To Me, My X-Men1 of 12This week, Logan, Hugh Jackman’s last performance as Wolverine, is finally out in theaters
With their leading man taking a back seat, Fox is sure to be looking for new ways to expand their X-Men franchise.
There’s a lot of material Fox has yet to mine (we’re considering the Fantastic Four itself dormant for the time being), including some concepts that could help them tie up loose ends, break new thematic ground, and even compete with Marvel Studios.
So, without further ado, here are ten X-Men films Fox could make next.
X-FACTOR INVESTIGATIONS2 of 12You know what film noir really needs? A guy who can make copies of himself, a super-strong muscle man with terrible insecurities, a pompous bourgeois superwoman, a Scot with a ferocious second side, an Irish lass with hair as fiery as her attitude (and super scream) - Look, X-Factor has simply had one of the best casts throughout its entire re-invented run, and it would make for a great film.
This is almost Gambit in reverse - rather than committing the ultimate crime, these guys are here to solve it (and perhaps prevent a larger one). It can at times be hard-boiled detective drama, at times buddy cop, and at times action thriller - the film can be as multiple-personalitied as its lead, Jamie Madrox. X-Factor, like New Mutants, also has a penchant for touching many corners of the Marvel Universe, and gives you the opportunity to introduce everything from magic to space travel here, too, all with the street-level hardline view of the world.
MYSTIQUE3 of 12It's tough to imagine Jennifer Lawrence signing on to play Mystique again at this point, but Raven Darkholme is the one character for whom that actually doesn't matter.
Since Mystique can look like anyone she wants, you can put any actress in the role, and she'll be believable (provided she can come close to matching Lawrence's skill and charm as an actor - admittedly a tall order). That could even be a conceit of the film, which we see as a Mission: Impossible-style espionage thriller. Maybe she's forced to take on a new identity for the mission - maybe she's even stuck in an alternate identity for some reason.
And, if the franchise goes on, Mystique could be the easiest character to "James Bond" since, well, 007 himself, meaning every few films could find a new actress in the role with no real loss of continuity.
HOUSE OF M4 of 12X-Men: Days of Future Past opened up the idea of alternate timelines in the film franchise, so maybe it’s time for Fox to start exploring one of the great traditions of X-Men comic books – the alternate future. While the obvious choice may have been to venture into the “Age of Apocalypse,” X-Men: Apocalypse seemingly dealt with that titular villain in a definitive way. So we suggest going somewhere different – the House of M reality.
Fox has been eyeballing a Magneto solo film for years now – if X-Men Origins: Wolverine hadn’t failed, a Magneto film would’ve likely followed – but rather than exploring his history, which we’ve now seen in depth thanks largely to X-Men: First Class, let’s explore what could happen if Magneto, not Xavier, became the figurehead for mutantkind.
Set in a world where mutants became the world’s heroes after a Sentinel attack in the ‘70’s (sound familiar yet?), Magneto becomes one of the world’s central heroes, building a dynasty around himself. With an actor as charismatic as Michael Fassbender in the role of Magneto, it could be incredibly interesting to see the way many of the universe’s most popular characters would be different under his guidance.
What’s more, Wolverine’s final solo film, Logan, deals with a future version of the character akin to Old Man Logan, so we know Fox is willing to go to that well.
DAZZLER5 of 12Dazzler started out as a cross-media creation meant for film, comic books, and more, so it's kind of destiny that she get her own movie - even if it is 30+ years late.
Dazzler is a beautiful superstar musician who "comes out" as a mutant. Under the direction of an overseer - be it Xavier, the U.S. Government, or even Wolverine - she completes special ops missions under the perfect cover of simply being on tour. Every city is a new adventure, all while trying to uncover one larger mystery. Her power is simple but visually exciting, the character is sexy, and the whole movie can be a commentary on pop music and celebrity in a way no other superhero movie has yet touched.
EXILES6 of 12If there’s one thing that holds true about Fox’s X-Men films it’s that they are often contradictory, convoluted, and confusing – but many fans love them anyway. So what better way for Fox to take advantage of their perceived missteps and build a team where continuity is less of an issue?
Enter the Exiles, an interdimensional X-Men team where the members are alternate versions of well-known characters from different, occasionally unrecognizable timelines.
