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X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016 - what does it mean for Oklahoma's James Marsden?

by Matthew Price Published: December 6, 2013

X-Men fans got a teaser of epic proportions when director Bryan Singer tweeted just three words yesterday: #Xmen #Apocalypse 2016.

Entertainment Weekly followed up with 20th Century Fox for more details:

Some context, as you rearrange bits of brain matter inside your taped-together skull: EW has confirmed with X-studio 20th Century Fox that a film titled X-Men: Apocalypse will open in wide release on May 27, 2016. That’s all the information we have about the movie now. It’s unclear whether Apocalypse will star the First Class X-Men or the Original-Trilogy X-Men, although easy money says they won’t let go of Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence without a fight. Also, they haven’t officially stated that Hugh Jackman will be in the movie. So let’s all assume Hugh Jackman will be in the movie.

And the Hollywood Reporter moved on to look at what might be the most potentially awesome version of the news — that the film could be an adaptation of the massive “Age of Apocalypse” crossover from the 1995 comics.

While Apocalypse the character has featured in a number of story lines since his creation — including some that have seen the character attempt to manipulate both the futures of humanity and mutantkind to his own ends — one in particular remains a place of prominence in X-Men fandom: 1995′s “Age of Apocalypse.”

This storyline is most likely to be the origin of Singer’s vague tweet, as it told of an alternate timeline created after a character went back in time and changed history — just like Wolverine is attempting to do in 2014′s X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the comic book storyline, the changes made by the time travel were quite dramatic, with all characters undergoing significant makeovers and all-new characters appearing as a result. (The title itself comes from the fact that, in the alternate timeline, Apocalypse rules the world.)

And for Oklahoma X-Men fans, that leads to another potentially awesome bit of speculation.   The next X-Men film, “Days of Future Past,” is set for release on May 23, 2014, and involves Wolverine traveling through time.

The idea that Days of Future Past’s time-traveling will have consequences is one that must seem attractive to Fox, as it allows for previously deceased characters to return without further explanation, with other roles being recast or rewritten as needs be — especially if the comic book scenario of things not quite returning to normal afterward is also followed in the movie universe.

The most notable “previously deceased” character that could return to the X-Men is no doubt Oklahoma native James Marsden, who played Cyclops before being killed off in the third X-Men film.

James Marsden as Cyclops.
James Marsden as Cyclops.

A recent quote from Firstpost indicates Marsden is game:

“If this next film really works, Bryan has said he wants to fix a few things, so hopefully Cyclops’s death is one of them. We’ll see. I always liked Cyclops, but they have a lot of characters that they have to parcel out, spend time with each one, make sure everyone feels like they’ve been given their due, introduce them appropriately, but you could do a spinoff of every one of those characters and give them so much depth to the storyline,” Marsden said.
I for one would love to see Cyclops as played by Marsden back in the X-Men film universe – let’s hope that’s one of the “fixes” that can be made if these rumors pan out.


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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