In the recent X-Men trilogy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix), they take place in the 70s, 80s, and 90s respectively. But why the 10-year jump when it was not really paid much storywise. It only increased the age confusion and raised memes like this:

Magneto in 1962, 1973, 1992 and 2000

Is there any in-universe or out of universe reason for this decade jump?

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    Because the whole X-Men timeline is a complete cluster-f and no-one involved gives a hoot about internal continuity? Wait till Disney/Marvel re-boot the whole damn thing. - esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a27758267/…
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 10:32
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    Not really defending the undefendeable, but the original trilogy, whilst released in the 2000's, always stated that it took place "in the not too distant future", so while it still might not be enough time to turn Michael Fassbender into Sir Ian McKellen, it is definitely more than a decade.
    – Josh Part
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 18:07
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    @JoshPart 4 decades should be enough to go for that transition
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 18:25
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    You forgot X-Men: First Class, which is set another 10 years back.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 15:09
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    Well, regarding that meme, meme-makers can always hound film-makers, but there is no organic way of transitioning Fassbender into McKellen, particularly when they are doing prequels, and have no way of resetting the original casting or apparent ages for their first film. Perhaps similar is the case for McAvoy - Stewart transition. Having said that, they probably should've grey-ed up both Prof. X and Magneto a bit more in this film, but may be they chose against it, since all of them were anyways overwhelmingly getting Grey-ed up in the film !! #IPlayWithPuns
    – 299792458
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


To give the audience the sense of meeting the characters for the first time, in every movie.

From a 2014 interview with Simon Kinberg by Steve Weintraub for Collider on X-Men: Days of Future Past:

KINBERG: Yeah. One of the things, and this is an idea that came out of my work with Matthew Vaughn was, we didn’t want to do what most sequels do, which is pick up a day after or a month, or even a year after the last movie. We wanted to give it a big breadth of time so that you would meet these characters in some ways for the first time again, so we set the movie 10 years later than First Class ended and in doing that, part of my responsibility as the writer was creating a timeline so we can do exactly as you said, just give the actors a sense of who they’ve become and how they got there over the span of the 10 years we haven’t seen. And there’s a monologue in the movie that Hank has that Nick has, where he tells Wolverine essentially what happened. Wolverine comes to the mansion, he meets this broken, disheveled Charles Xavier and he says, “What happened to the Professor?” And Nick tells him what happened. “We started a school, it fell apart, he fell apart…” And all the things that happened over the last 10 years.

Since you mention the aging meme, Kinberg was asked about the aging in an interview on X-Men: Dark Phoenix with SyFyWire:

It's rationalization. Regarding Mystique, she can just make herself look younger, so essentially ageless. About the others:

But for all the other characters, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, going back to First Class, they certainly have not aged 30 years since we started making those movies 10 years ago," he acknowledges. "And the way that we sort of rationalized it, and it is a rationalization for sure, was that they aged a little differently because they're mutants, and we hoped that the audience would go with that. And so far that's not been a problem for the audience.

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    "And so far that's not been a problem for the audience," he said, discussing a meme the audience popularized. Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 20:01
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    Well,it is a meme, so it means people doesn't take it seriously... right? right?
    – Josh Part
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 20:20
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    @JoshPart Noticing it, ridiculing it, and having actual problems with it are three different things.
    – Arthur
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 8:00

Specifically regarding the meme, X-Men (2000) is not actually set in 2000, but in "the not too distant future". It could be another 30 years after X-Men: Dark Phoenix and in a different timeline anyway, where he didn't escape solitary confinement in 1973 and lived a less active and healthy lifestyle.

The only dating in the original trilogy is that Magneto was a boy during WWII. Plausible outliers are that he was 10 then, and a spry 90 "now", giving a year of 2025. The Wolverine might constrain that a bit more, but continuity is very loose outside of the main films.

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