X-Men Apocalypse

In the real world, just five years have passed since the release of X-Men: First Class. Within the X-Men world, though, those five years have spanned two decades. First Class took place in 1962, Days of Future Past in 1973, and this month’s Apocalypse in 1983. And in keeping with that pattern, the next next X-Men movie will timejump all the way to the 1990s, as confirmed by producer Simon Kinberg

Kinberg revealed the X-Men 1990s setting in a chat with Coming Soon: “The next one is set in the ’90s,” he said. Given the pattern laid out by the core X-Men films, we’re guessing this means the sequel to Apocalypse takes place in the 1990s, but it’s also possible that he’s referring to one of the planned spinoffs, like Doug Liman and Channing Tatum’s Gambit or Josh Boone’s New Mutants.

On the one hand, all this time-jumping lets these films move along at a brisk pace. We don’t have to spend five films watching Professor X get his mutant school off the ground, because the decade-long gap between Days of Future Past and Apocalypse lets us fill in the gaps. On the other, it means every film opens with the main characters in a dramatically different place than they were when we last saw them, which means some of the subtlety and nuance is lost.

Plus, it’s getting ridiculous just how little these characters have aged since First Class. You could maybe offer the excuse that mutants age more slowly than humans, but that doesn’t explain why the human Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) looks exactly the same in 1983 as she did in 1962. If the next X-Men is going to take us into the 1990s, let’s hope they finally invest in some old-age makeup, or we’ll be looking at a 60-something Charles Xavier who doesn’t look a day over 40.

The ’90s were an interesting time for the X-Men franchise. Jim Lee’s character redesigns from the era still serve as the basis of a lot of the character designs we see today, and the animated TV series helped introduce a whole new generation of kids to the mutant superheroes. Hopefully this means we’ll see some of those colorful designs come into play. Sure, the X-Men were all clad in black leather in the first X-Men movie, set in the 2000s, but that was before Days of Future Past basically wiped that entire trilogy off the map.

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