X-Men: Apocalypse will be the first film in the franchise set in the altered timeline created by the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and now director Bryan Singer and producer Simon Kinberg have explained just how that new timeline fits together.
“It’s not leading necessarily toward exactly where we found Patrick Stewart and the X-Men at the beginning of X-Men 1,” Kinberg told Collider. “There are some things that lead in that general direction, that was part of the philosophy we had at the end of Days of Future Past is that you can’t fully change the course or current of the river, but you can just divert it a little bit, and we diverted it a little bit. So some things will be surprises; people could die that were alive in X-Men 1, 2 and 3, or people could survive that died during 1, 2 and 3.”
Singer continued Kinberg’s river metaphor, linking it back to a scene in Days of Future Past.
“What happens when you use Days of Future Past to erase movies like X1, 2 and 3, yes you can erase those events that occurred, but I also was very adamant about having what we call ‘The Tivo Scene.’ The scene in that room with all the video cameras in Days of Future Past, I call it the Tivo scene. ‘I developed this piece of technology that records television;’ the point is time’s immutability. The idea that time is like a river. You can splash it and mess it up and throw rocks in it and shatter it but it eventually kind of coalesces and this is, again, quantum physics theory. It’s all based in quantum physics.”
Still, even with the changes, Singer is hesitant to call the idea a reboot, so much as an “in-betweenquel," - but that doesn't mean we know where everyone is headed.
“So what I’m doing with these in-betweenquels is playing with time’s immutability and the prequel concept, meaning that yes we erased those storylines and anything can happen. That means the audience goes into the movie thinking that anything can happen. I mean anything, anyone could die. Any possibility could occur, but characters are still moving towards their immutable place. Jean and Scott, are they meant to be together? Is Scott, this guy who hates schools and hates authority, destined to become a leader? You don’t know. Is Jean ever going to discover the full potential of her power? You don’t know, but we move in those directions character-wise but then we have the freedom story-wise to do whatever the fuck we want because we erased those three movies.”
Despite this, Singer also says we've seen the natural endpoint for these characters, in the final moments of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“All these movies now exist in the same timeline and certainly the intention at the end of Days of Future Past was that final future we saw was the destination for the characters. So barring another time travel or something else that would upset the timeline, that would be the fate of those characters.”
But even that outcome isn't set in stone, which Singer was quick to explain in a way that might make some fans nervous for their favorite characters.
“I’ll kill any of those characters any day I want. They’re all fair game. Anything can happen. When two things are happening simultaneously in quantum physics it’s what’s called the Super Position and when the Observer finally observes the outcome that’s called the ‘Collapsing of the Super Position’ which is what happened when Wolverine woke up and saw all the happiness. So yes that is the outcome we hope for, that is the outcome we aspire to, and that’s the outcome we are moving towards, but we saw in Days of Future Past another dark world. What says that can’t happen again? What says the awakening of a being that has such power and can acquire the power to destabilize that? So anything is possible. That’s what we’d like to think happens, that’s what Simon would like to think is a good outcome, but to me it’s fair game.”
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27.