X-Meh. Crapocalypse. We’ve heard all the jokes. And honestly, they’re pretty well deserved as X-Men: Apocalypse may have moments of greatness, but it is most definitely not a great movie. Which is a shame after the great one-two combo of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past breathed such fresh life into the stagnating franchise. So what went wrong?
In my opinion, the problem lies with director Bryan Singer who has now helmed four out of six films in the main series, and yet has seemingly failed to do the one thing his characters are always going on about: Evolve. Telling the same character stories for the umpteenth time, with very little – brilliant Quicksilver sequence aside – in the way of visual creativity, X-Men:Apocalypse was just tired and often boring. In a nutshell, the series needs a new pair of hands. And it looks like it will get it.
In an interview with LA Times, Singer explained that while he is just too invested in this universe to abandon it completely, he’s probably not going to be returning to direct the next big franchise entry.
I recently met Danny Boyle — he and I have known of each other for many years but never met. He was prepping “Steve Jobs” at the time and I was doing this and he said, “Are you going to be doing ‘X-Men’ movies forever?” And I didn’t actually say no.
The reality is, even though I’m very desperate to jump to something completely different, I’ve spent so many years in this universe and I love this cast and the characters so much, I just don’t see myself abandoning them forever. Perhaps as a consultant, as a producer, even as a director, I could see myself returning in the future. Just right now, once this one is done, I’d like to do something really different.
Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. Especially since [MILD SPOILERS] several scenes in X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as statements made by writer/producer Simon Kinberg, hinted strongly at the fact that the next movie will probably be tackling the much-beloved “Dark Phoenix Saga”. Of course that classic comic book tale was already attempted and totally botched by Brett Ratner in X-Men: The Last Stand, and Singer has recently said that he regretted not directing that film himself so that he could do the story justice (although after Apocalypse, I’m not sure that would actually be the case).
But it seems the director merely wanted to lay the groundwork for future stories with Apocalypse, especially since this introduces new young versions of the original cast seen in the first movie, bringing it all full circle.
For me, this is not only the finale of the trilogy that started with “X-Men: First Class,” it’s the finale of six movies. But I also call it an “in-betwee-quel” — not a sequel or a prequel — because it happens in 1983, before the first “X-Men.” I’ve done something no other franchise has done — not even “Star Wars,” which is bouncing around in time. I’ve actually altered time so it concludes and also sows the seeds for the characters to find pieces of their destiny where we found them in the first three “X-Men” movies.
Well, maybe not a circle, but some other ridiculous shape, seeing as Singer’s time alterations have now left the timeline twisted like a pretzel doing yoga. Seriously, it makes no bloody sense anymore! But brain-breakiness aside though, if they can entice First Class‘ Matthew Vaughn back to the franchise to tackle the crazy cosmic story needed for “The Dark Phoenix Saga”, I would be totally onboard with X-Men movies again. Or maybe don’t do the Dark Phoenix stuff and instead copy the comics by moving away from the dark, leather-bound era and getting astonishing again by having Joss Whedon adapt his own, highly praised “Astonishing X-Men” run for the big screen. Hell, go completely wacky and give somebody with the incredible visual panache of Edgar Wright the free rein to make an X-Men movie his way, balls to the wall and all.
Just whatever happens, no more Singer, no more dark leather biker costumes and no more “Is Magneto a bad guy or not?” stories. They’ve all been x-hausted.
Last Updated: June 1, 2016