The reviews are in and Logan is looking to be a big hit. Every critic I have seen has nothing but praise for Hugh Jackman's last outing as everyone's favorite mutant. It isn't just the critics who seem to dig the film either, with director James Mangold already making plans for an X-23 spin-off. After the lackluster X-Men: Apocalypse and the fiasco known as Fantastic Four it seems like #Fox found it's niche with R-rated superhero movies.
With the success of 2016's Deadpool fans have wanted more R-rated superhero movies, and there is no better source material than the #XMen. With its vast history, there are plenty of stories and characters that would be perfect for a more mature movie. With #Logan looking to kill it at the box office this weekend here are 10 R-rated movies Fox should make after Logan.
1. Team X
The most obvious idea for a more adult X-Men has actually already been put on screen: Team X. Featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they are a group of mutants brought to work a shadowy government agency known as Weapon Plus. A mix of heroes and villains, in the past it has included characters like Wolverine, Deadpool, Sabretooth, Maverick and Omega Red. You also have members who would fit in but haven't appeared yet — like Fantomex and Dr. Nemesis — that are made for a big-screen adaption.
Fox seems to be going with X-Force, which is sounding pretty similar. With that said, it wouldn't be impossible to adapt. With X-Force spinning off from Deadpool and Cable you could make Team X the more serious, grittier mutant team movie. It could be more of an action, spy movie than all-out action comedy. Think more Bourne series and less Suicide Squad. With the right creative team Team X could explore the dark underbelly of the X-Men universe we haven't seen yet.
2. Deadly Genesis
A retcon of the classic Giant Sized X-Men #1, this storyline from Ed Brubaker asks an interesting question: "What if the All New, All Different X-Men we know and love weren't the X-Men to bare that moniker? After the original team is kidnapped by Krakoa, Professor X and Moira MacTaggert send a hastily thrown together group of mutants to save them. Seemingly killed on their first mission, team leader Vulcan awakens from a coma and heads to Earth to get revenge on Professor X.
What I love about the idea is how that it adds depth to Professor X. While not exactly the paragon of virtue (particularly after First Class), he tends to come off as a perfect teacher archetype. A story like this could really help develop him beyond that role. Plus, Vulcan could make for a killer main villain later on. While Deadly Genesis doesn't necessarily need to be R-rated, this tale of forgotten X-Men could benefit from it.
3. Multiple Man
Debuting in 1975 as a villain, Multiple Man a.k.a. Jamie Madrox has been a staple of the X-Men universe for nearly 40 years. With the ability to duplicate himself and retain the memories, Multiple Man has been more of a supporting cast member through the years. More often than not he would be the jokester on a team like X-Factor. He wouldn't really come into his own until the 2004 miniseries Madrox: Multiple Choice. Opening his own detective agency, Madrox would team up with former X-Factor teammates Wolfsbane and Strong Guy to perform the unenviable task of solving Jamie's own murder.
One of the biggest problems with superhero movies, no matter what company, is that they can feel the same after awhile. A lot of origin stories that seem to follow the same beats. A film based on the Madrox mini-series would throw that completely out the window with a mix of comedy, mystery and neo-noir — very much in the same vein as Shane Black movies like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang or The Nice Guys. With the right crew and a unique voice of its own it could be a quirky R-rated hit in the a la Deadpool.
4. District X
With the mutant population at an all-time high they establish their own neighborhood in Manhattan called Mutant Town. But like all neighborhoods, it isn't perfect, and has crime of its own. Patrolled by the mutant Bishop and human Ismael Ortega, the two solve crimes within Mutant Town.
Perhaps it is just me but the X-Men films tend to feel like they take place in the same setting. I know they travel all over the globe but it tends to feel like take place in a mix of scientific facilities and upper-class cities. That's why District X is a perfect way to shake things up. More police procedural than comic action, District X could be Training Day or The Wire with mutant powers.
The son of X-Men ally Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne in the films), Proteus is a mutant with the ability to possesses people and warp reality. The catch? The bodies he possesses burn out over time. If Fox decides to go all in on the Rated-R movies, one bold thing they could do would be to make the X-Men movies for adults. If they ever decides to do this there is no better villain to start with than Proteus.
One of the coolest things about the X-Men is how many contexts the team can work in. Mostly thought of as superheroes, they can fit in landscapes as diverse as science fiction epics or teen melodrama. One of the more underrated of these is horror, and that's where Proteus comes in. With the body disintegration and body switching, Proteus would make for a unique blend of supernatural and slasher horror. It may be a bit of a risk but — with horror being such a sure thing at the box office — it's worth a shot.
