Take a moment to think about how incredible it is that the X-Men Series has never rebooted, nor has it even disappeared for a significant length of time. In our modern world of misfire canons and changing demographics and Andrew Garfield being Spider-man for only two movies, that is straight-up astounding. The first X-Men was released in 2000, before the first Spider-Man, and within the infancy of cinema's obsession with The Matrix. And yet, [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) has the same cast, same director, and inhabits the same timeline. You'd think the series would by now be relying on factory settings, but that clearly isn't the case.
This latest outing for Fox's most prized mutants sees Oscar Isaac making himself known as Apocalypse, who, aside from being a primordial mutant and best card in the Marvel Top Trumps, poses likely the biggest threat to the X-Men yet. Whether this will translate as him being really hard to fight, or actually presenting an interesting conflict for the characters, we'll have to wait and see. With a title like "Apocalypse", you'd think this could be the last movie in this series, though we are talking about the contemporary superhero genre, so any notion of finality is out the window. This series must end eventually, so what hints are there that this will indeed be the final adventure?
The timeline has been reset
While I'll give the X-Men series credit for resisting the urge to chuck everything aside and reboot (even in the dire times of X-Men Origins), it still employed a sneaky method of clearing out house without ruining its established stories. It was called [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942). The movie was a brilliant effort by Bryan Singer to introduce new ideas and imagery to the series while surreptitiously deleting the parts of the series that most notably weren't his doing. My point is that, if the series wants to avoid the embarrassment of a reboot, it would be smart not to complicate itself any further after one luckily successful clean up.
Bryan Singer has complete control
X-Men is again the standout series here, given that no other superhero property has been so consistently under the control of one director. For a while, Sam Raimi was the Spider-man guy, but some studio meddling and emo hair quickly saw to that. Batman has lived on through multiple movies by signifying particular directors' "takes" on the character, for better or for worse. X-Men has never had that treatment, and for the longest time, the property has been seen through the lens of one particular fan.This isn't to dismiss Singer's stylistic sensibilities. It would just be nice to see this series in an entirely new light after X-Men Apocalypse.
The series has come full circle
Days of Future Past helped keep the series timeline relatively straight forward but it also made the X-Men movies one big loop. It's become clear with X-Men Apocalypse that this sort-of prequel trilogy each owns a decade. First Class had the 60s, Days of Future Past had the 70s, and Apocalypse seems proudly situated in the 1980s. Is the 90s next? Will the school take a trip to the movies in 1999 and go see that hot new release, X-Men from director Bryan Singer? With the control that Singer Wields with this series, I actually wouldn't be surprised. This isn't to say that the series has nowhere to go; just that it's vintage novelty is wearing off, and ending it now would simply be the neater choice.
Hugh Jackman is outta here!
In terms of superhero movies and the audiences that consistently go to see them, seventeen years is akin roughly to the time between today and when marsupials first emerged on the planet. You can complain all you want about your five year contracts, Chris Evans, but Hugh Jackman has been working this character so long, many can't even imagine another man in the role. Aside from the fact that Wolverine has quite clearly aged since 1999, Jackman is simply well within his rights to leave this series behind. I'm not sure fans would accept an X-Men series that went on without Wolverine, and I'm sure they would be straight up hostile if he was replaced within the same canon. It's one more reason for this iteration to bow out gracefully as one of the most solid, long-running superhero series cinema will ever know!
What do you think? Would you like the X-Men movies to continue after X-Men Apocalypse, or should this next outing be a graceful swan song for these longevous mutants? Write a post about it here on MoviePilot, or leave a comment below!