ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, with Fox's future X-Men-themed movie slate seemingly growing fuller by the day, with The New Mutants now set to follow Deadpool, Wolverine 3 and Gambit to the screen in the near future, it's not too surprising that we're all a little over-excited about what the next decade holds for our merry mutants.

After all, it seems we're finally - finally - set to see Fox's version of Marvel Studios' connected 'Cinematic Universe' come to life, with next year's X-Men: Apocalypse looking likely to tease a whole heap of awesome spin-off projects on both the big and small screens.

There is, however, one major problem...

There are a Whole Lot of X-Men Movies We're Never Going to See

Y'see, while the possibilities for the comic-book X-Universe are more-or-less endless, the movie X-Men are a whole lot more limited by not only the rights held by Fox (mutants, the Fantastic Four, some other mutants, and a handful of principally mutant-related humans, and that's about it) but the direction that the X-Series has thus far been headed.

And, so, with all the excitement bubbling up about what we might get to see over the next few years, it seemed as good a time as any to take a look at just which X-Men movies we won't be seeing...

First up?

5. Wolverine vs The Hulk

Now, despite this being about as fan-pleasing (and classically comic-book) a movie idea as it's possible to imagine, there are two good reasons it's unlikely to ever happen: film rights, and more film rights.

Not only do Fox not have the rights to use Hulk, and Marvel Studios not have the rights to use Wolverine, but Marvel are famously reluctant to put Hulk in the title (or lead role) of any movie they make, since the resulting film's distribution rights would be held by Universal. Or, in other words? There's unlikely to be any financial incentive to make the film - huge box office potential or no - for a long while yet, and without that, it simply isn't likely to get made.

Next up?

4. The Original X-Men

Specifically, a team made up of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast and Angel, all brought together as the original X-Men team by Professor X.

Now, for whatever reason, someone at Fox (be it perennial X-Men director Bryan Singer, or some sort of senior executive) really doesn't seem to want the original comic-book X-Men to hit the screen as a unit. The original X-Men movies briefly featured all five in one movie (X-Men: The Last Stand) but pointedly avoided having the five team-up, while the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse looks set to see a much older Beast, an antagonistic Angel, and an absent (and likely newborn) Iceman.

Which, for anyone who grew up reading classic X-Men back issues, is kind of shame. On a similar note, we're super-unlikely to ever see...

3. A Real Cyclops Movie

Now, I love James Marsden as much as the next guy (which is an infinite amount, right everyone?) but there have been some...issues with the Cyclops he's historically portrayed in the X-Men movies. Over the course of three movies, Cyclops somehow managed to be relegated to 'stiff, boring romantic rival for Wolverine', as opposed to his comic-book role of 'serious but charismatic heart and soul of the X-Men'.

Now, recent comic-books have retooled him as a bad-tempered bad-ass, and later as an in-hiding mutant terrorist (both of which worked surprisingly well), but with Cyke now set to be rebooted on screen as a teenager, it seems we might have to wait a fair few decades to see anything close to the kick-ass, subversive Cyclops movie the character deserves. Sadly, you get the feeling Marsden won't be in the role when it happens, though...

Next up?

2. The Dark Phoenix Saga

One of the most iconic - and heartbreaking - comic-book story-lines of all time, the Dark Phoenix Saga saw the X-Men battling some of the most powerful aliens in the galaxy in an effort to save Jean Grey from execution. Its final moments, in which Jean chooses to sacrifice herself to save her friends (and the galaxy) from the planet-destroying super-being possessing her body, are among the most iconic in comic-dom.

And yet, we're unlikely to ever see it adapted into film, seeing as X-Men: The Last Stand already sort of did that - but inexplicably opted to make it a sub-plot within another, less cinematic tale of a mutant 'cure'. As a result, we aren't likely to see Jean make the ultimate sacrifice for another soft reboot or two...

And, finally?

1. The Modern Day X-Men

Specifically, we're - sadly - very unlikely to ever see anything approximating the past few years of comic-book awesomeness that was the X-Men comic-book universe on the big screen. With Fox focusing on more obviously marketable solo projects like Deadpool and Gambit, the chances of us seeing the complex, convoluted and downright incredible X-Universe of the past few years (for which a whole lot of credit has to go to writers Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Aaron, amongst others) seem distinctly slim.

Which, seeing as one of the biggest reasons to love the comic-book X-Men is the team's messy, overlapping nature, is a shame. Especially since it means we'll likely never see the original X-Men time travel to the present at a time when Wolverine is running the Xavier Institute, and Cyclops is a mutant terrorist on the run from the law.

Because yes, life is officially that unfair.

What do you reckon, though?


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