X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters in exactly three weeks. In anticipation for my favorite heroes' new movie, I'll be publishing pieces on the X-Men every week until the debut. With the upcoming film putting the team in the most danger they've ever faced and a dooming title like Apocalypse, its hard to imagine how they'll be moving forward. Here's what I think the future of the franchise will look like. *This post may contain possible spoilers for the X-Men movies*
Where Did This "New Timeline" Come From?
If you're new to the franchise this is a very complex time to jump in but trust me, it's well worth it. In 2011 the franchise was rebooted with the time-period prequel, X-Men: First Class; stemming from the success of that film came X-Men: Days of Future Past. Fox and Bryan Singer erased the rest of the franchise's movies from then on with the new timeline created when Wolverine went back in time to stop the Sentinel threat. Now here we are with a new timeline, a younger cast and more concise execution of the series.
Just about everything that was wrong with the franchise has now been theoretically erased from the universe (and in my mind). There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up that probably won't. For example, how did Wolverine get his adamantium claws back in the future of Days of Future Past after what happened in The Wolverine? Who cares anyway, as long as the movies are good right?
Why Continue With The Prequels?
Hollywood is quick to reboot, recast, and abandon ship when a franchise takes a hit, but Fox knew they had something special with X-Men 1 & 2. Now with Bryan Singer back on board it was time to start anew with this goldmine of a series. There were already plans for an origin movie featuring Magneto, with a script drafted by writer Sheldon Turner. Those plans quickly got scrapped after the negative reception of X-Men Origins. However, some of the concept from Turner's script was used in First Class & he received writing credit for the reinvention of the X-Men series.
It [Turner's script] kind of got incorporated into this one, a lot of it...Magneto history. Stuff from the Marvel/Magneto history." - Lauren Shuler Donner, Cravonline.com
With the prequel territory comes the chance to see comic-book versions of the X-Men properly brought to life on the silver screen. There's no need for their costumes and story to be as grounded as the original trilogy's. Which explains why we finally see the team in their comic-book accurate uniforms.
X-Men: Apocalypse introduces us to young versions of Storm, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Jean Grey. The franchise has an array of options on where to go for the next X-Men movie rumored to come out in 2018. With the young cast being the spotlight for these future films, we can finally see these characters get properly fleshed just as First Class did for Professor X & Magneto. We'll finally get in depth story and character development on some of the other fan favorite mutants. But what's next to come for the X-Men universe?
Deadpool was positively received by fans and critics alike. It is currently the 3rd highest grossing movie, world-wide, of all time. It also took Matrix Reloaded's places as the highest grossing R-rated movie. On April 6th Ryan Reynolds, the Merc with a mouth himself, officially signed on for a second movie. Fans are hopeful that Cable (the future son of Cyclops) will be introduced in the next Deadpool movie. Although this would be great to see, it isn't time for that just yet. I think Deadpool will pop up in other X-Men movies even though he exists in his own timeline because well, thats what Deadpool does. Viewers can expect the sequel to debut around 2018.
In 2013, writer Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) was hired by 20th Century Fox to make an X-Force screenplay. X-Force comic creator Rob Liefeld praised the script. Initially, X-Force was going to be the next superhero release from Fox, but because of the positive reception of Deadpool's leaked test-footage, the smart move was to fast track the production of Deadpool. We actually saw one of the founding members of the X-Force from Booboo Stewart's, Warpath, in DOFP. Above, the leaked concept art shows the roster of the team we should expect to see in the film. From left to right you have Feral, Cable, Cannonball, Domino and Warpath.
Director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) has been linked with the upcoming project New Mutants. The movie will be based on the comic series of the same name, following a group of mutant heroes-in-training. Boone took to Instagram and teased the potential line up for New Mutants which can be expected either late 2017 or 2018.
More of The Original X-Men
With the new timeline we now have all the X-Men from the original trilogy alive and well. I would love nothing more than to see just one (or ten) more X-Men movies with Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Hugh Jackman, etc.
Wolverine 3 hits theaters next year and this could really be Jackman's last portrayal of Wolverine. Fox could then focus a future X-Men movie on the younger heroes like Rogue, Iceman, Shadowcat and Colossus. There's a plethora of material to be taken from here. The sky is the limit for this franchise.
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27th. Check out some new footage below and a breakdown of the trailer here!