Director Bryan Singer dropped a bomb on comic-book fans last week by tweeting three simple words — "#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!" — which suggested a new X-Men movie would arrive in summer 2016 featuring the classic X-Men villain Apocalypse. Since then, he's kept quiet, and other news outlets have sought to fill in the blanks (if you want to know the spoiler-filled particulars of who will be playing Apocalypse, First Showing has got you covered). Still, there are two pretty basic facts that have yet to be confirmed: Is Singer actually directing Apocalypse, and who's going to be in it?
Vulture has learned that after finishing up next summer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer will indeed be behind the camera on the new film, making this the director's first back-to-back foray into the X-Men world since he kicked off the franchise with X-Men (in 2000) and X2 (in 2003). But though Days of Future Past weaves together the veteran X-Men cast (including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Halle Berry) and the younger actors introduced in X-Men: First Class (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence), and Apocalypse will be a direct sequel set up in Days of Future Past's closing moments, the new film is intended to focus strictly on the younger McAvoy-Fassbender cast. The movie suggests that though First Class was the franchise's lowest earner when it bowed in 2011, Fox has enough confidence that the star-packed Days of Future Past will give the new cast enough momentum to stand on its own. In any case, Fox is doubling down hard on the hand it's playing with Days of Future Past, and with good reason: After Avatar, it's the second-most expensive film the studio has ever made.