There is a bit of confusion going on with what's to come from the X-Men franchise. Some reports suggest scrapping the entire thing after X-Men: Apocalypse and start fresh without the continuity or connection to the old franchise. Early rumors had both Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy expressing interest in returning. Whether or not they return; Fox still has an excellent opportunity to build off a young cast of X-Men post Apocalypse.
The great thing about the #Xmen is their deep story. Apocalypse may be the big man on campus, but there are plenty of villains that can appear in the franchise. Each one different from the next: Mr. Sinister, The Maurders, Shadow King, Juggernaut (badly needs to be redone), Vulcan, or Onslaught to name a few. Plus they have a ton of internal conflict that would make for great on screen story telling. Apocalypse should be the start of new era for X-Men. There are some issues that remain though, but they are fixable.
Could We See a New Beast and Mystique
Rumors suggest Jennifer Lawrence may part ways with the role of Mystique. Should she leave, now is the time to really reboot both characters with fresh faces. Mystique at this point should have three children her biological son Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Rouge. So what better time to recast Mystique than now, with an older actress. Don't bring her back just yet, wait a movie before reintroducing the character and keep her in her mutant form. Along with J-Law Nicholas Hoult may be out the door. Like Mystique Beast is easily replaceable. With the right actor, great makeup, and the weight room Hoult's Beast would be a distant memory. Overall this is the easiest problem to fix.
Could the X-Men Franchise Replace Professor X and Magneto?
James McAvoy is one of my favorite actors. Seriously, I've seen almost all of his movies. But his version of Professor X was different from the comics, he was young, a bit flamboyant, and a playboy. He was amazing as a young Charles Xavier, and I have no doubt he would transition well into the wheelchair bound, charming, powerful, leader we've become familiar with . But, he can be replaced They can just replace him with an older actor (you'll see who), or do it smoothly via storyline. One storyline that would help him to disappear would be Deadly Genesis.
Michael Fassbender was amazing as the younger version of Magneto, but we can do without him. Besides, he said himself that he wasn't too happy with his performance in Apocalypse:
Anyone that followed the X-Men comics, cartoons, or reading on the Internet you know Magneto could easily disappear for a while. There are a number of story arcs and battles the X-Men have that did not include him. Fassbender can make a return in a solo film, or with his boy James McAvoy in an epic movie featuring Onslaught, or not at all.
Hugh Jackman will be missed upon his departure after his final solo film (based on the Old Man Logan series). He will forever be in our hearts as the original Wolverine. But, even he can be replaced. I'm not at talking Tom Hardy (though he is mine and pretty much everyone's #1 Choice) I'm talking his eclipsing of Cyclops and the Summers's. Wolverine became the face of the franchise, the leader of the team when it should have been Cyclops. Wolverine getting a solo flick before the eye blaster was shocking to me, but it was because of Hugh Jackman's amazing abilty. His portrayal of Wolverine for better and for worse overshadowed James Marsden character. This time they can do it right and make Cyclops the main man of the X-Men. Fear not, there are young actors that could mesh well with this young cast that would replace Wolverine in the franchise.
How to follow up Apocalypse.
Have the X-Men to face a group that was severely misused and a direct result of Apocalypse , The Morlocks. A movie about the X-men vs The Morlocks will lead right into a sequel that should feature Mr. Sinister, Gambit, and The Marauders. Below you will notice I am using a bunch of different story arch’s trying to make one major story with continuity.
In a post Apocalypse world there is extreme heightened mutant awareness, and the level of sensitivity has increased. Through the years Professor X’s School for the Gifted has grown, andso has his team of X-Men. Long time remember Beast departed two years after the events conducting research for the shady Brand Corporation who uses mutants for science experiments. The Brand Cooperation is secretly funding Senator Kelly a mutant hater in hopes to get more funding for research. Angel, one of Apocalypse Horseman turned Professor X student, departed not wanting to be a hero. Instead he opted for a normal life so he went to college. Replacing them is a shape shifting tech savvy mutant Kevin Sydney (Morph), a talented hotheaded mutant Bobby Drake (Iceman), and a drifter Logan (Wolverine) who’s finally found a home.
As a result of Apocalypse new threats arose including geneticist that experimented on mutants. This geneticist was a Beast doppelganger who kidnapped the real Hank and took his place. Through his gene manipulation he created a group of mutants who were forced to live underground known as The Morlocks.
Cyclops Stumbles into the Morlocks
The Morlocks lead by a mutant known as Callisto weren't seen during the day. They were an underground group of scavengers usually looking to steal food or valuables to resale or exchange in order to insure their survival. Unfortunately a tragic accident would force them into the light. Sunder, in an exchange becomes enraged when he realizes he was ripped off. His anger leads him to haunt down a prominent figure and kill him. News broke quickly when reports suggested a mutant was to blame.
