‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Will End ‘First Class Trilogy,’ Says Kinberg

By September 27, 2014
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By this point it’s not exactly news, but it’s still true: X-Men: Days of Future Past was a massive box office success.  Out of all seven theatrical X-Men films released thus far, Days of Future Past is far and away the series’ biggest worldwide moneymaker, with a tally of nearly $750 million in combined domestic and international receipts. The sequel is already in pre-production, with Bryan Singer recently confirmed to return as its director, and now new details with one of the new film’s principal writers has shed new light on what we might be able to expect from Apocalypse, and perhaps even the X-Men film franchise going forward.

Speaking on a video Q&A with Yahoo Movies UK, screenwriter Simon Kinberg talked about Apocalypse as both an end to the latest arc of the X-Men films begun in 2011’s First Class, and how it can connect to the older films that take place decades later.

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.

Days of Future Past helped streamline the continuity of the haphazardly constructed X-Men movie timeline, by effectively using the "retcon."

Days of Future Past helped streamline the continuity of the haphazardly constructed X-Men movie timeline, by effectively using the “retcon.”

2011’s First Class, while far better critically received than either 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand or 2009’s X-Men: Origins – Wolverine, ended up creating some rather confusing anachronisms in the continuity of the film series, which led to a lot of different theories about exactly what kind of film it was supposed to be. Was it a clean reboot? A prequel to the original 2000 film? There were elements present in the story that seemed to make both of these things impossible.

Then, the entire issue was cleared up expertly by the events of this year’s Days of Future Past, which helped to “retcon” many of the disparate, unwelcome and poorly received events that first occurred in The Last Stand and Origins – Wolverine by clearly hashing out First Class as the beginning of the X-Men film continuity, while basically discarding much of the original film and 2003’s X2, along with basically the entirety of The Last Stand and both Wolverine films.

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.

Previous interviews with Singer and Kinberg have stated that original X-Men Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm would be making their chronological first appearances in Apocalypse, which supposedly takes place during the 1980s. That would likely necessitate recasting those characters for the new film, and Kinberg also spoke to that in the Q&A.

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.

It’ll be interesting to see which direction the series will take following the events of Apocalypse, and whether or not the series will continue with the younger cast of First Class, or revert back to using the original X-Men established by the 2000 film. We won’t have to wait too long to find out, as X-Men: Apocalypse goes into production this coming April, and will be released on May 27th, 2016. For more from Kinberg on the X-Men, be sure to watch the full Q&A session at Yahoo Movies UK.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.