Today, 20th Century Fox finally dropped the first official trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, the ninth installment in the superhero franchise.
Given that it's been over 15 years since Bryan Singer's first X-Men jumpstarted the modern superhero movie phenomenon, it stands to reason that Apocalypse's plot might confuse some people.
In reality, though, there are only a few things you really need to know before you watch the film, even if you haven't been keeping up with your mutant storylines.
Chronologically speaking, X-Men Apocalypse takes place before 2000's X-Men and just after last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past. When the X-franchise was rebooted in 2011, the movies made a point to take on the visual aesthetics and events of the eras they took place in.
First Class was chic, mod take on mutants' role in the Cuban Missile Crisis and Days of Future Past focused mostly on the Richard Nixon's attempt to exterminate mutants after it's implied that Magneto killed JFK.
It's very possible that the events of Days of Future Past and Apocalypse will play a role in Ronald Reagan ousting Jimmy Carter. At the very least, the '80s setting will be responsible for our first look at a very on-point Jubilee and a Thriller-inspired Nightcrawler.
While we know that Apocalypse takes place in the '80s, it's important to understand that certain parts of the movie don't match up with earlier films. Scott, Jean, Jubilee, and Nightcrawler were never seen on screen together in previous films and were, in fact, introduced as being vastly different in age.
The explanation? A new timeline.
The end of Days of Future Past saw Wolverine averting a pivotal assassination that would have set the events of all the previous films in motion. His actions effectively made it narratively possible to reimagine the X-Men's origins and allow for new actors to take up roles we're familiar with (see: Sophie Turner as Jean Grey and Alexandra Shipp as Storm.)
The story about who Apocalypse (played here by Oscar Isaac) actually is is rather complicated, but here are the basics. Apocalypse is generally thought of as having been one of the world's first mutants. In the comic books, he's an incredibly powerful mutant supremacist with the ability to reshape matter on a molecular level.
His whole schtick is bringing about the end of humanity to make way for mutant kind and to accomplish his goals, he periodically enlists the help of four mutants that he brainwashes, and turns into his Four Horsemen by augmenting their abilities to make them much more powerful.
In Apocalypse, the Four Horsemen will be Storm (Alexandra Shipp,) Psylocke (Olivia Munn,) Angel (Ben Hardy,) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender.) Expect many epic CGI-infused fight scenes and long monologues about the inevitability of evolution.
2000's X-Men was a game changer of a movie, but in terms of the actual storyline, it was relatively low-stakes. X-Men: Apocalypse isn't just introducing a bunch of new faces to older characters (sorry, Halle) it's prepping the X-Men franchise to tell bigger and better stories that we've yet to see on the big screen.
Fox has already announced its intention of producing films featuring Deadpool and Gambit as well as a TV series centered around the infamous Hellfire club. Even though the X-Men may be cut off from joining in on the fun with the Avengers and co., this film's kicking off an expansive universe that could be here for quite a while. Get comfy, kids.