X-Men: Apocalypse will premiere in just over a month, and if it’s anything like the most recent X-Men films from 20th Century Fox, it’s going to be a hit. Having gone through some ups and downs over its 16-year run, the X-Men franchise (and Wolverine spinoffs) hit their stride somewhat with 2011’s X-Men: First Class. The film injected new life into the series and led perfectly into 2014’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which was another hit.
Building off of those two films, we have X-Men: Apocalypse, a late-May release that’s expected to be one of the early summer blockbusters of the year. The trailers have been exciting, the cast is electric, and there appears to be a great deal of potential. But whether or not that potential will be met depends (in part) on these crucial questions about the film:
1. Will We See Gambit & Deadpool?
Channing Tatum has been cast as Gambit for an upcoming film, and earlier this year we saw the sensational debut of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (or rather, a fresh take on the character, because he played a version of him previously). These two are some of the most exciting aspects of 20th Century Fox’s ongoing X-Men effort these days, and yet the IMDB page for X-Men: Apocalypse lists neither of them. We should probably take the cast listing with a grain of salt, as superhero movies like to surprise us. Then again, we may just not see these two in the film.
2. Are We On One Timeline?
Since First Class, the X-Men films have been a little tricky to follow, from a timeline perspective. Days Of Future Past jerked us back-and-forth between different eras of X-Men, and there are now basically two full casts of the same superheroes. It’s reached the point at which a popular X-Men game at Betfair’s platform seems to straddle the line between generations. A slot machine game enhanced by character visuals from the X-Men comics and films, it appears to put Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique (from the past generation) alongside Halle Berry’s Storm and Ian McKellen’s Magneto (from the future generation). The whole thing, from films to gaming experiences, has gotten muddled. It appears from the cast listing that we’re primarily focusing on the earlier generation that headlined First Class, but the information we have should be taken lightly.
3. How Much Oscar Isaac Will We See?
Oscar Isaac was already one of the bigger up-and-coming names in Hollywood before his turn as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now he’s pretty much a superstar in the making, which makes it pretty exciting that he’s the one who’s been tabbed to embody Apocalypse. But how much Oscar Isaac will we see, both in the sense of recognizing the actor on-screen and in the sense of screen time? Will Isaac be so heavily altered by makeup, costuming, and CGI that he’ll effectively be voice acting an animation, or will it be clear that we’re watching Isaac work? And is he more of a force behind the scenes to be gradually unveiled and perhaps kept as a villain in additional X-Men films, or is he going to be a regular presence on-screen?
4. Does Moira Have Her Memory Back?
This wouldn’t seem to be the most crucial of X-Men-related questions if Rose Byrne hadn’t done such a nice job as Moira MacTaggert in First Class. Moviepilot reviewed the first trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, however, and pointed out that Byrne made an appearance despite having her memory wiped by Charles Xavier at the end of First Class. So, is she going to be a FBI agent who simply happens to get tangled up with the X-Men on multiple occasions? Is Charles going to return her memory to her somehow? Or has she on her own managed to work out or recall some parts of her previous connection to the heroes?
5. How Good Will The Newcomers Be?
Even if we can’t trust that the cast listings necessarily tell us everyone who will be involved, we can pretty safely bet that everyone who is listed has a part to play. Thus we know for a fact that we’ll be seeing the debuts of Sophie Turner (as a young Jean Grey) and Olivia Munn (as Psylocke) this time around. 20th Century Fox has generally done a pretty outstanding job of casting its X-Men, so expectations will be high for Turner and Munn. If they’re both good, this film will already have a lot going for it.
All things considered, the biggest question of all is simply this: how good will this movie be? The bar has been set pretty high. If Apocalypse can offer satisfying resolutions to the discussion points here, it should be right in line with its predecessors.