This Week’s Cover: The Age of X-Men: Apocalypse
The end is near. Over the course of six films, the X-Men have seen their share of intimidating opponents. But nothing has really prepared them (or audience members) for X-Men: Apocalypse, opening May 27 and the subject of four interconnected EW covers. The arrival of grumpy ancient mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) and his plan of worldwide destruction both rips apart and unites the X-Men, including young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp). “It’s kind of a conclusion of six films — X-Men 1, 2, 3, as well as First Class and Days of Future Past — and yet a potential rebirth of younger, newer characters,” says director Bryan Singer. “Even my father, who’s 85, called me and said, ‘Is this the last one?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s not going to be the last X-Men, I can promise you that, Dad.’ But it does have a kind of conclusive aspect to it.”
That feeling is compounded by the fact that the deals for the four leads — Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique), James McAvoy (Charles), Michael Fassbender (Erik/Magneto), and Nicholas Hoult (Hank/Beast) — expire with Apocalypse and no one is certain who, if anyone, will be returning for another round of mutant merriment. “Even if this is the last one for me or for other people, you just are sort of grateful for the experience,” McAvoy says. “I know I can speak for a lot of the other guys as well that it’s been a really positive experience for us professionally and socially and personally.” While the three men all say they are more than willing to come back, Lawrence is the holdout. And she vacillates a lot on this subject — even mid-sentence. “I would love to come back,” says Lawrence, who shot to superstardom after First Class, The Hunger Games, and her Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook. She has many options, in other words, and they tug at her. “You realize how important your year is, like how important three months out of your year is,” she says. “I don’t know.” Pause. “I shouldn’t be that honest.”
The producers thought long and hard about hiring the younger group of actors, knowing these faces will be the future of the franchise. “We needed those kids to be as compelling on screen as Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy and Oscar Isaac, and that’s a tall order,” says writer-producer Simon Kinberg. “We did feel a lot of pressure to find a young cast that can live up to that caliber of acting.” To that end, most of the newbies like Game of Thrones’ Turner, Sheridan — who has been hired as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One — and Shipp are signed to at least two more films.
The first production still of Jennifer Lawrence in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ movie is out. The movie is set to be released on May 27, 2016.
We’re still weeks away from the unveiling of Fox’s ginormous X-Men: Days of Future Past (the cover of this week’s EW) but, fittingly, director Bryan Singer and producer/writer Simon Kinberg can only look ahead: The pair are developing, along with X2 writers Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, the next X-Men film, Apocalypse, slated for May 27, 2016. Not much about the film is known, but Singer says that the film will be “somewhat” based on the 1990 comic storyline “Age of Apocalypse,” which features ancient villain Apocalypse and imagines an alternate universe. “[The movie] won’t necessarily create an alternate universe, but there may be some swapping things that I’m playing with,” admits Singer. Adds Kinberg, “From a visual standpoint it actually may be a bigger movie than Days of Future Past because there’ll be disaster movie imagery, like the title would imply.”
Days of Future Past will provide clues to the storyline of Apocalypse. Says Singer, “You won’t feel at the end of the movie that it set up Apocalypse. What it does is it sets up possibilities. But what we’ll discover in Apocalypse is that events in this movie made that happen.” He adds, “Apocalypse deals with ancient mutancy. What would humans have thought mutants were? What would mutants think humans were? You’re dealing with gods and things like that. And what if one survived and what if that found its way into our world?”
X-Men: Apocalypse will follow Charles (James McAvoy), Erik (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Hank (Nicholas Hoult), and Singer says that those actors are all on board from deals signed for First Class. Singer also says he’s interested in bringing in other mutants, like Gambit and Nightcrawler. “I’m excited because I want to start introducing familiar characters at different ages and also explore the ‘80s.”
Bryan Singer has confirmed that there will be another X-Men film.
The director made the surprising announcement on Twitter but didn’t give any other details about the upcoming threequel.
The writer and director took to the social network, writing: “#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!”
#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 5, 2013
Though Bleeding Cool reports the film will follow directly on from X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“There’s a clear narrative thread that will string the two pictures together, and the character of Apocalypse is a good part of how this will work.” it reported.
“Several cast members of Days of Future Past will be wanted back for Apocalypse, including members of both the ‘past’ and ‘present’ timelines.
“I can’t find out who has signed or even who might have entered negotiations, but I do know who is on the shopping list and, in short, it’s everybody.
“Or, to be more precise, it’s a direct continuation, a next chapter that picks up the status quo at the end of Days and carries on developing it.”
* X-Men: Days of Future Past is released on 22 May 2014