"X-Men" (2000), "X2" (2003), and "X-Men: Last Stand" (2006) achieved commercial and critical success. It was a huge achievement for 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer, as interest (to adapt "The X-Men") would go back to 1984. It wasn't hard to imagine the number of producers and screenwriters who tried to bring this project to pre-production. Yes, Josh Whedon was among the names involved in it. Whedon happened to be the director of "Avengers" (2012), and its sequel, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015). ("Avengers: Infinity War", the second sequel, will be a two-part films. It is scheduled for release on May 2018 and May 2019 respectively.) Critics praised it, as well as the other features by Marvel Studios. It would gross more in the box-office. Many would wonder what Fox didn't do.
"The X-Men", the first issue in the long-running X-Men comics franchise, was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. (It came out in 1963.) Mutants were humans born with extraordinary powers due to genetic mutation. In a span of five decades, Lee and Kirby thought of countless mutants, none of whom were less interesting than the Marvel superheroes (and their villains). And there have been numerous stories. This would be the downside of the film series, as screenwriters (led by Simon Kinberg) must decide on what might be the best plot. Furthermore, there were too many mutants to be included. It would be a matter of budget (or which mutants might lure moviegoers). The screenwriters of Marvel Studios could have dealt with the same dilemma, but they concentrated on a few. This approach clicked with the viewers.
Why do we need a badass
The main appeal of "The X-Men" would be the villains. It might not be the case with the Marvel superheroes, as writers found a way to turn them into decorative characters. (Kudos to Zak Penn and company for this clever approach.) The X-Men would be less interesting without a memorable badass. (Perhaps Hugh Jackman would figure this out before production on the next Wolverine picture starts off.) This might be the reason why Fox thought of rebooting the "X-Men" film series (or whatever fans would call it).
"X-Men: First Class" (2011) featured Sebastian Shaw, whom Sheldon Turner and Singer turned into a Nazi officer. (It would be too late to argue about it.), while "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) saw mutants take a united front against the Sentinels. They would be no match to Apocalypse, who had a warped view of global domination. And he tried any possible means. (One story saw Apocalypse kidnapping all mutants with powerful telepathic minds and brought them to an astral plane. He planned to change the course of time, which would pave way to his return to Ancient Egypt. If he succeeded, then there won't be a succession of civilizations.) Singer's "X-Men: Apocalypse" saw this mega-villain awakened in 1983. He chose Magneto, Storm, Psylocke, and Archangel as his four horsemen (of Apocalypse). He also intended to transfer into Professor Xavier's body, which would give him complete control over the world.
Simon Kinberg's script could have been compelling, but hardcore fans of the X-Men would leave the theater wanting more. Perhaps Singer was thinking of the possible premises for the next "X-Men" picture. You must have a sharp eye for the following:
The X-Men vs the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. An early scene saw Mystique in an underground fight club in East Berlin. She rescued Nightcrawler from possible death, but viewers would see an unconscious man being brought out (of the club). He was huge. X-Men comics fans would guess the Toad. And they would be right. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who wanted (mutant) superiority over the humans. This could be a good premise for a spin-off (and sequels). This was featured in "X-Men: The Last Stand", but Lee might convince Fox producers to join forces with Marvel Studios on this next venture.
Jean Grey's fall from grace. If Jean Grey didn't tap into the Phoenix Force, then Apocalypse would prevail. The young mutant was unaware that she was a carrier of the omega-level mutant gene, which would make her immortal. Moreover, the Phoenix Force could be a destructive force. Singer might be thinking of the "Dark Phoenix Saga", one of the most intriguing stories in the X-Men comics. This was the plot of "X-Men: The Last Stand", which wasn't enough.
You must be a hardcore fan to know what Essex Corporation stands for. Yes, there's a post-end credits scene in "X-Men: Apocalypse". Some viewers might be baffled by a representative of Essex Corporation retrieving data from the Weapon X facility. Nathaniel Essex, the head of the company, was older than what people guessed. He was obsessed with Charles Darwin's theories, and he didn't share the moral constraints of Darwin (and his peers). He wanted perfection of the evolution of the human race, only to end up (genetically) altered along the way. He was able to possess superhuman and telepathic abilities. As Mister Sinister, he would be the archenemy of Cyclops.
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