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In 2016, the X-Men cinematic universe is going to undergo some significant changes. X-Men: Apocalypse, following the First Class timeline, will introduce new, younger versions of characters we already know, like Jean Grey, Storm, Cyclops, and others. Solo movies like Deadpool and Gambit will give also give other characters their own platform. As all of these titles fall under the 20th Century Fox banner, some have wondered how they connect, and now producer Simon Kinberg reveals how they’re linked.
The short answer is that all these movies are connected and exist in a shared reality. Talking to Joblo on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse, Simon Kinberg elaborated, saying:
...they all are part of a larger fabric now, and so the world of Deadpool, the world of Gambit, exists in a post-Days of Future Past post-Apocalypse world where all of these stories are the same as our shared history...our fictitious events like the stadium dropping on the White House in 1973 is part of the world in which Gambit, Deadpool, Wolverine on forward exists.
So all of the things we’ve seen over the last two films, X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, which go back as far as the 1960s, and what we’ll see coming up in Apocalypse, set in the 1980s, all happened in the past for movies like Deadpool. This means it’s possible we will see events from those films alluded to in the other upcoming movies. It’s also possible that, since Deadpool takes place in the present and Apocalypse is set in the past, there could be a nods to something we won’t see until later.
Who knows if anything like that will happen, but it does give the 20th Century Fox Marvel movies their own rich, intricate world. We’ve seen how successful the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been at pulling this off, and DC is going for a similar approach with their DCEU. These expansive, interconnected realms are especially fun for comic book fans, because they mimic the approach that form has taken on the page for decades. Sometimes stories are explicitly connected, other times they’re almost wholly separate, but a level of interplay and crosspollination helps them from getting stale and stagnant.
We’ll start to see how all of this plays out in practical, real-world way later this year, but we should have a pretty good idea of how Simon Kinberg and company are approaching this the end of 2016. Deadpool hits theaters on February 12, just in time for violent, R-rated Valentine’s date; X-Men: Apocalypse hits this year on May 27; and the Channing Tatum-fronted Gambit is slated to drop on October 7.