If the trailers for the upcoming X-Men movie are any indication, things might very well be different for the Marvel all-star superheroes after this movie. Somebody might argue that maybe after Wolverine went back in time in "X-Men: Days of Future Past", the X-Timeline could have been forever changed, even though we saw Patrick Stewart was still Professor X at the end of the movie, and the resident actors who played the mutants for so long were still the same. Or at least, in that movie. So an interesting question might be, "Why have the X-Men be played by younger actors?" Are we suggesting an alternate timeline that could have been? Or are we just simply blowing smoke with all this? Either way, it'll be interesting to see certain changes in the ranks of the X-Men. For one thing, one change that's obviously going to be popular (or not, depending on your fashion sense) is Storm's rather stunning choice of hairstyle when she emerges with a mohawk instead of her trademark flowing white locks. The young actress, a relative newcomer named Alexandra Shipp, vountarily cut her hair to have the look to achieve Storm's punk look. I think she pulls it off pretty good, don't you? It's a move that takes guts for someone this young, especially in an industry that's constantly demanding more of its actors.
Her choice of wardrobe also takes stunning change, which in the comics, made her seem to take a more punk attitude than could have ever been expected. And given that the Storm that everyone knows, with her being such a traditionalist, this is a striking departure for her, both in character and attitude. It became popular for a while, once readers had enough time to adjust and check their opinions, but when her hair started growing back out, we almost never expected to see her back to her old self. Not saying that as a bad thing, but it was part of her history that no one could have seen coming at the time. I myself admit I never saw it coming, and I thoroughly enjoyed those issues, among the others. It's possible that it was sign of the times on Marvel's part, to try something that could be both a positive or a negative on the comic, that they were willing to try this. But I doubt it could have affected the sales for the X-Men at the time, they were enjoying being one of the leading comics of the time, and it was one of the most productive times for the writers at Marvel, as well as the artists.
The story synopsis behind the movie, however, is that Apocalypse is portrayed as the world's first mutant, who is suggested to be immortal. After sleeping for thousands of years, Apocalypse awakens to find the world he believes has been "led to ruin by blind, ignorant leaders"(according to Apocalypse), and decides to weed out the weak from the strong. And from out of this, he will lead the strong and rule over the new world. It's a classic, although maybe simple story idea that should serve the movie well. Magneto, who finds himself disillusioned with himself as much as his position as a mutant, even as far as being a bad guy, finds himself joining Apocalypse, as do a handful of surprising number of X-Men hopefuls. Professor X and Mystique find themselves joining forces (for the first time since X-Men: First Class) to fight Apocalypse and his growing forces. Storm and Psylocke find themselves joining Apocalypse, which will taking some getting used to for die-hard fans such as myself. Especially Storm, who has always been such a force of nature who was interested in justice for everybody, suddenly finds a father figure in someone who very clearly is not for her to side with. But one more time, we have to let the story unfold for itself. Psylocke's story is much more difficult to tell all in one blog, so I won't even try. But I'll leave it at this: in the comics there were many twists and turns in her complicated maze to becoming an X-Man. Both Storm and Psylocke were always such fan favorites in the books, it's hard to even imagine them on Apocalypse's side.
An interesting aspect to the movie is the introduction of certain characters that have been largely on the side-line until now. Specifically, Jubilee, Angel-who becomes Archangel at Apocalypse's hand; Psylocke, who was kept out of the series until now, which was a sad thing to do, but maybe now she finally has her time to shine. The thing I regret about her is that we're unceremoniously "fast-forwarded" to where she's a lethal, Ziva David-type ninja, and we never got to see her before this stark transformation. Then again, it is Hollywood, so what can we do but wait and see how it goes, right? It's unfair, but whoever said that Hollywood was fair to anybody?
Jubilee made her first appearance many years ago when she saved Wolverine from the Reavers in the comics (you heard me, the scrawny little smart-ass saved the old Canuck, despite his grouchy attitude!) and quickly became one of the last X-Men to join their ranks. Even Psylocke joined before Jubilee did, and it still took longer for her (Psylocke)to become a member. Jubilee became one of the great role models--perhaps, given that she debuted during the "Gimme" Decade--so kids at the time were able to identify with her. Like them, she loved her toys and her tunes as she once put it. So it was easy for the writers and the artists to craft a favorite out of her.
Psylocke, as I said, was a more complicated person. Her name actually being Elizabeth Braddock, she was British who at some point during her becoming a trained lethal warrior, somehow became more Japanese than British. How the hell this happened, who knows! But it became clear, and even the most hard-core readers could tell it, no matter the excuses that were made at the time. She went from someone who was a true product of her time--a proud British woman who was extremely proper and prim--and found herself able to cast away her prim and proper-ness to accept the idea of killing as a practice of simple survival. It was an evolution that left a lot of large blanks that would never be answered in her history, and it left a credible void that nobody would ever understand. I remember those issues well, I owned them for the longest time.
There's also the strong hint, although it seems more like a tease that Wolverine might be in the movie, but right now that seems to be only a tease. We already know that Hugh Jackman is busy with his last Wolverine movie before he retires from that character for good, so just how much involvement he has in "Apocalypse" has to waited for. Hell, we don't even know what "Wolverine 3" is going to be called, unless that's it.