This of course sparks outrage from humans especially Senator Kelly. With his numbers dropping and the recent tragedy Senator Kelly suggest all mutants to be identifiable, thus creating the Mutant Registration Act. Meanwhile, Cyclops is out following a lead that takes him through the darkest parts of N.Y. He accidentally stumbles upon the group in the tunnel. Unable to fight them off without his powers thanks to Leech he gets kidnapped.
Jean, with the help of Wolverine goes out in an attempt to track down Cyclops. When they run into what appears to be a dead-end Wolverine urges Jean to wait. During the wee hours of the night Jean sneaks out undetected on her own looking for her love only to be captured herself.
The Battle for Supremacy
With Professor X away investigating where the Morlocks came from; he leaves Storm in charge of the team.With the help of Iceman and Rogue the Xavier lead trio discover Beast being held captive. A battle between Dark Beast and Professor X’s team takes place and consequently destroys the Brand Corporation. This upsets Kelly knowing his ability to win the seat once again would be in danger of losing his financial backer.
The battle between the X-Men lead by Storm, and the Morlcoks take place withing the tunnels. During the battle we learn that Wolverine has feelings for Jean (developing story) and the reason why Storm was chosen to lead the team. The fight ends with the classic battle Storm vs. Callisto with the former being victorious and leaving Callisto in charge.
The next time we see Kelly he will be packing up his office just when a mysterious woman (Cassandra Nova) appears convincing a desperate Kelly to relaunch the Sentinel program. The movie ends and credit role. At the very end, docking the ports of New York will be a group of mutants lead by Gambit.
I am not recasting Jean, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Jubilee, or Angel since they were involved in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Kaya Scodelario - Rogue
First, this Rogue would be post Captain Marvel. Thus making her more powerful than previously depicted (but not too powerful). She will walk into the mansion to the displeasure of a lot for the group, especially Wolverine. Her history would be dark filled with the terrible thing s Mystique made her do after she absorbed Capt. Marvel’s powers. Why would Mystique have so much control? Despite Rouge being powerful Mystique would have some kind of control over her since she is her mother, until she doesn’t.
Why Kaya Scodelario?
I’ve seen a few names repeated here a lot like Liz Gillies and Alexandria Daddario for good reason. However while I love both choices (especially the former), I opted to go with Kaya because I thought she would be pretty good as well. Kaya was part of an April Fools joke that had her part of the X-Men universe as Aurora. While that was just a joke seeing her as part of the team would be pretty good. Kaya’s character as Effy on Skins as the quiet girl turned bad girl is one reason why I chose the 23 year old. She was dark, troubled, tortured and wild. In the Maze Runner series she is more heroic as Teresa Rogue is tough, but she does have a soft side as evident of her love for Nightcrawler. Kaya brings all the qualities needed to be the tough girl hanging with the guys version, and the heroic passionate southern girl version.
Colin Ford – Bobby Drake/Iceman
Iceman’s role for this movie will serve as the guy who wants to be the leader despite being the youngest member of the team. He will be one of few people to accept Rogue and helps her become acclimated to the dismay of the others especially Wolverine. Rogue in turn helps Bobby realize he’s better off alone since he is struggling to find himself with the team.
Why Colin Ford?
Ford is not just a TV actor I know, but he’s shown a ton of ability. He’s been on screen with Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo) and Jason Bateman (Disconnect). He’s recently stared in Under the Dome (unfortunately cancelled) with Britt Robertson. His character on the show is completely opposite of his character from Disconnect. His versatility is why he’d make a good Iceman. He has the chops to pull off the sarcastic, cocky, omega mutant Bobby Drake. In Disconnect he was a troubled teen, a bad boy who catfished one of his peers and eventually proving to be lonely and troubled himself. He did a great job playing a broken kid with daddy issues who used bullying as an outlet. That role was completely opposite of his Under the Dome where he was a bit reserved and a genius.
Tyler Hoechlin - Wolverine
Before I am crucified I think Wolverine should not outshine Cyclopes they should be equal on screen. Wolverine will be, like in all facets close to Professor X. There will be palpable tension between he and Jean, but not the main focus until she’s also kidnapped.
Only then will his feelings come out. I’ve read a ton of fan cast and names like Scott Eastwood, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Gerard Butler came to mind. But pretty much everyone’s favorite is Tom Hardy (including mine if they go older). I felt it was important for me to cast a Wolverine that could age with the film, relative unknown, but still look considerably older I took into consideration a potential love interest; Rogue, Jean, or Storm so that eliminated any 30+ actors. I was tempted to cast Jack O’Connell (5’8 and 25), but I felt there needed to be a believable rapport between Professor X and Logan. Tyler Hoechlin was my choice because he is unknown (the theme Fox seems to be following) and he’s 28 (at the time this was written). He has a captivating look, and he’s a bit shorter than Hugh Jackman at 6’0. His voice and role as Derek Hale on Teen Wolf was one selling point. Ok now you can crush me.
