Though X-Men: Days of Future Past was absolutely massive, bringing together the older cast of the earlier trilogy with the new actors of prequel First Class, word has it that X-Men: Apocalypse will go even bigger. And though production on the franchise entry isn’t getting underway until next spring, Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg was recently more than happy to shed some light on what Apocalypse will look like and how it is being approached in relation to the previous films.
Speaking with Yahoo! Movies UK, Kinberg, who is currently developing the script for Apocalypse with returning director Bryan Singer and X2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, discussed the scope and focus of the upcoming blockbuster:
“The thrust of Apocalypse is really to complete the trilogy we began with First Class – to complete the stories of young Raven, young Hank, younger Charles and Erik. And complete this trilogy of four people who began the films sort of disparate and in different worlds…[and who] we’ve followed through the span of decades. So that’ll be the thrust. There will be familiar characters and new characters that we haven’t seen…ever…but it’ll be the completion of what we began in First Class.”
Buzz about the ’80s-set Apocalypse has indicated that it will largely focus on the younger, First Class generation of mutants, but when one considers that the reset Days of Future Past timeline restored James Marsden’s Cyclops and Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey to life, one big question emerges. Will Singer and company will cast new actors as younger versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey (and Halle Berry’s Storm, for that matter), or simply leave the characters out of the story? Kinberg admitted that tackling that question will pose a major challenge for the writers:
“If we included some of the original X-Men, like Storm, Jean, Scott and others in Apocalypse, yeah we would have to recast them because Apocalypse takes place a good 20 years before X1 which now insanely is 10-15 years ago. It would be very hard to do. Halle [Berry], Famke [Janssen] and James [Marsden] have done such a wonderful job bringing those characters to life and have been so identified with the parts. It would be a tall task, but I also would’ve said before First Class that there was no way we’d find actors to stand alongside Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and we did with Michael [Fassbender] and James [McAvoy]. Are we going to have to recast? If some of characters are in the movie, we would. But we shall wait and see.”
Kinberg also noted that the repercussions of changing the timeline in Days of Future Past (and esssentially wiping out the earlier films, including ill-received entries The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) will be deeply felt in Apocalypse:
“We changed the timeline for everything that came after DOFP – so X-Men 1, 2 and 3, even The Wolverine. So Jean [Grey] was not killed in Last Stand, nor was Scott, and a whole lot of other things rippled.”
And though he couldn’t reveal any of the new mutants who will be appearing in Apocalypse, Kinberg did talk about one of his favorite X-Men characters, Psylocke, and revealed that she was left on the cutting room floor during script work on Days of Future Past, much to his disappointment:
“She’s a fan favourite, and also a favourite of mine. We have a small part that she plays in Last Stand, and we talked about including her in DOFP quite seriously actually. There was a version of the script she was in and we even auditioned some actors in Montreal. But we didn’t feel there was enough of a part she would play in a movie that was already full of many, many mutants.
She has a cool power. I know Bryan thinks she’s a neat character so there’s certainly a chance she’ll be in an X-Men movie some day. Hopefully there’ll be a lot of X-Men movies and there’s lot of mutants we’re yet to fully explore onscreen, even if they’ve had cameos before. Now we’re making more films there’s a chance to dig deeper.”
There you have it. Whatever you may have thought of Days of Future Past, no one can deny that X-Men: Apocalypse is going to be absolutely huge. Whether or not that’s a good thing, we’ll find out on May 27th, 2016.