Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique and Nicholas Hoult's Beast have become key components of the recent X-Movies, and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine a major element in pretty much everything with an X on it, there's little doubting just who makes up the very heart of the series. Between the two of them, Professor X and Magneto (whether played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, or James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) have grasped the center of the X-Series, and made it their own.
Which, considering the sheer, unforgiving quality of those actors, as well as the near-legendary relationship between the two characters, is perhaps not too surprising.
If X-Men: Apocalypse is anywhere near faithful to its original source material, though, then that relationship could soon be torn apart - in about the most absolute way possible.
There's a Good Chance That Professor X is Going to Die in X-Men: Apocalypse
That's the whole reason the comic-book Age of Apocalypse came to exist in the first place. In classic comic-book fashion, it's kind of complicated story - but the gist of it is that Professor X's severely psychologically disturbed (but supremely powerful) son heads back in time, and tries to kill Magneto in the past, in order to stop the damage he's done to the world. However, the young man instead inadvertently kills the young Professor X, when he throws himself in front of his (technically-as-yet-unborn) son's psychic blade.
And so, with Professor X never having existed to temper anti-mutant hatred and train his students, the Age of Apocalypse was born:
And boy howdy, was it a crappy place to live...
A world ruled by the despotic and distinctly genocidal Apocalypse, with a twisted form of the evolutionary theory 'survival of the fittest' acting as its primary law, the Age of Apocalypse saw large parts the globe's human population exterminated, and many of the X-Men's greatest heroes seduced to the dark side. The X-Men, meanwhile, were led by Magneto - with some unlikely members, including Sabretooth...
The reason that all matters, though?
We're Probably About to See the Age of Apocalypse on the Big Screen
Or, at least, that's what the recently released piece of concept art above seems to be suggesting. There's more about that right here, but the general point is that it very much seems that director Bryan Singer is planning on having X-Men: Apocalypse feature a whole lot of elements from the Age of Apocalypse.
Now, a lot of those elements could well be integrated into the movie by simply having Apocalypse attack the Earth, and have our heroes fight against him. From the looks of that image, though, it seems entirely possible that Singer has something a lot more faithful planned, though. After all, though it's entirely possible that Storm (amongst others) could end up on Apocalypse's side through the traditional mind-alteration sort-of route, as the concept art also seems to suggest, it's not necessarily the path Singer'll go down.
Could We See Professor X Being Killed, and Magneto Leading the X-Men?
Y'know, the way it happened in the comics?
After all, that'd mean the vast number of newly introduced mutant heroes wouldn't just be there to be cannon fodder - they'd be there to fill out a bunch of entirely necessary roles: being shown first as Xavier's students, and then as two different sides of a brutal genocidal war.
It might not happen until a fair way into the movie - or possibly not even till the very end of the final act - but killing off Professor X, thus setting up an alternative reality in which everything is (geekily) horrifying, would certainly make for a memorable twist ending.
Not that Bryan Singer's famous for those, or anything...
Plus, since Deadpool (which is seemingly very much set in the 'real' world) is set for release before Apocalypse, there's still a distinct possibility that we could see the 'Age' continue on into other movies.
And honestly, for all Gambit and The New Mutants sound awesome - wouldn't they sound even more so if they were going to be set in a dark alternative reality created by Apocalypse, and filled with dark, sadistic versions of the heroes we know and love?
I don't know about you, but I'd be there with bells on...