It's been almost 20 years since the X-Men made their movie debut and while the X-Men have been influential in making comic book movies popular, the last few movies have been met with mixed reviews. While I did enjoy X-Men Apocalypse, many people didn't, and it resulted in a box office flop and possibly another #XMen reboot. However, there is good news for fans of the X-Men characters and their franchise. Fox has officially given a pilot order to an untitled X-Men universe television project, produced by #Fox and #Marvel Television.
With DC Comics shows like Lucifer, Flash, and Gotham becoming so popular, it's about time Fox got in on the action with more than just Legion (which starts February 8th). The current X-Men movies may have a few failures under their belt, so turning from movies to television is a spectacular idea. Here are a few key reasons why they will succeed as a show.
1. Deep Stories
The thing that makes the X-Teams so special are the layers of their personalities and their origin stories. Colossus being more than just some Russian farm boy and being an artist, Nightcrawler's demon look not stopping him from having religious beliefs, Logan's tragic life making him want to be a hero, or even Professor Xavier living an extremely shady life in order to train the X-Men. All of these are examples of how difficult it is to tell an in-depth origin in a two-hour movie.
In X-Men: Apocalypse, for example, it was left out that Storm used to be worshipped as a goddess in Africa. This left out one of the reasons that she is as confident with her powers and why she considers herself a goddess.
A lot of things get left out and sacrificed for the sake of the movie, moments that may not be important to the movie as a whole, but are vital to the character and their growth. With a television show, you have anywhere from 12–24 episodes to really get into a character's past. Even if the shows are 20 minutes a piece, that is more time than you would get in a movie and more regularly, since full seasons come out once a year and movies maybe once every two or three.
2. Multiple Characters
The X-Men have a plethora of people in their family. Characters like Jamie Madrox and X-Factor Investigations are the type of characters that would benefit from being on a show. The idea of being able to have different characters for different seasons like True Detective means each character and team can really get a chance to shine.
For example, a season dedicated to Mystique would be amazing — showing how she became such a selfish and evil woman, how and why Azazel seduced her, who was the child he fathered with her, and why they broke up. Perhaps they could expore Mystique's time with Sabretooth and how their child affected the future of mutants (Look up Graydon Creed), and even her time with Rogue and her best friend Destiny. Mystique is just one of the many characters with such a great past that deserves more than a few minutes for an origin.
3. Current Events
We live in a time where it seems like there will be no end to things like racism, sexism, homophobia, and prejudice in general. Sometimes it's refreshing to know that there are other people out there that may understand how you feel. The X-Men have always been about the little guy standing up for themselves in the face of injustice. They have been persecuted for being born a certain way and this is obviously an issue in society today.
Mutants didn't choose to be the way they are and that is just how life is. You are judged by how you are born rather than your character as a person. The X-Men have always done something that the Avengers and the Fantastic Four don't do often: They stand up for the rights of people different than them. The fight for their family and for the rights of those people who would rather see them burn. Sure, this is all fiction, but it is still a lesson that can be told like every other show on TV that preaches acceptance for one another.
Fox isn't going to necessarily need Wolverine in every episode (if at all) to have a successful television show. Even if they did, Logan's origin story is better told over a course of years rather than in a few solo movies. Give Gambit a few episodes growing up and being a thief and showing his history with Mr. Sinister. What about a Firefly-type of series that showcases Cyclops's father as a space pirate member of the Star Jammers, or the tragedy of being born a disfigured mutant and having to live in the sewers as a Morlock (which could lead to the Morlock Massacre story)? The amount of stories that the X-Men have could fill a television slot for decades (and that is not an exaggeration). I hope this is just the first step in the right direction for Marvel's mightiest mutants.
What X-Character would YOU most like to see on TV? Let me know in the comments below.