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While it hasn’t exactly been a secret, writer-producer Simon Kinberg has just finally confirmed what many of us have been saying for quite some time: Twentieth Century Fox is planning to expand their X-Men franchise into a full-on cinematic universe. All the pieces have been in place for quite some time, obviously, with mutant characters like Deadpool and Gambit getting their own movies next year, but now Kinberg has pulled back the curtain to reveal that there’s a master plan for all of these films to cross-pollinate. While not touched on in this particular interview, Kinberg has also expressed a desire to have Fox’s version of the Fantastic Four factor into this shared universe.

Here’s what he had to say, in a talk with MTV:

“The idea is that we’ve sort of reset the timeline after ’Days of Future Past’ in some ways, and if not erased, certainly allowed for change from ’X1,’ ’2,’ ’3,’ everything from ’Days of Future Past’ forward, 1973, everything we set now becomes canon. So the ’Gambit’ movie, the ’Deadpool’ movie, will exist in a world that acknowledges whatever happened in ’Days of Future Past’ and moving forward. Doesn’t mean they’ll always interact with those characters, obviously, it’s not like every movie has all the characters, but they all have to exist within the same rules. There will be interplay between different characters in different movies.”

On how they’re keeping track of the plans:

“I don’t have it up on a wall, but I have it on my computer, and I have it sort of tattooed on my brain now too. But yeah, we have a clear sense of the directions we want to take them in and in my mind at least, how we could start to cross-pollinate sort of with those characters that have their standalone movies.”

Lastly, he touched on the polarizing design for fan-favorite character Apocalypse, who’ll be the primary antagonist in the next X-Men film:

“I feel like we have been, the ’X-Men’ franchise, has been growing a little bit more into science fiction. I think ’Days of Future Past’ with time travel and the Sentinels took us into a slightly broader, more science fiction world than the films had occupied in the past. We felt like the movies were ready for something that was slightly more, let’s say, cosmic. Once we made the decision for Apocalypse to be the villain at the center of the movie, we wanted to be true to the comics, which are sort of, like you, say, not costume, but it’s not just a guy in a helmet. It is more cosmic.”

What do you make of Kinberg’s comments and plans? Discuss.