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Longtime X-Men actors Halle Berry, Famke Jannsen and James Marsden shouldn’t wait by the phone for their agents to call now that Bryan Singer is moving ahead with X-Men: Apocalypse. While the three actors were able to reprise their roles for the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, the existing timeline in place for 2016’s X-Men sequel means that Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops would have to be recast… if they are going to be used at all.
Simple math would explain this, but X-Men producer and co-screenwriter Simon Kinberg confirmed the casting conundrum to Yahoo Movies during a recent Q-and-A session with fans. Some of this will be spoilery, so stop reading if you haven’t yet seen X-Men: Days of Future Past. Though why would you click on this story if you haven’t yet seen DOFP? Still, you have been warned.
Kinberg says that X-Men: Apocalypse will be a continuation of the events of Days of Future Past. In that scenario, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) helped young Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and prevent the launch of the Sentinel program – stopping a horrific timeline. With the timeline re-established, Kinberg says they can move forward with the X-Men: First Class team – the younger versions of the classic X-Men characters – in an adventure set in the 1980s.
Which means it takes place 20 years before Bryan Singer introduced Halle Berry, Famke Jannsen and James Marsden in the 2000 hit, X-Men.
Simon Kinberg recognizes that using those fan-favorite characters in X-Men: Apocalypse would require recasting. "If we are to use them," he elaborates. It was even suggested a few days ago that recasting is exactly what might take place. He also admits:
It'd be very hard to do, because Halle, Famke, and Jimmy [Marsden] and others have done such wonderful jobs of bringing those characters to life. But I also would have said before First Class that there would be no actors who can stand alongside Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart."
There are plenty of mutants on hand for X-Men: Apocalypse, from what we know. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is supposed to return in a larger role. Channing Tatum has been teasing that Gambit will play a part. And even Hugh Jackman keeps his hat in the ring as Wolverine – for the ninety-ninth time. Will Fox go ahead and recast a young Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops for the next X-Men movie? Time will tell.