ByMatthew Bailey, writer at Creators.co
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

Of all the comic book movies over the years, the X-Men have been one of the most stable ventures. For 16 years now, we've seen 5 (6th is on the way) franchise movies with X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past & X-Men: Apocalypse (coming May 2016). Add to these films the solo character films of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Wolverine (2013), Deadpool (2016) and the upcoming Wolverine film (2017), Gambit (2017?) and Deadpool 2 (undisclosed date).

Needless to say, we've seen quite a bit of the mutant race over the past few years, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any. So even though we've all seen or heard about the rift between Marvel and Fox Studios over the use of the various comic book mutants in movies. Honestly, I don't think it matters anymore because regardless of the power struggle between the studios, the X-Men have staying power and I see them lasting deep into the next generation of superhero movies.

So here we are in the glorious age of the superhero film. We already have an established Marvel Cinematic Universe. DC is building their Expanded Universe with several feature films coming this year. And now there is Fox Studios; and it's been actually fairly interesting to see how Fox has been slowly shifting focus towards their new cinematic universe. Fox has been slowly churning out X-Film after X-Film and then BOOM, Deadpool! With his solo movie, it seems that Fox has found an entirely new dynamic to use within the superhero genre of films and I can't imagine Fox not trying to ride the hype into building their XCU (X-Men Cinematic Universe).

With that in mind, here are a few directions that I think Fox could take their vision for the future of the XCU.

X-Force

What are the chances of seeing this film?

Now, X-Force is already set to be a thing; or at least it was back in 2013. Jeff Wadlow was hired at that point to write an adaptation for an X-Force film based off of the comic book series of the same name. Yet the film that was once envisioned apparently was scrapped when X-Men: Apocalypse began filming, so the question arose as to whether or not it would actually be coming to theaters? We can assume that it truly will make an appearance especially after the success of Deadpool.

What characters could we see?

Since we're fairly certain that we will see an X-Force film, the only question is which collection of characters would the movie follow? Will it be more in line with the Marvel NOW titles of either Cable and X-Force or Uncanny X-Force, or would it create a new team? I would actually be happy with either title being turned into a film as both are packed with incredible characters. Cable and X-Force consists of: Cable, Domino, Colossus, Forge, Doctor Nemesis and Boom-Boom. The only character who has already appeared in the previous X-films is Colossus.

Whereas the Uncanny X-Force would possibly be easier to bring to theaters since the team consists of: Psylocke, Storm, Bishop, Puck and Cluster (Fantomex).

Of these characters we've already met Psylocke, Storm and Bishop in the previous movies. Yet, it's still possible that Fox Studios doesn't even follow a pre-established story and creates their own lineup that mixes in some characters that we've already met. My personal character choices would be to follow the Uncanny lineup but replace Puck with Deadpool.

Who would I cast?

There are a lot of options as to which route Fox could take an X-Force film, but they need to stick with the characters as they've already been cast and if they go in the Uncanny X-Force direction then these would be my choices.

  • Deadpool - Ryan Reynolds. Because, come on, he IS Deadpool.
  • Psylocke - Olivia Munn. She is setting herself up (hopefully) to have a long-term role as Psylocke.
  • Storm - Alexandra Shipp. She is being introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse along with Psylocke. With Storm being such a popular and incredible character, she should definitely move forward with future X-Men Movie.
  • Bishop - Omar Sy. We saw him in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and he was basically the perfect vision of Bishop.
  • Cluster (Fantomex) - Matt Mullins & Kathryn Winnick. Fantomex is an incredibly unique character and Matt Mullins could pull off Fantomex and Kathryn Winnick would make an incredible Lady Fantomex/Cluster.

New Mutants

What are the chances of seeing this movie?

This is another film that is already set in motion as of May 2015, and a film that I believe could do well in the new XCU. The New Mutants are a group of teenaged mutants who are 'in-training' at the Xavier Institute. Having a movie revolve around a young cast of characters has definitely helped the re-booted X-Men films draw in massive amounts of viewers, and I believe that New Mutants could have the same draw.

