Prolific writer-producer Simon Kinberg has been explaining his takes on his upcoming movies, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse – including how they essentially represent 20th Century Fox’s first foray into the realms of shared cinematic universes. It raises an interesting question: What is the difference between a film series spinoff, such as The Wolverine, and an honest-to-goodness shared cinematic universe? The answer, it seems, is to be found in the beginning.
First, we had X-Men in 2000, and that kick-started a whole series of movies that spanned time periods and featured many, many comic book characters. Then, in 2009, along came X-Men Origins: Wolverine – and there lies the difference. Wolverine’s movies began as specific off-shoots from the main series. Deadpool – though the titular character appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – is very much its own thing. Kinberg confirmed to Collider, however, that the film necessarily retains its X-Men links, despite being an entity unto itself.
“It takes place within the X-Men universe and references that universe. It’s not in the same time period as our past tense X-Men movies like, First Class, Days Of Future Past, and Apocalypse take place in the past, and Deadpool take place in the present, but it acknowledges everything that’s happened in those other movies and the universe and…Colossus is in it, and other characters from the X-Men world.”
The biggest difference, according to Kinberg, is the tone of Deadpool – which will set it apart, not only from the X-Men film series, but also from every other movie out there.
“[Deadpool is] radical. It’s radical in tone, it’s radical in form, it’s radical in the level of violence. It’s just a different movie – not just from other comic book movies but, I think, from any other action movie that’s out there right now.”
With the unprecedented level of anticipation and excitement for this R-rated comic book movie, talk of a Deadpool sequel is already increasing in volume. Simon Kinberg is optimistic about that opportunity, both in terms of commercial viability, and quality of material.
“It’s certainly the hope, and there is conversation about what the idea would be, and perhaps which characters we would bring in to a sequel. The writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, were a really integral part of that process… Hopefully the movie will do great and we can keep making these movies, because I do think there’s a lot more story to tell.”
With regard to X-Men: Apocalypse – the trailer for which is confirmed as being attached to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Simon Kinberg explained why he expects this franchise instalment to be a particularly powerful experience.
“I do think it will be the biggest of the X-Men films, just in terms of the scale and the scope of the movie, and even more the emotional stakes and scope of the film. It has a level of drama and emotion, for all of the characters – I think going into it I assumed this would be the culmination in many ways of this little trilogy we were telling for young Erik, Charles, Mystique and Beast, but I think what was surprising over the span of photography and now into post as well is just how resonant the young Jean, Scott and Storm stories are too.”
Whatever your view on the wisdom of shared cinematic universes, it’s hard to deny the epic nature of what Simon Kinberg is describing. There is, however, time to wait. Deadpool is released on February 12th, 2016, while X-Men: Apocalypse arrives on May 27th, 2016.