In 2006, X-Men: The Last Stand seemed to write Fox's X-Men franchise into a corner. The X-Men's story had been brought to an end, with countless popular characters killed off or depowered, and the franchise didn't really have any new direction it could go in. It took 2011's X-Men: First Class to change all that — Fox stepped back into the X-Men's past, gradually telling a story that rewrote the timeline and opened things up again. Thus we got a whole new trilogy, one with stars such as James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique.
This year's #XMenApocalypse marked the end of the 'first class' team's contracts, and since then, McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence have been coy about whether or not they'll return for a seventh tentpole X-Men film.
Michael Fassbender's Revelation
Kellvin Chavez of Latino Review recently got an opportunity to interview #MichaelFassbender. According to Chavez, Fassbender's days as the Master of Magnetism aren't over! This statement could well be a game-changer for the X-Men franchise. Back in May, #JenniferLawrence revealed that the three core actors had made a deal with one another.
“Fassbender and McAvoy and I were all talking. Like, ‘Will you come back?’ ‘I dunno.’ ‘I’ll come back, if you come back.’
"Fox should be terrified because the deal we made was like if one of us doesn’t come back, none of us are.”
In other words, if Michael Fassbender is indeed reprising his role as Magneto, then it's likely Jennifer Lawrence and #JamesMcAvoy are set to return as well. In fact, X-Men Films collected some key quotes from the X-Men's trinity (and added #NicholasHoult into the mix as well for good measure):
It's looking more and more likely that the original stars are set to return once more!
How Could Fox Use These Three Superstars?
It's an interesting time for the X-Men franchise, which is changing shape in the aftermath of Deadpool's remarkable success. 2017's Logan will see Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart bow out of the franchise, and there are signs that Dafne Keen's X-23 is being positioned as Jackman's replacement.
Significantly, though, Deadpool seems to have convinced Fox that they can do more than just tentpole X-Men movies. First reviews of Logan have suggested it's a bloody, brutal Western, while New Mutants seems likely to be a supernatural thriller (possibly even a horror). All this is set against a backdrop of rumors that Fox is considering rebooting the franchise yet again!
Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence could be useful as part of a reinvigorated franchise. They don't need to just appear in the tentpole X-Men films; any one of them could add a bit of star power to another Fox project. Take New Mutants, for example; in the original comics, Charles Xavier left the X-Men and headed into space. Incredibly, he put his oldest enemy, Magneto, in charge of his school for a while! Although most rumors have suggested that Alexandra Shipp's Storm will act as the mentor figure in New Mutants, imagine if Magneto or Xavier played that role!
That said, there is a downside to this. The greatest weakness of the X-Men franchise is that it's centered around only a handful of core actors, and the studio has rarely shown the confidence to develop other cast members. Take X-Men: Apocalypse; Hugh Jackman's cameo feels utterly inconsequential to the overall plot of the film, and seems to have been thrown in just to allow Fox to advertize Wolverine's presence in the final trailer.
Ironically enough, as an X-Men fan, I wouldn't mind McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence moving on. It's not that I don't think they're brilliant actors; I do. It's not that I don't enjoy their characters; I do. It's just that I think these three could easily act as a 'security blanket' for Fox, preventing the studio taking risks and actually being creative with the franchise. We have a great new band of X-Men — including Sophie Turner's Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan's Cyclops — and I want them to get the screen-time they deserve.
- 4 Reasons The X-Men Reboot Is Inevitable
- Why The World Needs The X-Men More Than Ever Before
- Fox's 'New Mutants' Characters, Plot And Villain Take Shape In A Fantastic New Storyboard!
That said, I can understand why executives over at Fox are likely breathing a sigh of relief right now. Losing Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart from the franchise is a body-blow; their fear has to be that, without Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence, they might not have much left.