It's been a long road to Apocalypse. As the sixth film in the franchise, [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) has over a decade's worth of loose ends to tie up. And with creator Bryan Singer promising a rebirth of the X-Men, is this exactly what the film series needs?
After X-Men: The Last Stand faced widespread fan criticism for killing well, basically everyone, we thought that was it from our favourite mutant heroes. But X-Men: First Class helped get audiences interested again, with a time shift that made the series seem fresh again, and a fun plot that emulated classic Bond movies while giving a glimpse of how this whole mess began. Despite its epic run time, [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942) managed to grab audience attention and hold it, bringing both the original film characters and the First Class characters together in a plot that spanned decades. It was ambitious, but Singer made it work, and the result was a thrilling story of revenge and redemption.
But it's not over! X-Men: Apocalypse might be the biggest battle the mutant heroes have ever faced. Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has been feeding fan excitement...
“We want to tell the Apocalypse story and there’s massive scale and scope to that. There’s going to be set pieces that I suspect are going to be bigger than anything we’ve ever done in an X-Men movie before. The biggest challenge of the Apocalypse movie to me is his character. How do you create a new villain for the X-Men world that is as good as any villain that’s come before, is compelling philosophically as Magneto, not just in his physical powers, but in his philosophical depth.”
With godlike powers and a backstory that reaches back into ancient history, Apocalypse is certainly an impressive villain. The battle with him is going to be epic, and we may well be facing another timeline reset after the dust settles.
The road so far
Bryan Singer has been releasing a steady, if slow, stream of information about X-Men: Apocalypse. But in case you missed it, here's what we know so far.
- Apocalypse is a very old mutant who used to be worshipped as a god.
- Prepare for a time jump! The new film will be set in the 80s.
- Popular characters from the comics, such as Psylocke, will finally join the team.
- Quicksilver is confirmed to appear.
- This will be Jennifer Lawrence's final X-Men film (read more).
So there are some big changes on the horizon! Singer is aiming to resolve the timeline reset at the end of Days of Future Past, but instead of retracing his steps in the first three X-Men films we're going back to a time when the main characters were young. Which of course means recasting! Sophie Turner, of Game of Thrones fame, is taking up Jean Grey's mantle, while Storm will be played by Alexandra Shipp and Cyclops by Tye Sheridan. Nightcrawler will also return to the team, after a brief appearance in X2, and will be played by Kodi-Smit McPhee.
Singer seems confident in these younger heroes, and has confirmed that they will be the new faces of the franchise. All subsequent films will now follow these teen mutants. Which means X-Men: Apocalypse will be the "conclusion of six X-Men films", leaving Singer open to new plots as he continues the franchise.
This is a tall order for X-Men: Apocalypse. The film will have to resolve all of the plots we've seen so far, bringing together the plotlines from the original trilogy and the latest two installments, while introducing a new villain and presenting a battle in an era we haven't seen yet. The results will be groundbreaking, concluding all the films we've seen so far and leaving path clear for newer, younger heroes to continue the mutant fight. Subsequent films will also have to avoid going over the original films' plots while dealing with the very numerous plot holes and inconsistencies the franchise is riddled with (eg: Kitty Pryde has been a young lawyer, a ten year old, and then Ellen Page).
Phew! Good luck, Bryan Singer.
But maybe a change in pace and a clean slate is exactly what the X-Men series needs. After all, the first film came out 15 years ago, and if Fox hopes to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they need to move forward with a new and interesting plotline. With Gambit and Deadpool getting solo movies, and The Fantastic Four just around the corner, this universe is building up its own set of heroes. Could this change in pace for the X-Men revitalise the franchise and rival The Avengers?
One thing's for certain - X-Men: Apocalypse is going to be one hell of a ride!
What do you think of these developments?
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