Last week, Gambit received its release date. It was been announced from 20th Century Fox that the Gambit spin-off film will be hitting theaters in the fall of 2016. With this announcement comes an interesting landmark for the X-Men film series as the franchise will feature three films in one year. Along with Gambit, coming in 2016 is the long awaited Deadpool spin-off and the next blockbuster in the series, [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267), will be arriving on the scene in the following summer. No doubt this is way for Fox to keep their X-Men films fresh and be able to stand toe to toe with the likes of Marvel Studios. Whichever way you look at it, this is a lot of X-Men to take in. While there is still plenty of time between now and the next set of X-Men films, that does not mean we cannot take this time to analyze these three movies and breakdown what we know so far about the future of X-Men.
Deadpool (February 12, 2016)
For the X-Men franchise, 2016 starts with none other then the Merc with the Mouth: Deadpool. [Deadpool](movie:38663), who started off as a parody to DC Comic's Deathstroke, is now one of the most popular characters in not just X-Men, but the whole Marvel Universe. Word of a Deadpool movie began in spread after the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where Ryan Reynolds played the character. Unfortunately the film did not live up to expectations and because of it the Deadpool spin-off was put on hold. It came to the point where the movie seemed to be just a dream. However, good fortune has shined on the X-Men franchise and this spin-off will finally be a reality.
Deadpool will likely be as standalone as a spin-off can get. The list of reasons is boundless, but I suppose the biggest factor is the fact that Deadpool is famous for breaking the fourth wall. This trait will definitely find its way into the Deadpool movie (the test footage was already proof of that), so it would be hard to see him or his film being directly connected to the other X-Men films. Yet Deadpool still has a major opportunity ahead of it. Much like The Wolverine, Deadpool will be a very different kind of movie for the X-Men franchise. Deadpool could be a movie unlike anything seen in the X-Men franchise, and with Fox releasing many X-Men titles, this spin-off could be refreshing. Deadpool has been a film long in the making and hopefully this spin-off will be well worth the wait come winter of 2016.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27, 2016)
Following in the summer is the anticipated sequel to Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse. The movie was announced prior to the release of Days of Future Past and while the 2014 blockbuster stood on its own, fans no doubt had this upcoming movie in the back of their minds. There is still very little on the film, but we do know that film will follow the First Class cast into the 80's and that The Force Awaken's Oscar Issac will be dawning the role of Apocalypse.
While I am excited for this major blockbuster, Apocalypse has a tough road ahead of it. Not only does this film have to follow Days of Future Past but it also brings one of the X-Men's most iconic villains to the silver screen. Living up to expectations will be hard to say the least, but X-Men: Apocalypse has potential to being another great film in the series. With the introduction of Apocalypse, this film has a chance to do something new. With the previous movie establishing the future for the X-Men, this upcoming film can finally show the formation of the X-Men that many know and love. Then there is a matter of the villain. While we have seen mutant villains in past films, we have not seen an enemy at the caliber of Apocalypse. In every format that he has been in, Apocalypse has been depicted as a mutant who is as diabolical as he is powerful. It goes without saying that Apocalypse can be threat that raises the stakes enough where it could match the tension in Days of Future Past. Like [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942), Apocalypse could be a major film for X-Men series. Depending on what the filmmakers do with it, Apocalypse can be a solid blockbuster as well as bring the story started in First Class to a full circle; or maybe it will just be the bridge to more movies.
Gambit (October 7, 2016)
In the fall of the 2016, we have yet another spin-off film for X-Men. This one comes in the form of Gambit. As many comic fans know Gambit, aka Remy LeBeau, is an ex thief with the ability to charge kinetic energy into any object; which in Gambit's case is usually playing cards. Saying that Gambit is a fan favorite is an understatement as the character has been a part of X-Men media for many year. He did appear in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Taylor Kitsch playing the Cajun. Unfortunately the character's appearance was a bit underwhelming (though Kitsch' performance was tolerable). Because of Origins, it seemed that seeing Gambit in another X-Men movie would be unlikely; until it was announced that the character would return to the movies and Channing Tatum will take up the role of the Ragin Cajun. Gambit will first appear in X-Men: Apocalypse he will get his very own solo film that will hit theaters 5 months later. There has been very little on the film's production, but seeing that Gambit's release date was just announced and that Apocalypse is still in the works, no news is not shocking.
The role that Gambit is going to play in the X-Men franchise is interesting. For starters there is Gambit's role in Apocalypse. Right now we do not know what Gambit will be doing in this blockbuster. The character could have a major role in the film, such as being one of Apocalypse's Horsemen, or he may just have a small part that will tie into his spin-off film. It is anyone's guess at this moment. Like the other spin-off films, [Gambit](movie:612399) could be a different movie for the X-Men franchise. Unlike Deadpool, Gambit will tie in other X-Men films. However what Gambit can do is represent a different part of the X-men universe. Gambit's world could showcase a darker part of X-Men and his film could establish a unique element to the franchise; such as bringing unknown characters to the silver screen. I feel that with his ties being so close to the X-Men, a solo Gambit movie could be tricky. Yet if the film is done correctly, then this spin-off movie could be a treat for both moviegoers and X-Men fans.
It is safe to say that the X-Men are coming in full force in 2016. Perhaps this move from Fox may be too much for moviegoers, but it certainly shows progression from the 14 year old franchise. These upcoming movies could be an evolutionary step for the series and this line up could be must see films for moviegoers everywhere. The only way to find that out is waiting until 2016 to see the next phase in X-Men.