You have to hand it to Simon Kinberg: he knows exactly how to draw attention for his movies. With X-Men: Apocalypse's reviews out a couple of weeks before release and underwhelming massively, the producer has been on the circuit hard talking the film up as well its likely sequel.
We've already heard that it will be set in the 90s, further complicating the fact that none of the actors look at all like they're ageing ten years between each film, and now Kinberg has dropped a bigger bombshell. He wants to go cosmic.
He spoke to Fandango to talk about the period setting and also to foreshadow the possibility of us getting an interstellar X-Men sequel:
"But weve also introduced the tenants of time travel, which already exists in the comic book. Also I imagine and this is the first time Ive actually answered the question this way but another thing thats been introduced in the comics is a big alien, interstellar tenant within the X-Men universe that hasnt been explored. And to me, that might be kind of fun because Im a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan, and exploring the X-Men universe and being able to utilize that would be exciting, visually."
I can't help but feel that's already a disastrous idea. The best parts of the X-Men franchise have worked because of the dynamic between mutants and humans and the variously explored civil rights element. Suddenly abandoning that to port some characters out to space would be a bold step and one that might not work quite as well as Kinberg might hope. But then if he's seeking to remake Star Wars, more power to him.
Singer also says his continued involvement in the franchise depends on the franchise getting different, which is where the appeal of space comes in:
"Like Apocalypse like some of the imagery and characters and stakes its something we havent seen before. If Im going to be involved in a significant way, it has to be something different. Visually different and aesthetically different. So the 90s is a good jumping off point, but as we established in Days of Future Past and now with the formation of the X-Men some characters in Apocalypse move towards their destinies. The characters who we knew from X-Men 1, 2 and 3. Meanwhile, some characters move in opposite directions. So its somewhat limitless.
That makes the heavy foreshadowing that we'll get a Dark Phoenix saga again sound a little strange. Though that could provide the opportunity to go to space, as Jean Grey did exile herself up there and accidentally cause an intergalactic war.
If it worked for the MCU with Guardians Of The Galaxy, maybe it will for the sadly flagging X-Men franchise?