Simon Kinberg talks X-Men: Apocalypse, Gambit and The Fantastic Four
The answer is we really do think more broadly than one movie at a time. We think about it in sort of two ways – one is the global and one is the personal.We think about these X-MEN movies as spread over – X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST to APOCALYPSE was imagined as a trilogy for us. It’s the Origin stories in some ways of Charles, Raven, Hank and Eric and we will be settling things up in APOCALYPSE that will be generating new stories. We look at it globally as to where to mutants fit into the world. That’s why we jump from the 60’s to the 70’s and now the 80’s. We really want to be able to track the progression of the world and where do mutants fit in that world. It’s a pretty radical thing to do in any movie but certainly in a superhero franchise where you are jumping a decade each time you make a film. The reason that it is globally is that we wanted to be able to track the impact of mutants and the emergence of mutants into the world. Personally, we are very clear from the beginning as to how Charles, Eric and Raven especially dovetail, duck and weave in and out of each others lives. We were building, in some ways, a trilogy that is a story of three people; a brother, a little sister and another man who comes, in some ways, as a brother and how that sister leaves with the new brother. The war for that sisters’ soul between these two men defines FIRST CLASS, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and APOCALYPSE. That’s a larger story we are telling even though each of those films is its own coherent and complete film. You can look at the arc of those three characters almost like a television show arcing over three complete episodes.
Last month we learned X-MEN: APOCALYPSE will be set in the 1980s, and like X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Simon Kinberg says the upcoming film will also "take advantage of the historical context" of the time period.
Simon Kinberg was also asked if Gambit will be introduced in a team movie like APOCALYPSE, or in a solo film.
I genuinely don’t know the answer to that question. It’s something we are all talking about whether it would be good for Gambit to be in a mainline X-MEN movie or he would be in his own stand-alone movie potentially one day to be able to be in another X-MEN movie after his Gambit movie introduces him. I really don’t know the answer. I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule which way is better. I think both ways have worked and I think actually the real question will be is there a role that is strong and specific enough for Gambit in a mainline X-MEN movie whether it be APOCALYPSE or future X-MEN movie that would be the right way to introduce the character. You don’t want to stick characters in these movies and manufacture something for them to do. You want the movie to tell you that it needs another character or ideally it needs this specific character.
Simon Kinberg went on to talk a little about the Four Horsemen in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.
I will tell you this and obviously there are a lot of different versions of the Horseman over the books, and this will not reveal any of the identities so I apologize in advance. I will let you know that our choosing of the Horseman was something that we, Bryan and myself took very, very seriously and did only after an exhaustive review of all the different Horseman, both in the comics and the cartoons who have at one point or another fallen under Apocalypse.
Moving on to THE FANTASTIC FOUR, Kinberg says there won't be anything from the reboot at this year's SDCC.
No, I can definitively officially tell you that there will not be anything from Fantastic Four at this year’s Comic Con. We are still very much in the middle of shooting and we don’t want to show anything until it’s ready and it’s not ready yet. We want the first stuff that we show from the film to really blow people away, and it will but we have got to wait until it’s ready. We are hopefully going to be refining the way the people see the Fantastic Four movies. There are so many things we are doing different from the previous film and so many things different from other comic books films. When we really step forward we want it to be with our best foot forward. Instead of rushing something together for the Con we’d rather really wait until we have that perfect first image, perfect first sequence and first scene to show people. And I know that there’s a lot of people that think that’s the big surprise from Fox this year at the Con and knowing that I’m talking to a reporter and I’m going on record that I’m saying unfortunately that will not be a surprise for the fans of Comic-Con this year. Obviously the Comic-Con world is incredible important to Fantastic Four and because of that we want to give them the best version of what we are making.
However, Simon Kinberg does say THE FANTASTIC FOUR could end up being showcased at a different event, like the New York Comic Con or WonderCon. The screenwriter goes on to say he would love to see The Fantastic Four and X-Men team up on the big screen, but it'll be a difficult task.
I would love to see the X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR team up if only because I’m a fan and certainly it’s something we’ve thought about and talked about. The challenge is that they essentially live in different universes. In the X-Men world of the movies we never hear them talk about a famous super team called the FANTASTIC FOUR and in the FANTASTIC FOUR movie they are fantastic because they are the only ones of their kind meaning there aren’t other people with super powers on the streets. The FANTASTIC FOUR are in this movie are the first to transform into something super powerful. So given that they exist in these different domains or dimensions there are some inherent challenges. Part of the fun of working in this realm is trying to overcome those challenges and try to figure out how you can bridge the gaps between different worlds and different dimensions.
I actually think that this Fantastic Four movie is sort of a celebration of all the Fantastic Four comics that have preceded it. We have elements from the original Fantastic Four that there’s a sort of optimism and inspirational quality to the film. In some ways a comedy that was really distinct in the original Fantastic Four. Also, the notion of this dysfunctional surrogate family that comes together and has to work together is very present in the movie that owes a great debt to the originals. And this idea that they are scientist and that it’s almost like this science adventure, more than being superheroes, they are almost like scientific adventurers, that’s a big part of the movie too. We also owe a lot to the Ultimate’s and the current crop of Fantastic Four comics and you’ll see that. I don’t want to give anything away but you will see it in the details and a lot of the story telling. It’s really sort of inspired by all the different history of the Fantastic Four comics. I think what Kate meant, and I read that comment, I think what she meant which was right is that it’s not based on any one run. Days of Future Past was obviously based on Days of Future Past comic run and that was something that I could easily give the actors to read and they’d know the whole story. In this case because we are really snatching details, story lines, moments, action sequences from across the whole gambit of the decades of Fantastic Four, there isn’t one comic that defines the movie.
Lots of interesting stuff from Simon Kinberg. Although I'm not worried at all about X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, I'm pretty concerned about what the filmmakers might be doing with THE FANTASTIC FOUR. However, we haven't seen a damn thing from it yet, nor do we know exactly what will be going on in the film, so all we can do at this point is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I may not like some of the plans for the reboot, but I do have my fingers crossed Josh Trank will surprise many of us with THE FANTASTIC FOUR.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR will be in theaters on June 19, 2015, and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE will be released on May 27, 2016.