Rumours have been flying every since the initial announcement of [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) about who will face off in the final showdown. And after SDCC's leaks, we have a good idea of exactly where the battle lines will be drawn, and who will be on either side of the divide.
There have been some shocking revelations, as fan faves will return with unexpected alliances. But can there be a redemption for Storm? And just what part will Channing Tatum's Gambit play in the next X-Men film?
Horsemen vs X-Men
The latest info comes to us, as usual, via leaked photos and SDCC's as yet unofficially released trailer. But before we get into the details, lets review what we know so far.
- Apocalypse will be the main villain, a mutant with godlike abilities to change his own molecular makeup and influence others'. So, he can make himself invulnerable, and increase the power of whoever follows him. Pretty hard to resist that sweet deal!
- He's joined by the Four Horsemen, who are now confirmed to be Psylocke, Archangel, Storm, and Magneto.
- Xavier will team up with Mystique and Beast, as well as introducing young Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Jubilee to the X-Men team!
- Gambit could also join the gang: this may be a cameo, but Channing Tatum has hinted at the Cajun mutant having a larger role in the film.
Jubilee's introduction to the movie canon has delighted comics fans: she's not only a fan fave and a great addition to the team, but the costume department have really remained faithful to her look in the comics.
And we're also pleased to see Nighcrawler will finally team up with the heroes but how this will fit in to his appearance in X2 we still don't know. The X-Men franchise has a long history of using and re-using characters without taking much notice of their own movie canon. Deadpool is the perfect example, though they are being delightfully tongue-in-cheek about his previous appearances, even having Wade make references to that swing-and-a-miss movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine...
"From the studio that inexplicably sewed his mouth f*cking shut the first time..."
So is this the same Nightcrawler that we saw in X2, over 20 years after Apocalypse's setting? Or will the timeline reset give Bryan Singer the opportunity to ignore Nightcrawler's previous appearance?
Hero gone bad
Storm's inclusion in Apocalypse's bad guy team has surprised fans, as she has long been a core member of the X-Men.
Ororo Munroe is a staple of the mutant story: she's respected by fellow mutants and civilians alike. Revered as a goddess in the comics, Storm has teamed up with the Avengers (Thor is a total fanboy for her), and even reigned as Queen of Wakanda (Black Panther's fictional African home country). Obviously the X-Men movies can't include these details, but having the beloved Storm serve villain Apocalypse certainly is a twist.
Yet it may not be as unexpected as you'd think: when Xavier first meets Ororo in the comics, she is a lowly pickpocket in Cairo. Storm hasn't always been so heroic. Perhaps instead of Charles saving her from a life of crime, Apocalypse encourages her less than moral urges, and indoctrinates her to his cause. How can she come back from this? Is there still hope for her to join the X-Men?
Gambit to the rescue!
Despite speculation that Channing Tatum was ready to leave the X-Men franchise and abandon his solo Gambit film, recent reports confirm that not only is he still on board the mutant train, we may catch a glimpse of his heroic antics much sooner than expected!
Bryan Singer posted this picture on his Instagram, presumably from the set of X-Men Apocalypse, surprising fans with a selfie featuring Tatum! The caption reads "always wanted to work with this guy!"
Tatum himself has shed some light on the situation. When asked whether he'll be appearing in X-Men Apocalypse, he had this to say.
"I don’t know if I’m at liberty to say, but I think we want to [include Gambit in the film]... I don’t think I want to introduce Gambit until you can really explain who Gambit is."
Elusive, but tantalising! This could mean one of two things. Either Gambit won't be included in the franchise until he's had his own solo introduction, or his role in X-Men Apocalypse will be much bigger than we thought, providing insight into his character and setting up a solo film. And considering the recent news about Singer looking to extend Tatum's contract, it's likely that Gambit will replace the departing Wolverine as the central character of the franchise, appearing in nearly all the films and tying them together.
Could Gambit be the one to save Storm from herself? Or will Ororo go full villain and reject the X-Men completely? Stay tuned for more info: the full trailer should be coming soon!