EXCLUSIVE: Fox has just closed a deal with Bryan Singer to direct X-Men: Apocalypse, the next installment of its billion-dollar Marvel mutants franchise. This will be Singer’s fourth installment as director; he hatched the franchise with the first two films for Fox, and came back to direct this year’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. That latter film, which meshed the original trilogy cast with the one from X-Men: First Class, grossed $746 million worldwide, the most of any of the films. Singer’s participation in the new film had been rumored, but his deal is now done.
The new film is being scripted by Simon Kinberg from a story written by Singer, Kinberg, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner are producing with Kinberg and Hutch Parker. Production begins early next year, and the film will be released May 27, 2016.
Apocalypse takes place a decade after Days of Future Past and is a seamless next step in the story. The altering of time has unleashed a new and uniquely powerful enemy. Charles (James McAvoy), Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) are joined by young Cyclops, Storm, Jean and others as the X-Men must fight their most formidable foe yet: an ancient unrelenting force determined to cause an apocalypse unlike any in human history. The universe continues to expand with characters, and maybe this is the one where Channing Tatum comes aboard as Remy LeBeau, better known as Gambit, which has been widely rumored even by the Foxcatcher star himself. This is Fox production chief Emma Watts’ baby, but Daria Cercek is overseeing for the studio, and Jason Taylor will oversee for Singer’s Bad Hat Harry. Singer is repped by WME.