More than a decade after the first X-Men movie made its way to theaters, comic fans were treated to a pleasant surprise via Bryan Singer's twitter. The director has informed fans that the next X-Men installment will be named "X-Men Apocalypse" and we now know there are plans for it to be released in the summer of 2016:
This is particularly exciting news because the title seems to suggest that there will finally be an introduction to a major X-Men villain who has mysteriously been lacking screen time: Apocalypse. So far, Magneto has been the mainstay villain and Phoenix....was a flop. But the diabolical and ancient mutant brings with him the promise of a fresh direction for the franchise.
Apocalypse is largely known for his connection to popular story arcs “Mutant Massacre”, involving his genetically twisted Four Horseman (including previously introduced X-Man, Angel) and “Age of Apocalypse”. Many speculate that it is in fact the Age of Apocalypse storyline that will be the basis for the upcoming movie. This is likely due to the introduction of the character Blink in the "Days of Future Past" movie. Blink had a pivotal role in AOA. Aside from the Twitter announcement, not much else has been leaked about the movie. At this point aside from the name, the direction is anyone's guess.
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 5, 2013
As for Apocalypse, also known as En Sabah Nur, he has long been one of the X-Men's toughest foes. The lengthy list of the mutant supervillain's powers include flight, the ability to shapeshift into various forms, and superstrength said to match or surpass that of the Hulk. In addition to virtual immunity to aging, he has had access to advanced alien technologies that has severely augmented his powers and abilities. Of course, how much of comic book canon will make it into the movie is unknown. Will Apocalypse be an all-powerful ancient Egyptian villain? Will the selection of Age of Apocalypse storyline introduce the legendary M'kraan Crystal (thereby opening the door to a true Phoenix Saga)? There's nothing to do for now but look forward to the "Days of Future Past" movie and hope for the best.
Image: Bryan Singer's Twitter