Shared universes in movies/tv is the big thing to do nowadays ever since the conception of the Phase One initiative that Marvel Studios initiated in 2008, when Iron Man was first released. Four years later, we had five solo films for Iron Man (who starred in two of those), Hulk, Captain America, and Thor and one film that brought it all together in the Avengers. It was cool to see this kind of thing happen cause it really hadn't been done before, several different movies, existed in one cohesive universe.
But what sucked was that even as great as the Avengers were, we would never see the likes of X-Men or Fantastic Four exist in this universe because the rights to these characters were owned by FOX studios; same thing for Spider-Man, his rights were owned by Sony Pictures. To this day, those characters still remain with those properties and Marvel have only won a few of their characters back (i.e. Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade) and only one of those are they doing anything with at the moment.
But what if the rights to these characters' rights were reverted back to Marvel studios? What would that look like? Well, I want to take this time and article to talk about what I'd venture to see in a Marvel Studios-owned X-Men franchise.
An Origin Story
First things first, we have to establish who the main characters will be. For me, that was easy, you want to do an X-Men film right and differentiate it from the previous franchise? Then you got to "x" out a few characters and leave the original five X-Men. The X-Men who started it all: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, and Angel.
Yes, that means there is no Wolverine. Yes, that would be heart-breaking, even for me because I'm a huge fan of Hugh Jackman and feel he does the role very, very well.
But Wolverine should have never been the main-focus, at least not from the very beginning. Cyclops and Jean should be the main characters, the stars of the movie. Cyclops is the leader of the X-Men and although he is not everyone's favorite, he's essential to the team. Having Jean be just as much in the forefront of the movie as Cyclops would help too because Jean is likable, has a lot of deep story potential, and would bring even more diversity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe by adding another big super-heroine to the roster.
Beast, Iceman, and Angel shouldn't be cast-aside though or down-played, they each have an interesting origin to dive into that can be explored at key points in the movie. In order for this to happen, you have to find a good director and some good writers who know how to balance multiple characters, someone like Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams.
The characters should also be somewhat younger. Cyclops, Jean, Beast, and Angel should be in their early-to-mid twenties and Iceman should be in his late-teens. This would pay homage to the classic X-Men stories that were told in the beginning.
To wrap this point up, their story should be an origin story. The beginning of these characters meeting, or at least most of them. I like in the original how the four boys were somewhat established at the mansion already and how Jean was the new girl, it creates a fun and funny dynamic between young men who all find the one girl they're living with attractive; the same kind of humor would adopt well into the Marvel Cinematic U without feeling out of place.
Ditch the black leather that was made so popular in the early 2000's and give us something truly out of the comics. I think everyone can agree that the era of X-Men that existed in the 80s and 90s were the best time for the X-Men universe. Everyone's uniforms were not identical, cookie-cutter type of attire. They were each unique yet somehow blended well with each other. I think that if ever the movie were to be made, they should reference the 80's and 90's costume designs and bring a modern flare to them like the above picture.
If there's one reason I want to see X-Men exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (besides the fact that they belong there), it's because we would get an X-Men as colorful as the comics and I want to see a vibrantly-texture X-Men film that feels large and epic, and totally embraces the MCU.
Connecting the Franchise to the Universe
I know above I said that Wolverine doesn't need to be the focus, but I totally want to see Wolverine in later installments of this fake, fan-made franchise. Think of the possibilities that could exist if Marvel had the rights:
1. Wolverine could battle Hulk, maybe even be introduced that way like in the comics.
2. Storm could totally be in a relationship with [Black Panther](movie:9047).
3. Rogue could obtain her powers of super-strength and flight after absorbing them from Captain Marvel like in the comics did originally (except for Captain Marvel was Ms. Marvel).
4. Beast could be a common staple in [The Avengers](movie:9040) like he has in the past.
There are many options more to explore if this were to happen.