Deadpool was an enormous – but deeply needed – success for Kinberg and the studio. In the Expanded Universe business, you’re only as good as your last movie, and Fantastic Four hung over Fox like a dark, hastily CGI’d in dystopian cloud. It’s odd to think that it was almost a year ago now.
“The Fantastic Four comic is as enduring and as powerful as the X-Men comic,” Kinberg defended. “It’s an older generation comic, but it’s been really important – and it’s one that I loved growing up – and I continue to love. The characters are great characters. And I think the actors we have in that franchise are amazing actors. If you look at Michael B. Jordan, he is, like, the most in-demand actor right now. And Miles Teller, and Jamie, and Katie are great actors. So I think there’s an opportunity to tell it, and tell it correctly.”
“We didn’t on the last film. The reality is, we make movies and not every one is going to be great. You put as much effort into the ones that are bad as you do the ones that are good. And that one – for lots of different reasons, lots and lots of different reasons – just wasn’t the right iteration of a Fantastic Four story.”
“I actually think part of the problem on the last Fantastic Four is that we tried to make it maybe a little bit more like an X-Men movie, make it a little bit darker, when, in fact, I think the Fantastic Four comic traditionally is a lighter, brighter, more hopeful book that’s interested in very different things to other comics. So the challenge this time is to get it right tonally and to find what is special about the Fantastic Four as a story.”
The unique part of Fantastic Four to me, I told Kinberg, was the plot device of inter-dimensional travel.
“Yeah!” he barked in reply, seemingly excited to talk about the property in a positive light for a change.
And as soon as you open that up, I continued, you can conceivably retcon the Fantastic Four into the X-Men Universe…
“Yes sir!” Kinberg loudly agreed while slapping his knee. His love of comics and their potential for storytelling was evident, and we were both beginning to – for the lack of a better term – geek out.
…without compromising anyone’s respective continuities. Maybe…even…the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
“Well that gets complicated for reasons that are way above my pay grade in terms of how you integrate the Fox Marvel properties into the Marvel Studios properties,” he answered, cutting me off. “I would love to see it. Obviously it’s working out with Spider-Man and Kevin Feige is someone who I absolutely adore and really respect and kind of worship. It would be amazing if we could figure it out, but I’m more focused on if there’s a way to have the Fantastic Four and the X-Men – one day, in an ideal world – meet up.”
“But you’re right, even in the Fantastic Four movie we made last Summer, inter-dimensional travel is an integral part to the storytelling, so it opens up the possibility. And it’s necessary because of the fact they exist in different dimensions. In Fantastic Four world, there are no mutants. In the X-Men, there is no mention of a famous superhero team called the Fantastic Four. So they would have to travel to different dimensions to interact. And it’s certainly something among many things that we are talking about.”
The PR person just to the right of my eyeline started an exaggerated windmill motion with her arm. “ONE MINUTE AND THEN GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE” she managed to mime.
I’d hardly talked about the actual movie we were meant to be discussing – X-Men: Apocalypse. It’s a tremendously metaphysical film, commenting on the state of the X-Verse in general. Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy’s contracts are all reportedly up with this movie, and Fox need to set up new characters to carry on the Universe. It’s a problem Marvel will be facing at the culmination of Phase III, when Chris Evans will be seemingly done as Captain America.
In Apocalypse, the central antagonist’s main strategy is to destroy everything in order to rebuilt a better world from its ashes. This is essentially what Kinberg does in the script, passing the torch from the First Class to the New Class of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and more.
“It is a metaphysical movie,” Kinberg agreed. “[Apocalypse] imagines himself as a God. A sort of Old Testament God. And if you think about the Old Testament God, he would wipe things off the face of the Earth. The story of Noah is a story of wiping away what wasn’t working and starting over. And that is the Apocalypse that we created.”
“Oscar Isaac and I spent a lot of time talking about the bible. He grew up as someone who was very religious. His parents are very religious, and he read a lot of X-Men comics. He’s the sort of interesting collision or confluence of the two things that were the most influential in constructing this character.”
“Going forward with the X-Men, we looked at this movie as the culmination of a trilogy starting with First Class, and Days of Future Past and now this for the four main characters of Eric, Charles, Raven and Hank. And the beginning – the origin – of Jean, Scott and Storm, who are these huge characters from the comics. As prominent as any characters in the comics.”
“The hope for is that we get to keep making movies with Michael Fassbender, Jen Lawrence, James [McAvoy] and Nick [Hoult], because I just adore them as human beings and they’re amongst the greatest actors living today. But going forward they will share these movies with this new cast of characters.”
Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
SEE ALSO: Follow all of our X-Men coverage here
X-Men: Apocalypse is set for release on May 18th in the UK and May 27th in the States. The cast includes X-Men veterans James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), Lucas Till (Havok) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) along with new additions Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Apocalypse, Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan (Mud) as Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp (House of Anubis) as Storm, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Nightcrawler, Ben Hardy (EastEnders) as Angel, Olivia Munn (Magic Mike) as Psylocke and newcomer Lana Condor as Jubilee.