ByJason Howell, writer at
Jason Howell

Most comic book movie fans know when Marvel began their own in house production studio, there were (and still are) a number of their own characters which they do not have the film rights to. Spider-Man of course is in Sony’s house (with recent negotiations to allow him to enter the MCU) and the X-Men currently reside with 20th Century FOX in the long running Singer-verse.

Marvel did acquire shared rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and as a result, the characters are now appearing in both the Singer-verse (X-Men Days of Future Past) and the MCU (Avengers 2: Age of Ultron).

Now in all likelihood, as long as FOX is raking in big bucks from their X-Men films, they’re going to keep those film rights. But if Marvel ever does get the rights back, or even shared rights, here is a list of things I would like to see done differently with the X-Men.


The first major thing I would want (which I believe is kind of obvious) would be a complete reboot. The characters of the Singer-verse have been so deeply explored and the universe has been so developed within itself, even if they keep making movies on it, I don’t see how they could be incorporated into the MCU.

As well-cast as those characters were (Wolverine and Xavier especially), a reboot by definition would necessitate an entirely new cast, especially if the characters are shared with FOX.


The Singer-verse costumes were good in that they provided a modern look, but I would prefer to see outfits that were more classic, if not, distinguishable from each other.

Also, I would like to see some of the characters' physical appearances (like Mystique) be closer to the comics.


In a reboot, I would like to see Rogue have more powers. In the comics, in addition to her power-sucking ability, Rogue could fly, had super strength, and shoot energy blasts from her hands, making her fully functional as a superhero. Whereas the power-sucking is all the Singer-verse Rogue had.

At the end of X3, Rogue took the mutant cure to rid herself of her power. I think she might have been more willing to keep her powers had she been able to be a more proactive team-member like her comic book counterpart.


In contrast to some versions of the comics and of course the Singer-verse, I would like to see a version of Wolverine where he never loses his memories, possibly set up moments of flashback (especially in the MCU, where a possible meeting with Captain America could trigger a flashback to them fighting together in WWII).


Phoenix from the 90's animated series
Phoenix from the 90's animated series

While I’d hate to see storylines from the Singer-verse remade so soon, I would like to see The Phoenix Saga, featured in X3: The Last Stand, redone. The biggest, and perhaps most intriguing critique of that film is that the 90’s cartoon, which was made for children, did more justice to the storyline than the Hollywood blockbuster. In X3, the Phoenix was in effect reduced to a bad case of Multiple Personality Disorder and had little effect on other events of the film (as in, the attack on Worthington Labs was going to happen with or without her).

Playing off the idea as presented in the Assembling a Universe special that superhero films are not a genre but rather multiple genres that feature superheroes, I want to see the Phoenix storyline filmed as what it was supposed to be; not the psychological civil drama that was X3, but a full-on sci-fi thriller.


I recently watched one of Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailer videos based on the X-Men trilogy, and it raised up an interesting point

"In a world where people cheer for superheroes like The Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Spider-Man, those same people will inexplicably hate the X-Men . . . because for some reason there's a difference between superpowers and mutant powers."

While this is an iconic feature of the X-Men mythos, should Marvel feature the X-Men in the cinematic universe (where by now superheroes have become an established part of everyday life) I think the persecution should be either toned down or there should be an emphasis on what makes the mutants (or miracles) so different from the other heroes in the MCU.


While Sony appears to have finally allowed Spider-Man to enter the MCU, 20th Century FOX doesn't seem as willing to budge on their Marvel properties. An article I read recently speculated that recent Marvel Comics decisions regarding the Fantastic Four and the X-Men (i.e. the death of Wolverine) may be part of an attempt to deliberately damage the popularity of the characters and force FOX into a deal to turn the characters back to Marvel Studios.

When I first saw X3, I thought the X-Men film franchise was over and done with (this was before I became familiar with the phenomenon known as post-credit scenes), so I was surprised when Origins was announced. When X-Men: Days of Future Past came out, the ending more or less nullified half the franchise, with the fate of the other half (except for First Class) up in the air.

Regardless of whether Marvel Comics is waging a secret war to get their characters back, I believe the ultimate fate of the X-Men franchise may be resting upon the upcoming release of X-Men: Apocalypse. It has been stated that this film will complete a trilogy that began with First Class; with that being said, I think if FOX is going to give the movie rights back to Marvel, once Apocalypse is over and done with may be the time to do it.


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