What characters could we see?

Depending on which set of mutants that Fox were to focus on we could see several new characters although most likely we'll see some combination of new characters and the younger mutants from X-Men: First Class & X-Men: Days of Future Past. There have been many mutants inducted into the team over the years being led by one of three main characters: Professor X, Magneto & Cable. So if the New Mutants were to join the franchise, I'd love to see either James McAvoy or Michael Fassbender join as the headmaster of Xavier Institute as the overseer of the New Mutants.

With there being so many characters who could be introduced through the New Mutants story that it could be any selection of characters. We've already proven that we, as fans, are okay with diverging from the original content which only goes to help Fox as they develop these X-Men films. My personal choice of characters would be: Boom-Boom, Rictor & Magik.

Who would I cast?

Well that's a tricky one because as far as casting these characters, I think that hedging on the side of casting lesser-known actors will aide in how long they stay with the franchise. I say this because if they can make a name for themselves in a franchise like X-Men, then they can take that and move onto bigger opportunities. Whereas if you cast already well-known young actors, you run the risk of losing them to the 'next big thing.' These would be my potential choices:

Boom Boom - Kathryn Newton or McKenna Knipe. This is a tough call for me as McKenna has the look of boom-boom but she has nearly no acting experience, whereas Kathryn has a good selection of television appearances to draw from. Either actress would do justice to the role.

Rictor - Tyler Posey. He's probably the biggest name on this list because of his roll of Scott on MTV's Teen Wolf. He has the range of emotion that you'd want to have in an actor playing Rictor who feeds off his own emotions for strength.

Magik - Veronika Vernadskaya. Her performance in The Darkest Hour sold me on her ability to play a role like Majik.

Mojoverse/Psylocke

What are the chances of seeing this movie?

Honestly, probably pretty slim, but Psylocke has probably one of the more expansive stories that hasn't even been touched yet. Using her popularity from X-Men: Apocalypse could be an easy way to introduce the Mojoverse. I know that there are several key mutants within the main X-Team that are possibly more popular (Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, etc) but because we've seen so much of them over the years, I'd hate for Fox to get inundated with just using the same characters just because they can. I'd love to see them branch out, and Psylocke is one of those characters that deserves to have her story told. Depending on how much of Psylocke's background we learn through X-Men: Apocalypse, I think it would be interesting to see Fox use a grandiose, big-picture mentality and introduce her travels to the Mojoverse and branch out even farther from there.

What characters could we see?

Now, the Mojoverse is such an integral facet of Psylocke's history, that it would be incredibly fascinating to see Fox incorporate the mutants from that universe such as Longshot, Shatterstar, Timeslot or Scattershot into the XCU in general. If Fox does introduce the Mojoverse into the realm of possibility for their X-Men Cinematic Universe, then I think the movie should show some of Psylocke's history while introducing Longshot and Scattershot.

Who would I cast?

The Mojoverse storyline would add a huge layer of depth to the X-Men Universe as it could allow Fox to expand their universe without trying to reach across to Marvel for the film rights that they don't already have, and the casting would be as important as anything to successfully telling such an odd story.

Psylocke - Olivia Munn. Her casting within X-Men:Apocalypse is on-point as I stated earlier.

Mojo - Paul Giametti. Paul has an incredible voice and facial expressions that could be mapped onto the CGI character.

Longshot - Alex Pettyfer or Paul Bettany (It's a long shot, pun intended but he would be my first choice). Alex Pettyfer (Beastly & I am Number Four) is a rising talent and would be able to bring a vibrance to the character.

Scattershot - Max Martini. Max (Saving Private Ryan, The Unit & Pacific Rim) has a long history with military/combat films, and that background would be perfect for a character like Scattershot.

These are my thoughts as to how Marvel could branch out into new realms and establish their X-Men Cinematic Universe. Ultimately there are so many directions that the study could go, and these are just three possibilities, but tell me what you think, would you be interested in any of these movies?

Don't forget - X-Men: Apocalypse comes out in May, check out the trailer below if you haven't already.

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