Bear with me for a moment as we run down the incredible line-up of team X-Men mutants that [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) has officially put together so far. We have: Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm and Ben Hardy likely cast as Angel.
Days of Future X-Men
That is a sizeable team the likes of which we haven't seen since the first trilogy of X-Men movies ended about a decade ago. And this isn't including the strong rumor of Channing Tatum making his Gambit debut in the movie and the hopes that X-Men Apocalypse might find a way to bring Hugh Jackman's Wolverine into the picture.
With this assembled team of young mutants battling the biggest threat that the X-Men have ever faced in the character of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), there have been hopes that this youthful team is a signal that Fox is putting together a group that will see the franchise into the future and will continue the post-Apocalypse story.
The Last Stand
But Nicholas Hoult recently reminded everyone that there will be some big contract negotiations for that to really happen. Hoult, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are all seeing the the end of their responsibilities with X-Men Apocalypse and they are all characters that will likely see the stories that have been built around them get wrapped up at the end of this trilogy.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the X-Men will need to be rebooted after X-Men Apocalypse but the movie could be leading to some big time changes in how Fox proceeds with these characters. After all, it would be pretty crazy for Fox to rely on a cast that didn't include the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Fassbender and McAvoy to continue the current X-Men saga as these characters are the heart of the story.
There is also the glaring issue of the timeline in X-Men Apocalypse. With the movie taking place in 1983, it isn't exactly apparent how these characters would be able to move forward without always being trapped in some era of the past. If Fox ever wants the X-Men to be able to mix it up in the present time - which one would think is the likely setting of movies like Deadpool and Gambit - then a reboot may be the only option.
The X-Force Factor
But there is one option that could be the perfect escape hatch for Fox and its mutant army. There has been a script for an X-Force movie floating around the offices of Fox for ages now. Back in 2013 the script, by Kick Ass 2 writer/director Jeff Wadlow, even got Twitter praise from X-Force creator Rob Liefeld.
It could easily be the case that Fox and Jeff Wadlow are waiting to see the results of X-Men Apocalypse, give the X-Force script the appropriate tweaking and make this the new mutant franchise.
With the Apocalypse entering the mutant picture, there are plenty of opportunities to introduce X-Force alumni like Cable, Archangel, and Domino. And since Warpath and Deadpool are already established, it wouldn't take too much work to have a great X-Force team in the ready after X-Men Apocalypse.
Fox might find themselves in the position of having too many options after X-Men Apocalypse is over. It would seem the biggest issue they'll be facing, if they want to keep any of the cast from this recent trilogy, is resetting the timeline - which might even be a trick that X-Men Apocalypse has in its back pocket.
Best of Both Worlds
Like a lot of superhero teams, the X-Force lineup is one that sees a lot of coming and going from different mutant members. This could be something that Fox could use to its advantage. It would allow Charles Xavier and Magneto to largely stay out the picture and you could see Wolverine and Cyclops feature in one movie, Deadpool and Storm in another, and not have to pin characters down for long term contracts as long as someone like Cable remained a constant.
Where do you think these period piece X-Men movies are taking the franchise? Will X-Men Apocalypse find a way to bring the X-Men in line with movies like Deapool and Gambit? Is it all leading to a reboot?