Bryan Singer’s X-Men reunion-sequel Days of Future Past doesn’t open until May 23, 2014. But the director has already staked out a release date for his next X-Men movie. Singer’s Twitter account has been active throughout the past year with updates from the set of Future Past, but this morning, he stepped up his pitchman game with this cryptic tweet:
Two words and a year: Not much to go on, unless you’re a big dumb cool nerd who knows that Apocalypse is one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies. If you were that kind of big dumb cool nerd, your head probably exploded when you read that tweet.
Some context, as you rearrange bits of brain matter inside your taped-together skull: EW has confirmed with X-studio 20th Century Fox that a film titled X-Men: Apocalypse will open in wide release on May 27, 2016. That’s all the information we have about the movie now. It’s unclear whether Apocalypse will star the First Class X-Men or the Original-Trilogy X-Men, although easy money says they won’t let go of Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence without a fight. Also, they haven’t officially stated that Hugh Jackman will be in the movie. So let’s all assume Hugh Jackman will be in the movie.
Apocalypse is one of the most fascinating supervillains in the X-Men mythos, although his history is tangled and occasionally inscrutable. The short version: He’s the world’s first mutant. Essentially immortal, he was born thousands of years ago, and in his travels around the world, he transformed himself into a superpowered cyborg using alien technology. He has a wide assortment of powers: Telepathy, telekinesis, molecular manipulation (cooler than it sounds), technopathy (less cool than it sounds.) He wants to conquer the world. And eventually, he does: In one of several Really Bad Futures that haunt the X-Men, Apocalypse conquers the planet and rules for a couple thousand years. Solid part for Daniel Day-Lewis, is what I’m getting at here.
The most famous Apocalypse-centric story is the mid-90s arc Age of the Apocalypse, which took place entirely in an alternate reality where all the X-Men had cool new costumes. Given that Days of Future Past is already taking the X-franchise into the confusing realm of time travel, it seems unlikely that they would follow up so quickly with an alternate-reality movie. But honestly, the continuity in the X-movies is already confusing. Maybe Singer just threw up his arms and said “Whatever guys, let’s get to one-handed Wolverine and Fabio Cyclops already!” More likely, X-Men: Apocalypse will see Magneto and Professor X unite against Apocalypse, who’s so crazy he makes Magneto look like a pacifist. There’s also the possibility that the movie will advance the First Class continuity forward into the ’80s, meaning Jennifer Lawrence could inadvertently make legwarmers a thing again.
So, mark your calendars. The film is opening the same day as Alice in Wonderland 2, which means you now have another good reason not to see Alice in Wonderland 2.