With the present atmosphere of the latest superhero movies that seem to go in such similar and decidedly political directions, it'll be kind of interesting to see what's going to be different with this one. For one thing, the X-Men are going the way of having a spin-off of their own with "New Mutants", which seems to be a hopeful idea but it's early to say anything at this point. Also, the future of X-Men movies seems to be running out of steam, especially with the next Wolverine movie being the last to star Hugh Jackman. But what can you say? There's been a long line of X-Men movies, and it might not be a bad idea to put any new ones on hold for a while. No matter how big a fan I am, I'd be willing to live without a new X-Men movie every three to five years. Or Avengers, or Justice League, the Avengers wanna-be group.
There is a certain story element that all these movies have in common now, and it's disturbing. And it should be: only the story that actually works will be able to make real money, and Marvel's Avengers and the X-Men have both managed to raise the bar, whether I agree with it or not. Politics is playing a much bigger role in superhero movies these days than I would have cared to see; it used to be easier with a clear-cut "good guy versus bad guy" story, and it always worked as long as you had the right writer and the right imagination to make it work. George Orwell's "Big Brother" presence has definitely made itself known in the recent Marvel and DC movies that most kids love, which has led to mixed reviews and less-than-hopeful prospects for future movies. "Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is only the beginning, I'm afraid, but that's not saying the others are doomed to repeat this kind of ill fate. "Captain America: Civil War" has a lot of extreme political tones in it as well, which is shared with X-Men. However, one thing that's managed to separate X-Men from the others is the fact that they've been having these political views in them from the start. It was part of the genius Stan Lee had in 1962 when he created the comic. Civil rights activism has always been one of the main drives behind the X-Men, which is why they succeeded for so long. With this idea in mind, "X-Men Apocalypse" actually might stand the real chance to not only make money, but also be able to stay on top on the superhero movie heap. And right now, with so many more convoluted ideas for upcoming superhero movies, it really is looking more and more like a heap. But a heap of what I won't say for now, I would really like to be wrong. I rarely enjoy being right. Especially about this.
Unfortunately there isn't a lot I can write about the movie right now, until I get to see it. But it's easy to speculate on the upcoming Marvel and DC movies that are going in major directions which are going to decide what happens to them. "Suicide Squad", which is an ultimate bad-guy team-up, seems to be a big deal, which is currently having new scenes shot and added into a movie that's already finished and ready for release. How stupid is that?
"Captain America: Civil War" looks as though it may permanently divide the Avengers, as well any other crime-fighting relationship Cap works with. There's a rumor that this installment of the "Captain America" movies might very well be the longest, possibly at over three hours, and it might also be the turning point in the general direction of future Marvel movies. At least, that's the rumor. When Cap and Iron Man find themselves being told to either sign up to work for Uncle Sam or face jail time for past activities which resulted in so many being killed, it's a permanent divide that won't be easy for anyone to recover from. What's being hugely referred to as "Phase Four" by MCU-Marvel Cinematic Universe--(although I don't know what the hell Phase Four is, either) is said to be setting the stage for the next group of Marvel movies. But exactly what THAT means for fans is really unclear to me.
"Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War" (both movies) is set around the Infinity Stones which were popular in the comic and the animated tv series. One of the biggest aspects of both "Infinity War" movies is the fact that there will likely be so many super-characters, you'll need a program to be able to keep track of who the hell some of them are. I'm still trying to find a definite answer as to whether or not Ghost Rider and the Fantastic Four are actually going to be in those movies. I'm not saying it isn't an interesting idea, I would just really like to see it. Just saying this out loud. :)
"Thor: Ragnarok" is going to be a pretty big deal, as the Hulk is said to be in the movie as part of the plot. I saw this once in the Marvel classic "Thor Vs. Hulk", so it's easy to see it happening. There was some chatter that it may also be the last Thor movie, but there's nothing to swear to for now. Part of the rumor is that Thor may finally accept being king of Asgard, which could mean he could retire from his days as a superhero. But with all this speculation, it's still just that. There's no real way to know until we see it for ourselves.
"Iron Man 4" is also being rumored to the last Iron Man movie, and not only the last one with Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark/Iron Man, but THE LAST IRON MAN MOVIE EVER. At least, that's the rumor. And no amount of digging I do is giving me anything otherwise right now. The only thing I do know regarding "Iron Man 4" is that after the "Infinity War" movies, Tony Stark has to figure out where he stands as Iron Man, as a person, and as one of the Avengers. That's been the last word on it for now.
As far as knowing exactly how many new Marvel movies are going to be made, you'd have to get a program just to keep up with them all. One thing's for sure, Marvel has movies coming out well into 2020. So far two movies have been taken off the list for now, but no one can be sure if that means anything. "Gambit" was scheduled to be released in 2018, but it's been taken off the list. Something about Channing Tatum, who's supposed to be playing Gambit, being more trouble than he's worth currently. And "The Inhumans", a kind of loose "X-Men" spin-off, has also been taken off the release list for what was supposed to be 2019. "The New Mutants" is said to be on the list, but there's already talk of trouble with pre-production efforts, as well as casting problems. Could it be that too many mutants are accidentally running into each other while making their movies? hahaha! Here's hoping to getting some answers in the near future (maybe!).