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On the surface, X-Men: Apocalypse will be a no-holds-barred battle between the ancient Egyptian antagonist (plus his Four Horsemen) and the eponymous superhero team. However, it’s going to be more than just a visual spectacle. The movie also marks the conclusion of the First Class trilogy, which has followed Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, and Beast in their younger years. According to executive producer Simon Kinberg, this emotional wrap-up will be just as satisfying as the fight with Apocalypse.
Kinberg told Collider that despite the pressure to improve upon X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, he’s proud of how X-Men: Apocalypse turned out, and promised fans it will delver everything from the last two movies and then some. Kinberg said:
It delivers on the dramatic story and emotion of the last two movies. It feels like the culmination of the four main characters really — McAvoy, Fassbender, Nic Hoult, and Jen. And it’s a bigger movie in both physical scale and I would say emotional stakes too because it is the culmination of this mini trilogy of stories.
X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past told the adventures of these younger characters in 1962 and 1973, respectively, giving moviegoers insight into what they were like before the original X-Men film trilogy. X-Men: Apocalypse will jump to 1983, at a time when Professor X’s school is flourishing, Magneto is trying to lead a new life, and Mystique is helping her fellow mutants escape persecution. Other First Class characters who will appear include Moira MacTaggert, Havok, and Quicksilver. The movie also features teenage versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Angel.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult all signed three-picture deal when they joined the X-Men universe, making X-Men: Apocalypse the final film on their contract. It remains to be seen any of these actors will extend their deals, but it sounds like whatever happens, X-Men: Apocalypse will offer a satisfying conclusion to this story told over the last five years. Although, given that the timeline was changed in X-Men: Days of Future Past, for all we know their lives could be significantly different compared to the original films. Hmmm…
While this particular story is ending, the X-Men franchise isn’t going anywhere. Deadpool and Gambit spinoffs are on the way, and Wolverine 3 will conclude Hugh Jackman’s tenure as the clawed mutant in 2017. X-Force and New Mutants are also in development, which will allow Fox to keep making mutant team movies without labeling them specifically as X-Men films.
We’ll see the culmination of the First Class trilogy when X-Men: Apocalypse is released on May 27, 2016.