Supposedly while on the Louisiana set of The Fantastic Four reboot, writer/producer Simon Kinberg had a phone chat with Movie Pilot about X-Men: Days of Future Past, which hit theaters today, and more prominently about its much-anticipated sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse. Given that the former Bryan Singer-directed film's post-credits scene introduces the titular villain of the latter, Kinberg first explained how he's approaching Apocalypse as a leader on par with Magneto and Professor X.
"What the comics do best and I think Bryan's done so well with these movies is humanizing, dramatizing the characters," he said. "It's really been about how do we give him [Apocalypse], most importantly, a very human and relatable motivation so that as extreme and insane as his methods are, there is something, you know, understandable, almost empathetic about his motivation. Some of that is in the books, some of that is us building on that. You know, fully dimensionalizing the character, but it is a huge part of the task of adapting the story of Apocalypse. It is making him, while larger than life also dow to a human, emotional scale." He added, "We're definitely approaching him as a super charismatic leader that will draw people to his cause. So far, in the X-Men movies, there really are two leaders. You know, there's Eric/Magneto and what he did with the Brotherhood and Charles/Professor Xavier and what he did with the X-Men. Apocalypse presents a new leader, the darkest leader in the franchise."
The Fox producer/screenwriter then went to reveal that X-Men Apocalypse will have higher stakes than Days of Future Past and that its visual style will draw inspiration from a different timeline. "I had read Age of Apocalypse and most of the appearances of Apocalypse before thinking about the movie, but went back and reread it and I think one of the things that's most exciting about it is the potential for the visual scale of the movie, and so it is a larger story than even Days of Future Past," Kinberg explained. "In Days of Future Past, they're trying to stop something that's not extinction level in the moment, although it could be one day. There's not an immediacy in the plot and this is a plot that actually has extinction level stakes and is even more global than anything we've ever seen before. There's a lot of architecture from the stories that we'll be using. It will be about his character emotionally, you know, like who is he? Not just as a mutant, but as a person."
Simon Kinberg then confirmed that the 2016 film will not feature time-travel despite that being the main plot device in X-Men: Days of future Past. "The Apocalypse story has a lot of different ways of telling stories," he said. "That was one of the things that I liked about Days of Future Past: Doing a time travel movie where it's not just sending someone back in time, but actually intercutting between the past and the future that we really haven't seen in a movie before. Usually you have somebody go back and stay in the past the whole movie. Apocalypse has some, without getting into detail, as you know from the books, has some innovative, different ways of storytelling also." After commenting on recent Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o being a fan-favorite for the younger iteration of Halle Berry's Storm—"I've certainly been reading about it; she's a great actress"—, Kinberg addressed actor Channing Tatum being attached to the role of Gambit, who is expected to be introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse before getting his own solo movie. "I think Gambit's one of the coolest characters that hasn't been heavily featured," he continued. "I mean, he was in the first Wolverine movie, but he hasn't really been heavily featured in the main X-Men movies. I think Channing will be amazing playing him. What I like about the character is that my favorite characters in the comics are anti-heroes like Batman, like Wolverine, like Iron Man. I think Gambit fits into that classification because he's a thief, he's rogue, he's a little destructive. I think he's one of the more dynamic characters in the X-Men world. He's certainly one as a fan that could be explored more." What do you think?
So far starring Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and Jennifer Lawrence, with Bryan Singer producing and possibly directing, X-Men: Apocalypse will release on May 27, 2016.