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Through X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, the mutants known as Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) have gone through a hell of a lot. Beginning in the early 1960s, they wound up right smack dab in the middle of not only a massive societal change, but also the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then, about a decade later, they found themselves fighting for the future and against a horrific apocalyptic nightmare, saving humanity from giant machines that would ultimately create nothing but death and destruction. Their road has been a long one, but, according to writer/producer Simon Kinberg, that arc may soon be coming to an end.
While answering fan questions as part of a recent fan Q&A hosted by Yahoo! UK, the filmmaker revealed that X-Men: Apocalypse is being strongly viewed as an end to a trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class and continued this past summer with Days of Future Past. The aim seems to be to provide some kind of conclusion for Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Beast, who have grown and changed (some more literally than others) a great deal over time. Said Kinberg,
"The thrust of Apocalypse is really to complete the trilogy we began with First Class – to complete the stories of young Raven, young Hank, younger Charles and Erik. And complete this trilogy of four people who began the films sort of disparate and in different worlds who we’ve followed through the span of decades. So that’ll be the thrust. There will be familiar characters and new characters that we haven’t seen…ever…but it’ll be the completion of what we began in First Class."
What makes this statement very odd is that fact that Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast all play absolutely vital roles in the world of X-Men - so how could the franchise continue on without them? The simplest answer could be that future titles would center on the new younger versions of characters like Cyclops, Jean Gray and Storm, and follow their adventures, but how do you feature them and not feature Xavier and Beast as their teachers? Another possible solution is that 20th Century Fox may start looking at different teams that they have the rights to, like X-Force (which has already been developing) or Alpha Flight. Or maybe they'll just starting focusing more on solo titles, like the announced Deadpool and rumored Gambit. There are a number of interesting options, and it will be fascinating to see which directions they go in.
X-Men: Apocalypse, which is being directed by Bryan Singer and is being written by Kinberg, is scheduled to go into production next year and is currently dated on the release calendar for May 27, 2016.