What Does The 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Credits Scene Mean?

If you're heading off to see X-Men: Apocalypse at your local multiplex this weekend, be sure to stick around until all the credits have rolled by because there's a special scene at the end of the movie that hints at what's next for the X-Men franchise. However, unless you're a fan of the comics, there's a chance you might not know what the scene means at all. After the jump, we explain the meaning of the X-Men Apocalypse credits scene and what it might mean for future X-Men movies.

Beware of spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse from here on out.

Wolverine in X-Men Apocalypse

Setting the Stage

The scene in question takes place at the Alkali Lake base that we first saw in X2: X-Men United. In that film, we learned this was the place where Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was turned into the adamantium clad mutant known as Weapon X. This base returns to the big screen for a great action sequence in X-Men: Apocalypse after William Stryker and his men show up at the crumbled remains of Professor Xavier's School for the Gifted to apprehend some of the older, more powerful mutants such as Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and even human Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne).

In the key action sequence, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) are the only older mutants who weren't captured who are able to stowaway to the base in order to help save our captured heroes. While sneaking around the base, they stumble upon an enclosure that at first seems to be housing a growling animal, but it actually turns out to be Wolverine, looking more like Weapon X than we've ever seen before. They unleash Wolverine on the facility and before he runs off into the mountains, Jean Grey helps restore some of his memory that had been taken from him.

For the X-Men: Apocalypse credits scene, we return to the Alkali Lake base where there's a clean-up crew mopping up blood and vacuuming up bullets. Along with this crew, a man in a suit heads into the room where Wolverine was being held, checks out some of the mutant's x-rays, and walks over to a case containing vials of some kind. The unknown man pulls out one large vile that has the DNA of Weapon X, aka Wolverine. He takes that vial and puts it in a briefcase that have a few more containers just like it inside. Once he situates the vial in the case, he closes it, and that's when we see the briefcase label that says "Essex Corp" on the outside. Cut to black.


What Is Essex Corp?

So what is Essex Corp. in the X-Men universe? That's a company owned by Nathan Essex, who eventually becomes the super villain known as Mr. Sinister (seen above). In the comics, Essex is a scientist from 19th century Victorian London who is obsessed with self-improvement and evolution without any regards for moral questions. In order to extend his own life and make himself more powerful, he experiments on mutants, even going so far as to create stronger and more powerful ones by any means necessary. This includes cloning and even manipulating other characters to give birth to more powerful mutants.

Therefore, it would make sense as to why Essex Corp. would want the Weapon X DNA vial for their own plans. However, the question is just what does this mean for the future of the X-Men franchise.


Where Is This Going?

There are multiple ways this revelation from the X-Men: Apocalypse credits scene could have an impact on future X-Men movies. It could be set up for the next X-Men sequel that's meant to be set in the 90s and will redo the Dark Phoenix storyline, this time with the space element intact. It could also be leading into the third Wolverine movie, which will mark the last outing for Hugh Jackman as the character. And it could also have some ties to whatever may be in store for Deadpool 2.

Let's dive into the possibilities on the next page.


The Next X-Men Sequel

This one is the easiest assumption to make since we know there will be another X-Men movie, as confirmed by director Bryan Singer and producer Simon Kinberg. Now that Apocalypse has been done, the next biggest villain from the comics that we've yet to see on the big screen is Mr. Sinister. The set up could be that Mr. Sinister creates an extremely powerful mutant for the X-Men to take on, or his own experiments just make him the powerful adversary that needs to be taken down. He could even become the one who manipulates Jean Grey into embracing the Phoenix, which was hinted at in the climactic moments of X-Men: Apocalypse.

However, if Essex is in the market to create a powerful mutant, that could also be a key element of the next Wolverine movie.


Wolverine 3

We've already heard rumblings that the third movie in the standalone Wolverine franchise may introduce the character X-23. For those who don't know, X-23 (seen above), also called Laura Kinney, first appeared in the animated series X-Men: Evolution before making her way to the comics.

She's the result of a Weapon X experiment to clone Wolverine, giving her  the same accelerated healing factor and adamantium skeleton. She was raised in captivity to be a killing machine, which sounds like a ripe origin for a new villain that Wolverine has to take on. Sure, we've seen him take on another adamantium clad, healing mutant before in X2, but the introduction of this character would likely be one who would stick around for further X-Men movies.

After X-23 breaks free of Weapon X and reclaims her own life, she goes on to work with both the X-Men and even X-Force. In the comics, she's also being dubbed as the all-new Wolverine. And with Hugh Jackman leaving the role behind, having a new female character with the same powers and origin might be the best replacement.


Deadpool 2

This one seems the least likely out of the possible impact that Essex Corp. might have on the X-Men franchise, but considering the comic details, it must be addressed. In the comics, Mr. Sinister is responsible for manipulating Scott Summers to reproduce a child with a clone of Jean Grey. He does this in order to create a mutant who can defeat Apocalypse. With Apocalypse dead, that seems unnecessary, but any reason could be given for this kind of action.

What's interesting is that mutant birthed by Jean Grey is Nathan Summers, aka Cable. That's the character that was teased to be included in Deadpool 2 in a scene at the end of the first movie's credits. Actors like Stephen Lang, Dolph Lundgren and Ron Perlman have been campaigning for the role of the character who can time travel, but it's not clear who will play him or how he'll be involved with the Deadpool sequel.

This one seems the least likely scenario to come from Essex Corp.'s introduction in X-Men: Apocalyse if only because it would require even more confusing timeline manipulation to come to fruition. However Cable is introduced, it likely won't be with the Mr. Sinister origin story from the comic books, but it would be cool if Fox figure out how to make it happen.

gambit directors


Did you forget that there was still a Gambit movie in development? Well, the movie starring Channing Tatum as the kinetically charged, card-throwing Cajun is still in the works, and the character has some ties to Mr. Sinister in the comic books that might make the next X-Men movie a prime way to bring the character back to the big screen after wasting him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In the comics, Gambit (aka Remy LeBeau), has some trouble controlling his powers. In an effort to tone them down, he seeks out Mr. Sinister for assistance. But instead, he does the typical bad guy thing of removing the part of his brain that allows him more control over his powers, unleashing some dangerous mutant abilities on the people. Gambit was then used as a pawn for Sinister, carrying out some nefarious tasks and forming a bad guy team known as the Marauders.

Simon Kinberg even mentioned the possibility of Essex being involved in the Gambit movie while speaking to Collider recently:

"It's a nod toward potentially a lot of different movies. I mean certainly the Wolverine movie is related to what happens at the end of it, but there's also another character that's introduced, at least in name, in the tag and he could show up in any host of different X-Men films. Maybe a Gambit movie, maybe another X-Men movie."


So there you go. Essex Corp. will undoubtedly make some big waves in the X-Men universe, but we'll have to be patient to see exactly what that means and which movie will be impacted by it.