Think about it – you could have Anna Paquin’s Rogue alongside Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, and an entirely new version of Wolverine. Bring in Michael Fassbender’ Magneto, Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler, even Bingbing Fan’s Blink from Days of Future Past’s future timeline – the possibilities are endless.
And really, what better way for Fox to revamp, reboot, and retool their X-Men franchise than with a property that could allow them to bring together only the best parts of each era, rewriting the rules by breaking all of them.
STARJAMMERS7 of 12An unconventional choice, sure, but with the game-changing success of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Fox may want to answer with their own band of galaxy-hopping misfits, equal parts outlaw and superhero. It's like making a Star Wars movie with an entire cast of Han Solo types. You can get the big space opera, major sci-fi set pieces, and all the X-Men-centric alien races (Shi'ar and the Imperial Guard anyone?) while also having the deep personal drama of a man with a familiar last name (Summers) trying to find a new purpose for himself far from home.
There's lots of cameo potential, lots of action, romance, swash-buckling adventure, and comedy all in a Starjammers movie, and it would open up the X-Men movie universe in a galactic proportion.
X-238 of 12Hugh Jackman is on his way out as Wolverine (probably??), but his final solo film, Logan, may hold the key to his replacement … or a replacement of sorts, and the ongoing legacy of the most popular X-Man on film.
That’s right, we’re talking about X-23, Logan’s comic book clone and his successor as Wolverine. Without spoiling too much of the just-opened Logan, Daphne Keen’s debut as Laura brings both limitations and possibilities to the X-Men expanded universe.
Limitations because shoehorning her into other X-Men team films now seems difficult (Logan is set in 2029), even with Fox’s relaxed approach to continuity. Possibilities because Logan does set Laura up for a future of her own, and given the critical and likely audience reception to the film, moviegoers may want to see her again.
PETE WISDOM9 of 12This one is almost too easy: Super-powered James Bond.
That's really all you have to say for a Pete Wisdom movie. Get a decidedly British writer, director, and of course lead actor, and play this one pretty straight. It's Pete Wisdom, agent of MI-13, and he's defending the crown from a hidden mutant threat that just may use Britain as a stepping stone to world domination.
Plus, it leads us easily into...
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI-1310 of 12This is, like it or not, the closest thing to the Avengers that the X-Men universe has. They're an official, government-run group, and with Pete Wisdom already in place as the leader of the team, bringing in characters like Captain Britain (he's like Superman and Captain America combined - but British and charming!), Black Knight (who may not be available, thanks to his association with the aforementioned Avengers), the speedster Spitfire, and even characters like Dazzler coming across the pond. Then you add in more mystical characters like Meggan, and Excalibur - Faiza Hussein, a healer with the mystical sword of legend.
Magic is often the centerpiece of their stories, giving this team something unique to fight, and with several ties to Arthurian legend, there's existing pop culture knowledge to use as a building block when introducing them. It can be high fantasy with a British sensibility, and can help bring the mystical into the X-Men movie universe the same way Starjammers can help with the science fiction aspect. Captain Britain and MI-13 has the unique position to be a great many things to a movie universe, and Fox could use all of them.
And of course, they could always revert back to the Excalibur branding if they want to be more tied to the X-Men movies.
CABLE11 of 12Yes, there's already an X-Force movie on its way and Cable is scheduled to appear in the Deadpool sequel, but hear us out.
Cable is a team leader and a partner for Deadpool, but he's more than that as well.
Cable, being a time traveler (something that Days of Future Past opened up to us nicely), comes back from the future - he's a cross between super soldier Captain America and the Terminator, with the urgency of knowledge of a world gone wrong. While trying to prevent a man he knows only as "Sinister" from bringing about the mutant Apocalypse (capital A, natch), he matches wits, soldiering, and super powers in a race against time. The big finale sees him finding two mutants in Sinister's hidden laboratory, Cyclops, and someone who looks exactly like Jean Grey. "Mom, Dad, let's get you out of here" instantly establishes just who Cable is, and makes him a new linchpin for the X-Men films, the way Wolverine has been for the last decade and a half. The X-Men franchise has already set up both Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse, so the pieces are in place.
Like Iron Man for Marvel Studios, Wolverine for the first "phase" of X-Men movies, or what Warner hopes to do with Superman for their DC films, Fox needs a new central character to build off of. Who better than Cable, a man simultaneously directly connected and yet far removed from everything that came before?
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