One of the fun things about the X-Men franchise is that it hasn’t constricted itself to a straight, linear progression in terms of the settings of its films. The initial X-Men film, and by extension its two immediate sequels, took place in “the not too distant future.” The bulk of X-Men: Origins – Wolverine is set in 1981. X-Men: First Class takes place in 1963, while this summer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past bounced from the future back to 1973.
And now we know when the next installment of the franchise, Age Of Apocalypse, will be taking place.
Age Of Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg appeared on the Q & A Podcast released this weekend, interviewed by host Jeff Goldsmith about his work on bringing the iconic Days Of Future Past comic storyline to the big screen. As the conversation turned to the possibility of having younger versions of classic X-Men film franchise characters appearing in Days Of Future Past, Kinberg did state that the next film will take place in 1983, with the implication that we will see younger versions of Cyclops, Storm and others. (Kinberg also stated that the little red-haired girl watching Magneto move the stadium towards the White House is intended to be a young Jean Grey.)
Of course, this does raise the question as to where the next installment’s villain, Apocalypse, was during the events of the original rise-of-the-sentinels timeline that was averted in Days Of Future Past. It is a question I don’t feel will be answered however, so I am not that worried about it. Of course, even with time travel and the rewriting of its own timeline as a result of the last movie, the producers of the series have always played fast and loose with its continuity, never allowing things to get too bogged down by past events or to allow what was shown before get in the way of the story that they want to tell now.
For Age Of Apocalypse we are expecting James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, and Evan Peters to all return for more mutant superhero action. The film has a scheduled May 27, 2016 release date.