Last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past left the long-running franchise in a particularly exciting place; the weaker entries in the series have been eradicated entirely, and the filmmakers now have two eras to explore in future installments: the present-day storyline starring the original trilogy cast, and the prequel storyline that began with X-Men: First Class. However, despite this new setup, it looks like next year’s entry, X-Men: Apocalypse, will spend most (if not all) of its running time in the past.
Previous plot details have pegged the film as a big-spectacle disaster pic set in the 1980s. On top of that, Bryan Singer is currently meeting with a host of young actors and actresses for the roles of Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm. As if those weren’t indication enough that the film would largely ignore the modern timeline, Patrick Stewart has confirmed that he and his frequent X-Men co-star/BFF Ian McKellen won’t be back.
Stewart recently spoke with Larry King, and broke the news when asked point-blank if he would be jumping into Professor Xavier’s wheelchair for another outing as the leader of the titular mutant team:
“No. No Sir Ian McKellen, either. I was learning quite a lot more about it last night, and it is going to be looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters. And so I don’t think we’ll be making an appearance.”
As much as I like Stewart and McKellen in the roles, I’m happy to hear that they’ll be taking a step away from the franchise. Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has stated that Apocalypse will close out the trilogy that began with First Class, so it makes sense that the film will follow the younger versions of Xavier and Magneto – played with much acclaim by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender – instead of their older counterparts.
X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theaters on May 27th, 2016.