McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence aren’t the only ones who could be leaving the X-Verse. Singer’s been with these films since 2000, and this passing of the torch between characters onscreen, and actors backstage, seems to apply to the director’s chair, too.
“As for the franchise,” Singer reflected, “for me it was very cathartic because I got to bring in the younger and unformed version of characters that I experienced and directed all those years ago – to almost tell the story of the beginning of the X-Men. Which means that – because we messed with the time travel stuff of the previous film – is now limitless. And there’s so many wonderful characters in the X-Men Universe, as every bit as many as in the entire remaining Marvel Universe that you could really go in any directions. You can combine franchises. You can do whatever you want.”
“To me this was the climax of six films, but also the beginning of…anything. Which is a rare opportunity for a filmmaker who loves these characters – which is me – and loves these actors in both casts.”
Singer first announced X-Men: Apocalypse way back in December 2013 – a full five months before Days of Future Past had even been released. But he’s been uncharacteristically quiet so far on his involvement in the X-Verse in a ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ age.
“Yeah, I knew I wanted to use that villain,” Singer explained about the original Apocalypse announcement, “because he’s so different. Unlike Magneto, he makes no distinction between mutants and humans. He’s an ancient mutant. I could do things on a grand scale that I hadn’t done in an X-Men film before, so I knew this was the character to centre in on for the sequel to Days of Future Past.”
“I’d like to go and make a different kind of film next,” he continued, “but I can’t see myself after signing the deal to do X-Men 1, 20 years ago…I can’t see myself just abandoning the whole universe. It’s very special to me. So whether I come back in a big way or a small way, I’ll always be around it, I think.”
The X-Verse doesn’t just contain X-Men team-up films or the occasional Wolverine solo movie, 20th Century Fox and producer Simon Kinberg are keen to develop other Marvel characters to which they own the cinema rights. Perhaps the ‘small way’ Singer talks of is in an advisory capacity for these other films.
“I looked at a rough cut of Deadpool,” Singer explained about his role in the grander X-Verse, “and had a chat with the director. I just loved what I saw, and thought it was so funny and fun. It was a test audience too, so half the audience recognised me. And I’m laughing at jokes about my films in Deadpool, and I went, ‘should I be laughing so hard!?’ And the head of the studio, my boss, is looking over at me like, ‘is he OK? Have we offended him?’ And I was like, ‘this is hilarious!'”
“And James Magnold, I looked at a rough cut of Wolverine. He’s looked at parts of this film to inform the next film, the Wolverine film he’s doing next. So I try to at least look for a way in, as much as anyone wants me to. It’s not a sticking point for me. It’s just nice to be a little involved, and we try not to step over each other. I’m sort of the ‘Old Sage of X-Men’.”
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.