X-Men: Apocalypse Preview
If you have not seen X-Men: Days of Future Past turn back right now. Turn off your computer, drive to the nearest theater and watch it. Then you can come back here. The filmmakers at Fox had finally put it together and realized how to make a compelling X-Men film that the fans always knew the franchise could be. Days of Future Past teased that the next film will star the titular villain known as Apocalypse. The sequel also has his name attached to it, so it is looking set in stone. Now, considering the filmmakers want to create a bigger universe of films with these characters to rival what Marvel is doing with The Avengers, so with that in mind, introducing Apocalypse and all that he brings is genius. Apocalypse can be the overarching villain to the X-Men that Thanos is to the Avengers. Both villains have god-like power that pose serious problems for their respective adversaries. Apocalypse on the other hand, is known as the first mutant in history and has seemingly unlimited power. He can grow bigger or smaller at any time while also being able to bend time. He has unlimited strength, telepathy and so much else that makes him the biggest threat to the X-Men we will ever see. The writer, Simon Kinberg, to no surprise has explained that the film will have a "disaster movie" feel to it. It is no surprise due to the scale of his power. Apocalypse's birth name is En Sabuh Nur, which is what the Egyptians were calling him at the end credit scene as he played his version of Lego Egyptian Pyramids. The introduction of this villain will also bring about other characters inevitably into the universe that can be pivotal to the future of the franchise.
Rebuilding the X-Men
The first thing that Charles Xavier and his gifted X-Men will do is look to recruit more students. Xavier will remember the three names that Logan told him to look for in the form of Storm, Scott Summers and Jean Grey. It is also something the fans have clamored for seeing how well received the new cast has been but also how the portrayals of especially Scott and Jean were not memorable to say the least. Many can argue that Scott, or Cyclops, is the most important member to the X-Men. He has so many different stories that can branch off from his character and he is the true leader. Now from a cinematic standpoint, I understand making him take a backseat to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, but he will not be around much longer. Thus when that time comes Cyclops needs to have his day. As for the other characters and no disrespect to Famke Janseen, but that character could have been done better. Sadly, even Storm was set to the side too often in the previous trilogy and all of these characters will be welcomed in by new actors. No real concrete news is out in terms of casting for those parts, but as they become available, I will update this article. Re-introducing Cyclops and Jean also paves way to their son from the future, Cable as well as the storyline of Mr. Sinister.
The inevitable introduction of Mr. Sinister into the X-Men universe would effectively start the cogs to plenty of other great storylines. Sinister is the leader of a band of mutants known as the Marauders, who are responsible for mutant on mutant hate crimes, which with the often subtext of racism and equality in the X-Men franchise that plot point alone would fit within the universe. Add in the aspect that Gambit was once a Marauder and it continues to add up on so many different levels. However, he is also frequently used as a lackey of sorts for Apocalypse. Sinister also is somewhat of a nemesis to Cyclops, which considering how Fox seems hellbent on creating solo films for their characters, having Cyclops have a singular foe makes it easier to build a film around. Sinister is practically unkillable and invulnerable to just about any attack, except for Cyclops' optic blast, which frequently makes Sinister want to bring down the leader of the X-Men. At one point he is responsible for the kidnapping of Cyclops and Jean Grey where he conducts experiments on them which then lead to the birth of Cable. Cable is another character, who albeit is a tough character to sell on film, but nonetheless he is a character that fans have been clamoring for. Considering Cable's connection as the full grown son from the future of Cyclops and Jean while also being a constant thorn in Apocalypse's side then the pieces of the puzzle all begin to come together. Also, Fox has plans for a X-Force film which frequently is led by Cable so his introduction is almost guaranteed at this point. By introducing him in the X-Men films it would also further help bridge the connective tissue between the X-Men and X-Force franchises.
The Four Horsemen
Re-tracing our steps a bit, I bring us back to Apocalypse. I think it would be foolish of the filmmakers to go ahead and introduce Apocalypse and kill him off all in one movie. I doubt that he will even be the clear and present danger. Instead, I expect him to have his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to do his bidding in his first go around as he watches to see what threats he may have. Apocalypse is too big of a character and has too many moving parts to do right all in one movie, especially with his four horsemen. In the comics, whenever he made his presence known in whatever timeline he always had his Horsemen replaced by new people, frequently tricking them into their new positions with a promise of a cure or anything really. Instead, they would become much more powerful versions of themselves. The most notable one from the comics would be that of Angel turning into Archangel. His wings turned into a metal alloy as well as his skin making him a much more formidable opponent. Also in the comics, Wolverine became one of the Horsemen, which I think is an obvious way to go for the new film. It seems highly likely that Wolverine after upsetting the timelines will still have his bone claws, without the adamantium throughout his bones. This could all be fixed in his change cinematically into a Horsemen. It would be both heartbreaking but also interesting to see him go through the process all over again having been without them for so long. I'd also expect Gambit to be a part of the Horseman to slowly ease his character into the franchise. Seeing how the older timeline of X-Men will be used somehow in X-Men Apocalypse, I think that Colossus and Angel will be the other two fill the spots on Apocalypse's Horsemen. Both of those characters had been a Horseman at some point in their long careers as well.
Many fans, since 2000, when X-Men was first released had been clamoring for the fan favorite Gambit to be introduced into the films. We got a tease of it with his full name, Remy LeBeau, being found on a list William Stryker had on his computer. Then we had Taylor Kitsch play the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that entire film was a mess, but Kitsch played the role well. Apparently not well enough as they went ahead and cast Channing Tatum in the part for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. The idea behind this is that Tatum is a bigger sell for movie-goers and the hope is that Tatum's Gambit can be the equivalent to Jackman's Wolverine. They realize that they need a face to go alongside the X-Men franchise much like Jackman has been since 2000. Aside from that, it is the right time to introduce the character as they look to continue to add more. Gambit, in terms of how he'd fit cinematically, his personality would be like that of Wolverine but a lot more of a ladies man. As for his powers to kinetically charge any object, I am sure that it will be a good effect especially with his eyes glowing just the same color as whatever object he is throwing. Add in the fact that he is skilled with a metallic staff and the character can carry his own weight in a fight. It'll be interesting to see how he fits into the rest of the group, as well as the other new members that surely will follow him, but many fans will also wonder if Tatum is right for the role. Only time will tell on that one however. In the end, it is just nice to see that X-Men seems to be in good hands again.