Those who head to movie theaters to see the upcoming “Star Wars” film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” may get a preview of the next story in a comic book universe, too.
Simon Kinberg, who is a producer and writer for the upcoming “X-Men” movie “X-Men: Apocalypse,” recently said “Star Wars” fans will see a preview for his film playing before the main feature.
“Our first trailer will be on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’” Kinberg, who also wrote the screenplay for and produced the 2014 hit “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” said. “It’s our first thing out there, so it is somewhat of a teaser, but it’s certainly longer than a minute and it has a ton of cool stuff in it.”
“Apocalypse” is set to be released next May and stars such franchise veterans as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence as well as newbies like Oscar Isaac, Sophie Turner, and Olivia Munn.
The “X-Men” film series began in 2000 with the movie “X-Men” and has since reinvented itself. Three movies were made starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, and Halle Berry but the last, 2006's “X-Men: The Last Stand,” was poorly received by critics.
The 2011 movie “X-Men: First Class” served as a prequel to the original “X-Men” series and brought on McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence. The film was a modest hit at the box office but popular with fans, and the second movie with those cast members, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” became a big hit.
The “Star Wars” and “X-Men” series actually have more than a few things in common in this reboot-heavy age of movies. Both brought on younger cast members for later films but had the older ones who are familiar to audiences return as well. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will have original series stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill appear alongside such new players as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Isaac. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” had the new generation of actors – McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence – star with Jackman, Stewart, and McKellan.
“X-Men” seems to be attempting this a second time. Lawrence, for one, has said she may be done with the series after “Apocalypse” and “Apocalypse” finds new cast members like Turner playing younger versions of characters audiences already know like Jean Grey (previously portrayed by Famke Janssen) and Storm (previously played by Berry). It's like a third iteration of new actors.
Both movie series have also attempted spin-offs, though these are less proven successes as of yet. The “X-Men” series attempted it with Jackman’s character Wolverine, but the first attempt, 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” was slammed by critics. 2013’s “The Wolverine” was also not admired by reviewers.
“Star Wars” has not yet attempted spin-offs but has projects in the works. A movie titled “Rogue One” will star Felicity Jones and Diego Luna and will center on new characters. That’s set to be released in December 2016. Then a movie centering on smuggler Han Solo (Ford in the original films) will be released in 2018.
Can both series sustain these efforts? Both are extremely popular. The high anticipation for “Force Awakens” and the big box office performance for “Days of Future Past” seem to indicate that fans will continue to follow the franchises through multiple films.