Credit: Kerry Hayes

It’s a casting X-gravaganza! Director Bryan Singer tweeted today that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will be reprising their respective roles as Magneto and Prof. X in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and they’ll be joined by X-Men: First Class stars Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and James McAvoy as Prof. X.

Wait, what?

For the geek uninitiated, “Days of Future Past” is also the title of an X-Men comic book storyline from 1981, which alternated between a dystopian future in which mutants are living in internment camps, and the present day mutants working to prevent that future from happening. With this casting news, Singer has all but confirmed that the next X-Men film will reconstitute that storyline a bit, making the Fassbender/McAvoy mutants in the go-go 1960s the “present day” storyline, and the McKellen/Stewart mutants in the early 21st century the ones trapped in a bleak alternate future. This is likely a way back to the series for Stewart, given that his Prof. X was (more or less) killed off in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.

Curiously, Singer also officially announced that X-Men: First Class‘s Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are also returing as Mystique and Beast, respectively. Does this mean Rebecca Romijn and Kelsey Grammer will be playing their 21st century counterparts? All Singer would say in his final tweet: “More to come…”

This also officially means that McKellen is set to go up against himself: Both X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are scheduled to hit theaters on July 18, 2014.

Geek brains are exploding everywhere.

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