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Is Bryan Singer Teasing A Movie Version of 'Age of Apocalypse'?

Just what does Bryan Singer's "#Apocalypse" X-Men tweet actually mean?

X-Men Age of Apocalypse Cover - P 2013
Joe Maduriera/Marvel Entertainment

Next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past may just be the beginning for Fox's movie franchise based on the popular Marvel Entertainment comic books. Director Bryan Singer teased something called "Apocalypse" on his Twitter account today, coming in 2016.

Quite what "Apocalypse" may end up being, however, isn't entirely clear. In X-Men lore, there's a villain with that name -- a character described as being the first mutant on Earth, born 5,000 years earlier, who remained in the shadows for the most part until the appearance of the X-Men and affiliated heroes. (In the real world, he made his debut in 1986's X-Factor #6, created by writer Louise Simonson and artists Walter Simonson and Jackson Guice.)

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While Apocalypse the character has featured in a number of story lines since his creation -- including some that have seen the character attempt to manipulate both the futures of humanity and mutantkind to his own ends -- one in particular remains a place of prominence in X-Men fandom: 1995's "Age of Apocalypse."

This storyline is most likely to be the origin of Singer's vague tweet, as it told of an alternate timeline created after a character went back in time and changed history -- just like Wolverine is attempting to do in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the comic book storyline, the changes made by the time travel were quite dramatic, with all characters undergoing significant makeovers and all-new characters appearing as a result. (The title itself comes from the fact that, in the alternate timeline, Apocalypse rules the world.)

The idea that Days of Future Past's time-traveling will have consequences is one that must seem attractive to Fox, as it allows for previously deceased characters to return without further explanation, with other roles being recast or rewritten as needs be -- especially if the comic book scenario of things not quite returning to normal afterward is also followed in the movie universe. Whether or not this fate awaits the movie X-Men … Well, we only have six months to wait to find out; Days of Future Past will be released May 2014.