Not-so-wild Theory Time!
Just today, doubtlessly hoping to steal some of the thunder from Sony's trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (yes, they actually just stuck a number on the title of the rancid first film), Bryan Singer announced on Twitter (that's a thing that's been happening a lot lately) that the follow-up to 2014's time-travelling all-star line-up X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST would be an adaptation of the APOCALYPSE story.
And here's where things get interesting.
For those who aren't familiar with Apocalypse from the X-men/Marvel comics (he's complicated), trust me that this decision has some very interesting undertones. For one, combined with the unapologetic use of time travel/consciousness-teleportation in the newest X-MEN film, the use of the millennia-old granddaddy of mutantkind, originally from the time of the pharaohs (no, really) who has wandered history, been worshiped as a god, and incorporated alien technology to cybernetically enhance his abilities is. . . let's just say, it's a far cry from the studio who so famously toned down the Dark Phoenix origin/storyline for X-MEN: THE LAST STAND.
Needless to say, we're continuing to see after-effects of the success seen by MARVEL's Cinematic Universe proving several times over the years that going all-out visually/conceptually NUTS with the source material will not only make for good comic book movies, but also WILDLY SUCCESSFUL ones. But that's not the only page that Fox seems to be taking from MARVEL's playbook.
Interestingly enough, the date is already set for X-MEN: APOCALYPSE - two years exactly after the day that DAYS OF FUTURE PAST releases, and slightly under one year after THE FANTASTIC FOUR reboot scheduled for June of 2015. Ah ha. Then there's this tidbit about screenwriter Simon Kinberg's next gig at Fox - the guy who wrote the screenplay for DOFP and is working on the F4 reboot has been asked to work on creating "a shared comic book movie universe for Fox's Marvel characters."
(Side note: I'm less than thrilled about the writer of JUMPER and xXx: STATE OF THE UNION handling this, but on the other hand, he did pen MR. & MRS. SMITH, which I'd hold up as one of the best pure action films of the 00's. Could be worse.)
Conventional wisdom has been that the timeline-jumping of DOFP is a great excuse to set "right" the decisions of certain films in the X-MEN series that were, well, bad, by "fixing" the timeline (something that the "Days of Future Past" comic story the film is adapting is pretty much all about) so that those events never occurred in the first place. It'd be a neat way for characters like Cyclops and Jean Grey to be added back to the team, maybe even give Rogue her flight/super-strength powers as well. But an added bonus of this sort of "soft reboot" of the series would be to use it as a launching point for expanding the films' universe to incorporate other MARVEL characters to which Fox still currently holds movie rights.
Like the Fantastic Four.
Dropping a post-credits bit at the end of DOFP concerning a certain Doctor Richards would be pretty easy and very smart, and if that happens you can lay good odds that the F4 reboot sends some of that crossover love back the other way. Bringing together both of MARVEL comics' original super teams to fight one of the bigger threats of the fictional universe (Apocalypse has gone toe-to-toe with the X-men and the Avengers) is pretty much the ideal way to stay competitive in a world that includes movies like THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and the MAN OF STEEL follow-up that's going to feature Batman AND Wonder Woman.
Wow. Feels a bit strange being so excited for a Fox-produced comic book movie again.