Rupert Friend – Professor X
I understand if you’re looking at the name and thinking I’m on something. And I am, I am on a roll. I know Mark Strong would be great, but hear me out. Strong is my first choice, but he is everyone's first choice, but Friend would be pretty good. Many people my point out the fact that he starred in a terrible reboot of Hitman (Hitman 47). If you were able to get through the movie you would see his calm, cool, collected, smooth, calculating butt kicking portrayal wasn’t bad. As CIA Peter Quinn in Homeland he plays the roll of a double agent, but shows his ability to play a tough guy. For Professor X, he needs to be smooth, a leader, a father, and a teacher. He has the chops to bring Professor X to life again.
Anton Yelchin - Morph/Changeling
I first saw him in Fright Night as the high school kid turned vampire hunter after finding out his neighbor is a bloodsucker.. His character Charley was a classic outcast turned popular kid. He treats his old friend like trash only to show remorse a little too late. Anton was great portraying the pseudo hero trying to save his girlfriend and mom from his vampire neighbor. In Star Trek he played a completely different character as Chekov. Anton played a funny genius who (spoiler) controls the Enterprise in the second film. This versatility made it easy for me to select him as morph that goes from hero to villain when he is influenced by Sinister. Morph is two fries short of a happy meal, he’s funny, daring, and a genius. He is also the best friend of Wolverine on the animated series. Morph or Changeling is the funny man of the group and with Anton's ability to be funny I think this is a perfect fit.
Morlocks – Group of mutants created by gene manipulation via Dark Beast
Jack Reynor - Beast (both)
Dark Beast was a result of Apocalypse. He was sent to finish off what Apocalypse started by creating a world dominated by mutants. Should Hoult leave the series Reynor would step in right away and do an amazing job. Reynor (23) has done a couple of movies that has gotten him some rave reviews (Transformers was not one of them). He was Malcom in McBeth where he showed his ability to perform melodrama, while not being over the top or outshine by his costars. Michael Bassbender was the lead. His rise to fame was in a coming of age Irish drama What Richard Did as the lead character Richard whose life takes a major turn after a tragic event. Reynor won awards for his role proving he was capable at an early age. This role would be another notch in his proverbial belt.
Rooney Mara -Callisto
For the longest time I’ve seen Rooney Mara playing in some type of comic book movie. Having her lead the group is perfect for her. Callisto had a brief appearance in X-Men Last Stand played by Devious Maids actress Dania Ramirez. They even teased us with a showdown between her and Storm. Unfortunately it was severely poorly done, and much like the Brotherhood the Morlocks went by the wayside. Having Mara here gives some validity to Callisto especially If you’ve seen Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Joseph Gatt – Caliban
Gatt is another unknown actor, but if you’ve seen Thor and Banshee you will know why I picked him. In Banshee he plays the Albino, the name says it all. Gatt is the big man in the prison yard who destroys Anthony Starr’s character during his sentence. Gatt’s look is exactly what’s needed for Caliban. In Game of Thrones he was pretty much the same, flat out scary. He has experience playing in a comic book movie (if that kind of things matter) in Thor as Frost Giant Grundroth.
Nathan Jones – Sunder
Sundar is a beast of man, he’s intimidating and one of the original Morlocks. Nathan Jones recently portrayed the crazed son of Immortal Joe, Rictus Erectus in Mad Max: Fury Road. Sundar is intellectually challenged, but he is extraordinarily strong. He’s one of the founding members of the Morlocks and serves as their protector. Jones uncouthly will be prefect for the role.
Robbie Kay- Leech
Kay portrays evil Pan on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. His role on the show was the reason why I chose him. Leech is nothing more than a supporting character, but his ability to make mutants powerless comes into play when the Morlocks kidnap Cyclops.
Kathy Bates - Anaalee
Kathy Bates is perfect for the role, though I know it may catch some people off guard. But she’s fantastic I first saw her in Misery where she held her favorite author captive an tortured him. Her role in Blindside was much different, and most recently in American Horror Story. For this movie she would be the advisor to Callisto, though a bit emotionally unstable should serve as somewhat of a moral compass. She would see the group as her family after she lost her nieces and nephews (Power Pack). Her power is her ability to reflect her emotions onto others. This power will come in handy when Wolverine comes in to save Scott. She was an important member during those episodes on the original animated series (hence why I used her).