If you haven't seen Logan, don't read on just yet or you'll undergo the kind of berserker rage that would leave even Wolverine cowering in fear.
Between the madcap f**kery of Deadpool and the gore-nographic fight scenes in Logan, Fox has finally realised that pushing the hard R rating could be the salvation of the superhero genre. Sure, this approach won't work if it's just needlessly tacked on to every property that Fox owns, but out of every upcoming sequel set to spin out of the X-Men franchise, X-Force could work as the most mature superhero movie yet.
However, we still know next to nothing about how a X-Force movie will actually take shape. Most fans assume that the black-ops branch will be introduced in #Deadpool2 before appearing in their own film, which admittedly makes a lot of sense. After all, Deadpool himself revealed that team founder Cable will appear in the sequel and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick confirmed that their sophomore outing will set up a X-Force movie.
That's all well and good, but it turns out that director James Mangold may have beaten them both to the punch, sowing the seeds for a #XForce movie in Logan, over a year before the Merc With A Mouth returns in 2018.
How Does 'Logan' Set Up A 'X-Force' Sequel?
Dafne Keen may steal the show as Laura, Logan's troubled 'daughter,' but X-23 isn't the only intriguing thing to have come out of Dr Zander Rice's twisted experiments.
First introduced in the camera phone video, Laura's friends at Alkali Transigen soon arrive full force in the film's final act, hunted down by Donald Pierce and the Reavers following their escape from Mexico City.
Imbued with mutant DNA from various hosts, the children possess special abilities of their own, including ice breath and control over plant life. While some of these mutants appear to be linked with minor characters from the comics, there's one in particular who stands out as the leader of the group and his name just so happens to be Rictor.
Why Is Rictor Important To A X-Force Movie?
Aside from X-23, Rictor is given the most screen time out of all the mutant children in Logan, even playing a crucial role in the final battle. Most importantly of all, this young version of Rictor possesses the same earthquake-inducing abilities as his comic book counterpart, confirming that this is the same Rictor who fans know from the X-Force comics.
Originally starting out as a member of the New Mutants, Rictor's seismic abilities soon proved invaluable to the X-Force team and as time passed, the Mexican mutant became synonymous with Cable's strike force.
The Deadpool 2 screenwriters may be keen to introduce X-Force to the #XMen movie franchise, but it's hard to imagine the team appearing onscreen without Rictor in the main roster. The only problem is that Deadpool 2 will presumably be set in the present, so how will the writers reconcile a young Rictor from the future Logan timeline with a current day X-Force?
What If 'X-Force' Is Set In The Future As A 'Logan' Sequel?
In the comics, the X-Force team operate within the present day, but now that a young Rictor has survived the events of Logan, it's entirely possible that he could grow up to form X-Force alongside X-23 and the other children who were experimented on by Alkali Transigen. Within this dystopian future, Rictor and his allies could even meet Cable along the way and form a new version of the team complete with more familiar faces such as Domino, Shatterstar and Siryn.
Before you ask about Cable, it's worth bearing in mind that his upcoming debut in Deadpool 2 would still work within this framework, as the mercenary is renowned for his ability to travel across time. In fact, if Fox want to bring Rictor's X-Force into the present, then Cable would be the key to this.
What if Rictor, Cable and their allies decide that the only way to prevent the near extinction of mutants is to travel back and defeat Essex Corp before Dr Rice can put his plans in motion? By doing this, there's even potential to rewrite history and prevent #Wolverine's harrowing death, assuming of course that #HughJackman would ever change his mind and return to the franchise.
- 'Logan' — Every Marvel Easter Egg, Comic Book Reference & X-Men Movie Link
- 'Logan' Review: It's The Best X-Men Movie Of All Time And Will Change The Superhero Genre Forever
- 'Logan' Interview: Here's How Hugh Jackman Helped Boyd Holbrook Win The Role Of Donald Pierce In 'Wolverine 3'
Deadpool 2 may still prove to be key in setting up the X-Force spin-off, but it's no coincidence that one of the team's key players has just made his debut in Logan. Whether Rictor remains with his fellow test subjects or forms a brand new X-Force more familiar to fans of the comics, it's clear that his prominence in Logan signposts how Fox will eventually bring Cable's ragtag team of operatives to life onscreen. If we're as lucky as team-founder Domino, then we're guessing that the likes of Boom Boom, Cannonball and Warpath won't be far behind either...
Did Logan just set up a X-Force sequel?
[Poll Image Credit: 20th Century Fox]