I read an awesome post by Iron Angel about the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how, if the rights did not belong to Fox, would their movie play out. I disagree, though, because the X-Men should not be a movie series. I'm not saying there shouldn't be movies, but that the movie shouldn't be the first thought of how the series would play out for the X-Men.
The Avengers movie is a culmination of several individuals being brought together to deal with a cataclysmic event, that none of them can handle as individuals. That is not what the X-Men are. The individuals of [The Avengers](movie:9040), when apart, deal with the world's problems from their professions: Iron Man as a company CEO and mechanic; Captain America as a soldier; Hulk as a scientist; Thor as a guardian. The X-Men, on the other hand, are students/adults fighting for their civil rights.
Go back and look at what made X-Men: Evolution a good series, besides the array of characters the series pulled out for the show. The characters fought in the dark, keeping the secret of, not just themselves, but mutant kind as a whole. If their natural born powers became known to the public, any chance of social lives for anyone identified as a mutant becomes impossible. And yet, they must go out fight and stop mutants and others with destructive purposes even if the X-Men understand the reasoning behind their foe's agenda. Magneto wants to protect Mutants, so he intends to scare humanity into not chasing down mutants or suffer dire consequences. Understandable. Mutants are a threat to public safety, so the government authorizes the creation of robots and weapons meant to combat the growing threat. Understandable. And we haven't talked about what the kids plan to do for the School's Holiday Dance party (or at least, the X-men that want to go) because most of them don't want to spend their whole lives hiding in fear, they want to go out and party, and have normal lives.
Do you see what I'm saying? I'm not saying that X-men shouldn't have a movie series, I'm saying movies are ill-suited for such the franchise.
Spoiler alert. Let me take [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942), the most recent X-Men movie to come out, as an example. What happened? Xavier overcame his depression with the help of his worst student (from the future) and restores balance to the world by stopping his friend from doing something she would later regret (if she lives long enough). That's all that happened. I'm probably going to get some hate for that from someone, but it's the truth. A single moment, for one major outcome. Now I ask, with the announcement that the next movie is going to be TEN YEARS LATER, I ask, what happened in between these movies?
Sometimes, when I watch a movie, I feel like I'm watching a television pilot episode for a series that has yet to be made. That's what I felt like at the end of DoFP. I wish it WAS a pilot episode. Sure, the effects would be less pretty, less time spent on tension, we'd probably lose Quicksilver, but I'd take it. Because the movie promises so much more to come, but there's nothing coming anytime soon. The next movie takes place ten years in the future!
Let me ask you to picture, for a minute, to arrange a television series based on the X-Men movies you may have watched. X-Men: First Class and X-Men Days of Futures Past are an X-Men pilot season. In First Class, Xavier is asked to help government agents deal with a group of mutants, the Hellfire Club, that are effecting government policy and steering the country towards nuclear war with Russia. However, they come across Magneto who is trying to bring down the Hellfire Club on his own in a rage bent passion. Xavier stops Magneto from killing himself and convinces him to work together. So begins the creation of a team of Mutants to combat the Hellfire Club, the original X-Men (not comic original).
Now, this is where a montage of training begins in First Class. Lets fill in the montage with Xavier finding out he's a good teacher, Mystique listening to small debates between Xavier and Magneto and swaying sides, some detective work trying to find the Hellfire Club, references to future members of the X-Men, Havok saying he use to want to be a police officer, Beast developing his X-gene cure, etc, etc. Then, Hellfire Club is found and the Mutant Cuban Missile Crisis occurs, and the team breaks into pieces and everyone goes their separate ways.
Now, Xavier decides to open the school and become a teacher of the mutants, training them to protect themselves and those around them. Magneto, on the other hand, moves to try and begin a Brotherhood to help Mutants in need, to police and protect themselves. Magneto's people spread out, finding multitudes of mutants willing to help him, and even sends some to Xavier's school, acknowledging that he doesn't know enough to aid everyone. Xavier, while teaching, is watched by government authorities, who are resentful over the outcome of Xavier's interference to the military prior to the Mutant Cuban Missile Crisis. Magneto and his selected leaders of his Brotherhood decide to attack something they deemed a threat to Mutants, and Xavier is blamed for these problems. Xavier is forced to make another X-men force and try to stop Magneto from being a force of destruction, dividing their friendship. The conflict forces Havok to leave, he has no desire to fight against his friends, and so Havok joins the army.
Then, JFK happens, and Magneto is locked away under the Pentagon. The Brotherhood continues to function, not as aggressively as before, but still staging attacks on those they deem threats. Xavier begins to lose his students to the Vietnam War Draft, the government officials still targeting him for the Brotherhood's misdeeds. Eventually, private forces begin hunting down the Brotherhood members and slaughters a number of them, and Mystique calls out to Xavier for help, but he has none to give, spiteful of the troubles they have brought him
So beings the final arc, the Days of Futures Past. A mysterious stranger, Wolverine, walks in, and pushes Xavier to finally take action after being inactive for too long, learning that the man is broken. Regardless, Xavier is persuaded to hear out the stranger and get Magneto out of prison. The mutant(s) that help with this could be anyone or no one. Sorry Quicksilver, you weren't necessary, you were just awesome. After breaking out Magneto, they go across the world to Paris to stop Mystique from assassinating Trask in hell-bent fury and despair.
Only partially successful and divided once again, Xavier questions the very belief that any good could come of stopping Mystique. And so, Wolverine makes Xavier meet himself in the future to show Xavier the right path to follow. Even old Magneto could put in a word or two.
Xavier, reinvigorated, steps up again to stopping Mystique from assassinating Trask. Xavier manages to stop Mystique, only to face Magneto from making another declaration of power for mutant-kind and prevent him from murdering the president.
Remembering the words of older Magneto, Xavier lets Magneto go. Xavier doesn't look for Wolverine, because he knows it's not the right time. Mystique goes away, because she needs to find her own way. Knowing what to do now, Xavier begins to search for new mutants again, and reopens the school, ending season 1.
Tired yet? Or are you slightly excited to see what season 2 would be about?
In response to the public display of Mutant ability and increasing fears, new laws have been put into place, giving local authorities permission to be more aggressive when dealing with a known mutant. Xavier tries to stay out of the spotlight, but troubles around the more populated areas attract his students into "helping" people, making them targets. Unable to keep them from charging out without turning them into dolls, Xavier begins to train them as he had the previous X-Men, praying he wasn't doing the wrong thing and hoping they don't seek out more trouble then they can handle. But children will be children, and one day their actions cause more harm than good and they begin to feel the discrimination eating away at their nobility, wondering what the point of their heroics had been. As Xavier struggles to convince them of higher purpose, Apocalypse arrives, bringing with him mutants that survived the Trask Industry's Mutant witch-hunts on a quest for vengeance and conquest.
And Season Three~~~~
The conclusion of such a war between the Government and X-Men against the forces of Apocalypse spurred the humans to try and "cure" the mutant problem, bring with those ideas the Mauraders, a mutant hunting band of mutants, the Morlocks, the Legacy Virus, Genocide, rogue mutants and even the resurrection of the Sentinels. But all these pales in comparison to what Apocalypse created;a feral Wolverine. Seeing everything spiral out of control, Xavier feels he has no choice but to accept that peace must be fought for, and gives command to his students, which spurs the creation of X-Factor and X-Force teams.
That's just my ideas. I could go on, but really, I was only hoping to show people that an X-Men movie is not the best idea ever, if only because there's only so much you can show in a single screening of a franchise is rich in content and characters as X-Men.