There's half a year to go until [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) hits theaters, but in all the hype around [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) and Batman vs Superman, it's been easy to forget that the final instalment in the current X-men trilogy looks all set to be a glorious conclusion to fifteen years of cinematic history. So let's take a look at what we know so far about FOX's blockbuster, the role Quicksilver could play in the future of the franchise, and why the return of one First Class character is a very good thing.
Magneto out, Quicksilver in... and Daddy issues
Something touched on only briefly in X-Men: Days of Future Past was Quicksilver's parentage. In several of the comic stories, Magneto is the father of Quicksilver, and in Future Past this was referenced in Quicksilver's line: "They say you can manipulate metal. My Mom used to know a guy who could do that." As Easter Eggs go, this one wasn't exactly difficult to spot, giving rise to some speculation that Singer would use the sequel movie to cement the paternal relationship between Magneto and Quicksilver as part of the current X-men trilogy canon.
This would make particular sense if, as heavily rumoured, Apocalypse turns out to be Michael Fassbender's final film outing as the beloved antagonist. Magneto has, or will have pretty much run the gamut of stories at this point, playing the villain whilst having his motives fleshed out in both movies. By confirming the shared blood between the two characters, Quicksilver (Evan Peters, professional scene-stealer) will effectively be able to take over from Magneto as the lead in the next movie. Thus far he's been a relatively "good" character, but who's to say that the status quo wouldn't be altered if he were to inherit some of his father's views on the roles of mutants in the future of civilisation? By passing on the baton, Singer would be giving the next trilogy major legs.
Rose Byrne is back in the field...
One of the highlights of 2011's super-stylish X-Men: First Class was Moira MacTaggert, the government agent played by Rose Byrne who got drawn into the world of the mutants and formed a solid, eventually romantic relationship with Charles. At the end of the movie he wiped her memory so that the CIA would be unable to interrogate her for intel on the mutants. A decade on in Days of Future Past, Moira is neither seen nor mentioned.
But this time the CIA asset is back in the field. Although some of the mutants are either resistant to ageing or are aged up between the films, Moira should be a whole two decades older this time, so it'll be fun to see if Byrne gets the same aged-up treatment as Peggy Carter in Marvel's various movies (the ageing make-up in Ant-Man was unintentional comedy gold) or if they play fast and loose with the concept of time, as the X-men films have been known to do.
There's also the question of whether a reunion with Xavier is on the cards. As a consequence of that memory wipe, MacTaggert will effectively be meeting the mutants again for the first time - but they will already have a knowledge of her, which could leave her open to manipulation by the hand of the man she had shared a connection with, which adds a twist to what was already an interesting dynamic. Whatever happens, the return of the CIA agent is very welcome.
Never say never...
One of the beautiful things about the X-Men franchise having been largely helmed by Bryan Singer is that even as it undergoes its second major reboot and introduces a new generation of mutants, the director guiding the refresh has a major appreciation for the series' history - he created it, after all. And that means that even if Fassbender and McAvoy exit as lead cast members after Apocalypse, there's every chance they'll be back when the story demands it (and when the current elder gen Prof X and Magneto are no longer around, passing the baton down) - just as Patrick Stewart (and, if Singer's Instagram post is anything to go by, Ian McKellen) will cameo in Apocalypse, if the rumours are reliable.
Alternatively, the films might be focused on the likes of Gambit, Quicksilver and Jubilee in ten years, phasing out Charles and Erik completely - and you could say their stories have already been told. The point is that, wherever the series goes next, it's built up enough history to call on it any time, and that's a major bonus for fans who've been with it for fifteen years.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens May 27th, 2016. Are you stoked? Happy for Magneto to be phased out, or does the character's history make him essential to the next X-men trilogy? Leave your thoughts in the comments.