It's tradition: If you go see a superhero movie, you best be sure to stay through the end credits to see what the studio's got in store for the franchise next. If you stayed through the end of X-Men: Days Of Future Past you witnessed a scene depicting the mutant construction of the pyramids. In other words, you saw your first glimpse at one of the big concepts behind X-Men: Apocalypse, the next big movie in the X-Men series.
Given that Days Of Future Past is straight-up blowing up the box office as we speak, it's probably safe to say there are a lot of people out there clamoring to know what 20th Century Fox has planned for the next related outing. So here's what we know about X-Men: Apocalypse so far.
That Pyramid-Building Mutant We Saw In DOFP's End Credits Was En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse
En Sabah Nur was the name being chanted in that post-credits scene. He's a...formidable dude. A 1000-year-old immortal mutant, he was born with gray skin and blue lines on his face. He also has a wide array of powers, from telekinesis (as we witnessed through his pyramid-building skills), invulnerability, teleportation, energy generation, bio-molecular alteration, and that aforementioned immortality, the latter of which can come in handy when it comes to fitting into whatever era X-Men feels like tackling next.
His presence in the story is in itself a cryptic sign for the next movie. As The Daily Beast's Rich Goldstein explains:
In several versions of the X-Men’s future, Apocalypse has successfully conquered the world and ushered in an age of chaos, strife, and unimaginable suffering. Days of Future Past shows a crowd chanting the first one’s name, as the mutant who will become Apocalypse telekinetically builds pyramids in the desert. Behind the cloaked figure, stand the villain’s ever present generals, the four hoursmen: Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence.
You'll Know A Lot More About Ancient Mutants By the End Of Apocalypse
There have been shout-outs to JFK as a mutant, but we haven't much explored the history of mutants throughout the span of humanity. As Singer mused to Entertainment Weekly last month:
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?
It's pretty safe to assume that the one that found its way into our world goes by the name Apocalypse.
We're Headed To the '80s
As we mentioned above, Apocalypse can fit into pretty much any era, and Days Of Future Past director Singer's described X-Men: Apocalypse as a disaster movie set in the '80s. This would make sense in the film's positioning as a continuation of the past-gen trilogy it's been working on: First Class was the '60s, Days Of Future Past was very into its '70s setting.
This next one will take on the '80s. Get ready for Jennifer Lawrence in shoulder pads. As X-Men writer Simon Kinberg noted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
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.
There's a Good Chance Bryan Singer Will Be Back To Direct, Despite The Controversy Surrounding Him
Singer announced Apocalypse a whiiile before DOFP hit theaters, so it had long been assumed that he'd be reprising his place in the director's chair. That hasn't shown much sign of changing even in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Singer, so I guess we have even more proof of where Hollywood's loyalties lie. All you gotta do to see that crystal clear is look at X-Men writer Simon Kinberg's response to a question about the allegations:
I don’t really want to speak on anything outside the movie, but I believe Bryan created the template for the modern superhero movie. I remember where I was when I saw ‘X-Men,’ and I thought he redefined the way people made comic book films.
Days Of Future Past Definitely Leads Into Apocalypse, Though In A Way That's Perhaps Not Obvious
As Singer told EW:
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.
[...] Days of Future Past will provide clues to the storyline ofApocalypse. 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.”
There are rumors that we'll see teenage versions of Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey
These rumors have not been confirmed, but wouldn't that be rad?
They'll Find A Way To Shoehorn In The Older Cast
The franchise isn't ready to put aside Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, that's for sure. Kinberg told The Daily Beast that “It will focus primarily on the First Class cast, but it will certainly have some of the original cast involved, too.”
Speaking of the Younger Cast, Most Of Them Have Already Signed On
Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult are all confirmed for Apocalypse .
Oh, and Channing Tatum will likely play Gambit
The role was previously played in the franchise by Friday Night Lights' Taylor Kitsch, but Tatum is an incredibly enthusiastic replacement. It's not super-duper confirmed, but it's a good bet we'll be seeing him in Apocalypse.
The Movie's Slated For May 27, 2016
Mark your calendars.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Screencrush; Tumblr