X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg recently made some very interesting comments regarding his perspective on writing the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. The filmmaker explained that he sees the new movie as ending a trilogy that began with First Class, as a way to "complete the stories" of young Mystique, Beast, Magneto and Professor Xavier. These comments naturally had us worried, fearing that these four integral characters would be somehow walking off into the sunset, but fortunately Kinberg has now set the record straight and explained that we can still expect more from these four mutants for years to come.
Recently given the chance to interview Simon Kinberg over the phone, I took the opportunity to ask him to clarify his trilogy statements, and he ensured me that X-Men: Apocalypse will not be "the end for any of these characters by any stretch." Rather than having the franchise moving beyond these core mutants, instead the idea is that an emotional arc has been playing out since X-Men: First Class and that X-Men: Apocalypse will be working to find a satisfactory conclusion to it. This has been the plan for years and was part of the development of First Class. Said Kinberg,
"We would want future movies with the main X-Men characters, but emotionally there are some stories you want to tell in three acts. Some stories you want to tell in five acts. When we started X-Men First Class, there was this notion that we were creating arcs emotionally for the characters that we would culminate in a third film."
While Nicholas Hoult’s Beast will surely be a very important part of the story, Kinberg specifically pointed to the very complicated relationship that exists between Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, James McAvoy’s Xavier, and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. As you may remember, the former two grew up together almost like brother and sister, and the latter lured her away with differing social philosophy regarding the mutant vs. human problem. It’s not so much about romance, as much as it is about loyalty. "Those emotional stories we’ll want to complete, we’ll want to culminate in Apocalypse," Kinberg told me. "And then create new stories for those characters."
It’s interesting to note at this stage that we have no idea where things will end up with these four characters. Because of the way the continuity slate was wiped clean at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the future is no longer set and literally anything can happen. Hell, perhaps this timeline will have Mystique deciding to go a more peaceful route and returning to Xavier, while Beast finds the rage within him and points it towards humanity by signing on to be a part of the Brotherhood. There are no more franchise guidelines to stick to, and anything can happen.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be going into production next summer in advance of its release on May 27, 2016, and X-Men: Days of Future Past will be available on Blu-ray and DVD starting October 14th.