Not all of the best X-Men characters are mutants. Some are just outsiders looking for their place in the world, and there is no better example of that than Longshot and the Mojoverse. Genetically altered to be a slave, Longshot lives in an alternate universe run by the villainous Mojo. Obsessed with media, Mojo keeps the people of his world placated through brutal gladiatorial battles. With the power of defying probability, he teams up with his fellow slaves to take down Mojo's empire.
Alternate universes have always been a major part of comics. In fact, some of the best comic stories such as Kingdom Come and The Last Avengers story have been outside of regular continuity. We have seen it brought to TV on shows like The Flash and I think it's about time the idea came to superheroes on the big screen. A mix of post-apocalyptic future and the gladiatorial culture of Ancient Rome, it also has a perfect villain in the grotesque Mojo. A spineless body that needs a robotic exoskeleton to move, Mojo is unlike anything seen in the X-Men movies to date.
In the early 2000s Marvel was looking to revamp some of their X-titles. Giving X-Force to the experimental comics writer Peter Milligan and indie artist Mike Allred, this duo gave us something we have never seen before. No longer the paramilitary force most were used to, this X-Force (later renamed X-Statix) behaved more like drunk reality TV stars. Using the team to gain fame, it was more a cynical look at superheroes that wasn't afraid to do things like kill off most of the team in its first issue.
Since the comic's cancellation, the role of celebrity and reality TV personalities has grown bigger than it ever has before. No longer considered media outsiders like in 2001, they have become full-fledged celebrities infiltrating the worlds of fashion, acting and music. We have even seen a former Real World cast member enter the superhero world with shows like Gotham, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the movie Big Hero 6 in Jamie Chung. It's the perfect thing to satire within a superhero context. With Fox showing a knack for tongue-in-cheek comedy in Deadpool, a satirical look at celebrity with the X-Statix seems like the next logical step.
8. The Morlocks
Imagine mutants so weird that they're too much for the X-Men to handle; mutants so physically deformed or dangerous that they are forced to live below ground and into the abandoned tunnels of New York City. Without Charles Xavier or any other prominent mutant leader, they are led by Callisto, a scarred mutant who seeks out other different-looking mutants to join her. Isolated from the rest of the world, they live in a society all their own.
When it comes to mutants in the X-Men movies, they can be cookie cutter at times. Between all of the X-Men wearing the same leather suit and being good looking, they tend to look the same. This could all change if Fox were to focus on the Morlocks. While the tentacle-spouting Callisto is probably the most normal looking, the rest of the Morlocks have a unique look, whether it is the bulky albino look of Caliban or bones jutting out of the body of Marrow. A mutant take on Nightbreed, these misfits could be the next big stars in the X-Men universe.
9. Omega Sentinel
An Indian police officer Karima Shapandar was turned into an Omega Prime Sentinel by villain Bastion. Captured while searching for her brother, Bastion made her into a machine/human hybrid programmed to hunt mutants. All of this is made more complicated when she is sent to hunt her ex-partner, Neal Shaara, a mutant known as Thunderbird.
When it comes to the X-Men, few villains are bigger than the Sentinels. Unfortunately, they really haven't gotten a fair shake onscreen. An Omega Sentinel film would be the perfect vehicle to bring these deadly machines to the forefront of the X-Men franchise, not to mention the visceral visual style a character like Omega Sentinel would bring. I doubt it would be Tetsuo: The Iron Man but it's hard to imagine Omega Sentinel without a distinctly body horror feel. No matter how they are brought back, I can't be the only one eagerly awaiting the return
Born in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan, Sage is only able to survive on her own thanks to her telepathy and computer-like mental processing. One day, she enters a mysterious cavern where she finds Charles Xavier. Sensing she is a mutant, Professor X has this tough-as-nails heroine act as a spy for him in the Hellfire Club.
I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say you have to suspend disbelief to watch a superhero movie. Aside from the powers, things always seem to happen at the right moment, with a lot of questions about all of these coincidences. Maybe it's just me, but I think Sage manipulating things for Professor X could make an interesting movie. Think a spy movie like Haywire or Munich, where this one woman is manipulating events and putting every piece in their place. It would definitely be a different spy movie than the upcoming X-Force movie.
The X-Men movie universe has been in limbo for awhile. After X-Men: Apocalypse failed, there was talk of rebooting the whole franchise. Thankfully, Fox seems to have found its footing with critical hits like Logan and Deadpool. However, with the right crews and a little bit of luck, Fox could finally find their own voice as the only studio doing R-rated superhero movies.
What X-Men movies do you want to see? Who do you want to see direct an X-Men movie? Let me know in the comments below!