'X-Men: Apocalypse': A new trailer and how the franchise has revitalized itself

The 'X-Men' movies seemed to run out of steam with the release of 2006's 'X-Men: The Last Stand.' But like other movie series, it's been reborn creatively with new movies like 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.'

A trailer has arrived for the upcoming superhero film “X-Men: Apocalypse.” 

“Apocalypse” features the return of actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence and introduces new players such as “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner.

The trailer introduces the villain Apocalypse, who wins over characters such as Magneto (Fassbender).

The movie, which arrives this spring, comes after the release of the critically well-received 2014 box office winner “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which also stars McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence.

The “X-Men” series is one of a few popular science fiction and fantasy franchises that have reinvented themselves creatively and become acclaimed series again. 

The “X-Men” stories were first adapted with the successful 2000 movie “X-Men.” Two more movies were released, but the third, 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” was not enjoyed by critics or many fans. 

But the series followed a new direction beginning with 2011’s “X-Men: First Class.” A new director was brought on (Bryan Singer, who directed the first two successful “X-Men” movies, would return later) and the roles recast, with McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence arriving to play younger versions of “X-Men” characters Professor Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique. “Class” and the movie that followed it, “Future,” were both well-received by critics and did well at the box office. 

“Star Trek” is another film series that seemed to sputter out but was rejuvenated by new talent. Movies were made featuring the casts of both the original TV show and of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” 

But 2002’s “Star Trek Nemesis” with the “Generation” cast did not do well at the box office or with critics.

When new director J.J. Abrams came aboard and actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, among others, were cast as younger versions of the classic characters, the new movie, 2009’s “Star Trek,” was well-received by reviewers and became a box office smash. 

The “Star Wars” series is attempting the same move. The original trilogy that was released in the 1970s and ‘80s is one of the most beloved film series of all time. But while the new trilogy, released in the late 1990s and 2000s, did well at the box office, the movies weren’t hits with critics or fans. 

Abrams is helming the new movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and new actors like John Boyega and Daisy Ridley star in the movie, though the original stars are returning as well. 

For these movies, bringing in new talent most likely brings in more creativity and revitalizes the stories. And hiring new people signals to fans that a new movie won’t be more of the same – those behind the films are making an effort to try something new.

We’ll see if the “X-Men” series can continue its creative winning streak with this spring’s new film.

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