What comes after the Apocalypse? That's what writer/producer Simon Kinberg is going to have figure out for the X-Men film franchise. It's a familiar situation to be, having had to determine what direction to in following the cast-combing, time travelling adventure that was X-Men: Days of Future Past.
"The problem with Days of Future Past is it's hard to sequelize," Kinberg tells Entertainment Weekly. "Whenever we talked about the sequel, the challenge was that it needed to feel not necessarily bigger visually, but that the stakes needed to feel bigger."
Apocalypse will serve as a pivot point to shift focus onto the new cast of young mutants: Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp).
"This is kind of the introduction to them," says director Bryan Singer. "At the same time, it has concluding aspects of those previous stories."
As for the previous stars, Professor X (James McAVoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Magneto (Michale Fassbender), it's unclear whether they'll return. Lawrence in particular has been vocal about how she dislikes the body paint necessary for her role as the shapeshifter. Kinberg is taking things one movie at a time, but is still holding out hope.
"I just wanna finish this movie and then figure out the next one," Kinberg says. "But I do think about the next chapters of these stories. My hope is we can bring these guys back."
"Then I would adjust."