Director Bryan Singer, the man behind X1, X2, producer/story writer of First Class, and now director once again of X-Men: Days of Future Past (aka all the good X-Movies), took to Twitter on Thursday to announce the release date for the next X-Men film. At 4:22PM, he Tweeted, simply: “#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!” Then two minutes later, Exhibitor Relations followed up with this:
This was a bold announcement because it not only revealed the release date, but it also informs us of a movie that had never even been discussed before. Unlike Marvel Studios, which has its well-publicized “Phases,” and a fairly transparent release schedule for the next few years, 20th Century Fox tends to announce their films one by one. This time, perhaps emboldened by all the superhero buzz in the air thanks to a new Spider-Man trailer and the Wonder Woman announcement on Wednesday, Fox came out with this sudden one-two punch.
Not much is known about the film, aside from the title X-Men: Apocalypse. We don’t even know if Singer is directing it. He seemed more than happy to take a backseat for First Class, and he only took the DoFP gig once Matthew Vaughn dropped out. So his involvement, at this stage, is unknown. The title refers, of course, to the super-villain Apocalypse (pictured above). Let the speculation begin regarding the plot of the film.
But that wasn’t the only Marvel news to come out of Thursday. 20th Century Fox has anointed writer-producer Simon Kinberg the “Joss Whedon” of its own Marvel Universe. Fox not only has the rights to X-Men, but they also have the Fantastic Four and its cast of characters as well. Kinberg just signed a three year deal with Fox to oversee the Marvel properties and to expand them into full-blown universes.
To quote Ron Burgundy, Kinberg is “kind of a big deal” right now. He’s been tapped to write one of the upcoming Star Wars films, his past credits include Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: DoFP, and is currently acting as a writer-producer for the Fantastic Four reboot being directed by Josh Trank.
On his plans for Fox’s Marvel Universe: “I have a lot of ideas on how to build those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel,” Kinberg says. “I want to be able to build stories over multiple movies.”
Regarding his strong relationship with Fox, Kinberg told The Hollywood Reporter, “They’ve always been incredibly generous with me and trusting me with movies. They treat me like a partner and not an employee.”
Emma Watts, 20th Century Fox production president, had this to say of Kinberg: “Simon is one of the best out there. We feel very lucky that he calls Fox his home and hope to build our slates together for many years to come.”
So if the “superhero bubble” is going to burst any time soon, it doesn’t look like anyone is going to back down until it does. Between DC, Marvel, and non-
Marvel Marvel, everyone’s in the business of “building universes” and telling stories that will be told over the course of several films.