Yellow spandex won’t protect our heroes from this future!
The X-Men comics have always been rich in great story telling. I’m a huge fan of not only the franchise, but anything to do with time travel (Back to the Future…greatest movie ever). So, when I was first introduced to the events of Days of Future Past via the Saturday Morning X-Men cartoon show, I was hooked. I went back and absorbed all things X-Men I could get my hands on. Now, with the Days film almost in theaters, it’s time to look beyond to the next chapter in the X-Men film franchise; X-Men: Apocalypse.
In a recent interview, both director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg touched on many details regarding Days, but also pulled back the curtain a bit on the upcoming Apocalypse film (based on the Age of Apocalypse comic series from the mid-90s). Kingerg remembers Age as one of his favorite X-Men stories, saying it feels like “…a story that could impact a lot of our favorite characters in big, dramatic ways. We feel it's a very different story from Days of Future Past. For starters, it's a very different villain, and the characters will be in very different places emotionally." Singer takes a more historical approach, relating our religious and mythological figures to the potential of what he calls “ancient mutants”. “One thing that interests me is the notion of ancient mutants. What would people thousands of years ago, without the benefit of science, think mutants were? And more importantly, what would mutants thousands of years ago think they were? Gods? Titans? Angels? Demons? And if such mutants did exist thousands of years ago, what became of them? Did one survive?” ponders the director.
Singer’s “Did one survive?” line is clearly a reference to the films namesake; the immortal mutant Apocalypse himself. He will play a central role in the 2016 sequel, as the events of Days will lead directly into the next movie.
So before the next X-Men hits theaters this May, here are a few key points that make up the core plot of Age of Apocalypse (that Days of Future Past could set up). Warning: The rest of this article could seem a bit spoiler-ish. However, since it deals with a comic run from almost twenty years ago (and a film whose script hasn’t even been completely finalized yet), I’ll assume I’m not giving away too much here.
More Time Traveling and the Death of Xavier:
One major plot point from the comics is that Charles’s son travels back in time to kill Magneto. However, he arrives at a time when the two have yet to become rivals, and accidently kills his Father (who dies protecting his friend). This also results in the timeline being rewritten and Xavier’s son ceasing to exist (think disappearing old Biff in 2015 Hill Valley). However, since we’ve already seen Xavier return from the grave once, will we really see him bite the big one again so soon?
Magneto Becomes the Hero:
In an interesting twist, Eric is so moved by his friend’s sacrifice, he adopts Xavier’s dream of humans and mutants co-existing peacefully. This leads to Magneto eventually becoming the leader of the X-Men in the new timeline. Based on many recent behind-the-scenes images we’ve seen, could Days be jumping the gun a bit on this and reuniting both Xavier and Magneto ahead of schedule?
Apocalypse is the New Hitler:
After the future is altered, we see an invasion occur in the present timeline by the ultra-baddie Apocalypse (who conquers all of North America). In the process, he successfully subjugates the human population, allowing mutants to rule (finally accomplishing what Magneto could not). However, in the process, he has millions of humans rounded up and exterminated (including many of his own kind that could possibly pose a threat). This will lead to an X-Men showdown in a very Nazi-esque alternative reality.
Obviously, a lot can happen between the releases of Days of Future Past this spring and X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. Singer has been known to take liberties with the X-Men canon in the past (see Sabertooh from original X-Men film), but so far things seem to be playing out nicely with the storylines. Let’s hope both Days and Apocalypse come off as epic on screen as they did in the comics.
And with the new timeline, there’s always hope Singer could take a stab at re-doing the Phoenix Saga…the right way this time.