It was back in January that, on the back of confirming he would be writing, Bryan Singer announced he was eager to direct X-Men: Apocalypse. Apocalypse was announced last year, and from the beginning it was expected that Singer, who has directed three X-Men films before (X-Men, X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past), would be returning as director.
The fact his latest instalment of the franchise, Days of Future Past, has become one of the highest grossing films of the year ($747 million worldwide) also made it look very likely that Singer would direct Apocalypse. So, naturally, tonights confirmation is very welcome, but hardly surprising.
Deadline confirmed the news:
Fox has just closed a deal with Bryan Singer to direct X-Men: Apocalypse, the next installment of its billion-dollar Marvel mutants franchise. This will be Singer’s fourth installment as director; he hatched the franchise with the first two films for Fox, and came back to direct this year’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. That latter film, which meshed the original trilogy cast with the one from X-Men: First Class, grossed $746 million worldwide, the most of any of the films. Singer’s participation in the new film had been rumored, but his deal is now done.
Simon Kinberg is co-writing Apocalypse with Singer, and he revealed to Yahoo the timeline the film will be set in (which we knew already), but also more importantly the characters it would focus on:
“The X-Men film that we’re working on now as everybody knows is X-Men: Apocalypse and that really follows the stories of the let’s say ‘First Class’ X-Men. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, many others of that generation of X-Men. So, in future X-Men films? Perhaps, but in ‘Apocalypse’ it will really be the continuation of the ‘past’ of ‘Days of Future Past.”
Naturally fans may be keen on seeing some of the original cast (from Singer’s X-Men and X2) returning for Apocalypse, but doing so would mean re-casting, as Kinberg explains:
“If we included some of the original X-Men, like Storm, Jean, Scott, and others, yeah we would have to recast them, because Apocalypse takes place a good twenty years before “X1,” which now insanely was fifteen years ago. It would be very hard to do. Halle, Famke, and Jimmy, and others have done such wonderful jobs of bringing those characters to life and they’re so identified, those actors, with the parts now. So it would be a tall task, but I also would have said before “First Class” there would be no way we could find actors who could stand alongside Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and I think we managed to with Michael and James finding their own interpretation of the characters, not doing an impersonation. So, are we going to have to recast? If some of those characters were in the movie we would, but we’ll see”
Singer has described the upcoming X-Men film, which is expected to feature all cast members including Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy, as the most destructive movie in the franchise.
“‘Apocalypse’ will have more of the mass destruction that ‘X-Men’ films, to date, have not relied upon,” he recently said. “There’s definitely now a character and a story that allow room for that kind of spectacle.”
Singer also suggested that “Apocalypse,” set in the 1980s, could feature younger versions of familiar characters.
“I call these movies in-between-quels. It’s a mind-f**k sometimes in terms of where things fall in the timeline.”
Fox will release the film on May 27, 2016.