Spoiler warning: This will discuss events from X-Men: Apocalypse.
As with the post credit scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past, the scene from X-Men: Apocalypse establishes a future villain destined to do battle with Professor Xavier’s students turned warriors.
After the credits, we return to the secret government facility where Col. Stryker held the captured Mystique, Beast, Quicksilver and Moira MacTaggert.
In the film, we saw Jean Grey, Scott Summers (Cyclops), and Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler), rescue their friends and unleash a very angry Wolverine, in his infamous Weapon X form.
At the facility, Stryker attempts to turn mutants into powerful military weapons. This is where Wolverine’s bones and claws became coated with virtually unbreakable adamantium metal. He’s called Weapon X because he is the tenth test subject.
When we return there, a crew is attempting to clean up all the blood and bullets from the soldiers unfortunate enough to run into berserk Wolverine on his way out of the facility.
A mysterious man carrying a briefcase goes into a laboratory, examines some x-rays (presumably of Wolverine) and takes a vial of blood marked “Weapon X.”
He places the vial in the suitcase beside several other vials full of multicolored liquid and closes the lid to reveal “Essex Corp.”
While that scene may seem simple enough, it hints at a lot, so let’s break it down.
This would seem to introduce Nathaniel Essex, the infamous X-Men villain known as Mister Sinister (or merely Sinister).
Essex is a man obsessed with genetics, Darwinian evolution and advancing the human race, so obviously he’s drawn to mutants. His dark infatuation led his wife to proclaim with her last words that he was “utterly… and contemptibly… sinister.”
Though not a mutant himself, through an encounter with Apocalypse, the brilliant scientist gains superpowers and near immortality. His powers are not clearly defined in the comic, but they are immense.
He is involved in numerous comic book storylines with many of the most important X-Men, so this could be setting him up as a multiple film villain—perhaps similar to the role Thanos plays in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Writer/producer of the X-Men series Simon Kinberg hinted as much to Collider.
“It’s a nod toward potentially a lot of different movies. I mean certainly the Wolverine movie is related to what happens at the end of it, but there’s also another character that’s introduced, at least in name, in the tag and he could show up in any host of different X-Men films. Maybe a Gambit movie, maybe another X-Men movie.”
So where exactly might we be going with Sinister?
Obviously, the blood taken is from Wolverine, which would lead the viewer to believe the scene is connected to the next Wolverine film, believed to be set in the future and inspired by the Old Man Logan storyline.
British actor Richard Grant has reportedly been cast in the role of a villainous “mad scientist type” for Wolverine 3. The character description fits as does casting a British actor, as Essex is from Victorian London in the comics.
A younger female clone of Wolverine, Laura Kinney or X-23, is similarly to Wolverine, except that she has only two claws in her hands and one that comes out of each foot.
Sinister could be behind the cinematic creation of X-23 as an murderous assassin. This would give the future X-Men films a Wolverine-type character after Hugh Jackman hangs up his claws and sideburns following Wolverine 3.
Director Bryan Singer has said that he pitched Fox on the idea of a female Wolverine. Maybe this is a hint that they listened.
While a Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum has been rumored for years, filming is set to start this fall. And Sinister has a connect to the Cajun superhero’s backstory as well.
Slowing losing control of his powers, Gambit sought help from Sinister. The villain agreed to do so, but essentially tricked Gambit into working for him and forming an evil band of mutants.
When he discovered Sinister’s true murderous intentions, Gambit abandoned Sinister and eventually teamed up with the X-Men.
Perhaps, Sinister could play a role in Gambit’s cinematic origin story.
Next X-Men movie
While X-Men: The Last Stand touched on the storyline previously, it was poorly executed and failed to match the comic’s cosmic scope.
Both director Kinberg and Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner hinted the Phoenix could appear in a future film.
Where would Sinister come into play? He is obsessed with the bloodlines (and timelines) of both Jean Grey and Scott Summers. He develops numerous evil plots against the couple, including manipulating Cyclops’ entire history.
The briefcase in the X-Men: Apocalypse end credit scene has numerous other vials. Those could contain genetic material of Jean, Cyclops or his brother Havok.
Sinister also uses a clone of Jean Grey to seduce Cyclops to have them conceive a son, Cable—who was mentioned at in Deadpool and could also be part of New Mutants and X-Force, other potential X-Men universe films.
Clearly, Sinister could have a role in upwards of five future X-Men cinematic universe films. Like I said, that was a brief post-credit that didn’t seem to reveal a lot, but it hinted at much more.