It’s no secret that when it comes to adapting comic books FOX studios don’t exactly have the best track record. It would seem for every X-Men 2 they have a Daredevil. And for every Daredevil they have an Elektra. Not exactly the kind of thing a Marvel comic book fan wants to hear.
Many would rather see Marvel recover all their character property rights back. That, however, is unlikely to happen, seeing as how FOX has changed and improved their marketing strategies of their comic book properties recently. With Marvel growing and expanding their cinematic universe and DC finally moving forward with their own shared universe, FOX looks to build a similar empire with the X-Men. If we look to the comic books, the X-Men Universe is just as extensive, just as large as the rest of the Marvel and DC universes.
With The Wolverine already looking to be a success with audiences and critics, and with Days of Future Past being hotly anticipated (a bridge between First Class and the original trilogy), I decided to take a look at what might come after and how FOX could possibly expand the X-MEN Universe.
THE DEFINITE FUTURE
Recently Fox announced that we would indeed be getting a X-Force film. Just what is X-Force? They are a militarized version of the X-Men, efficient, organized and very deadly.
Quite frankly, all we know about the story thus far is that Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) is currently developing the screenplay and will be directing it as well. We also know that the team will consist of 5 core members, a mixture of the original and latest teams. My 5 picks would be:
• CABLE (A bad-ass soldier, son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor – Jean Grey’s clone – Leader of X-Force)
• DOMINO (A mercenary who was designed by the government to be the perfect weapon, Cable’s lover, partner and right hand)
• FANTOMEX (A human/mutant/sentinel hybrid, who was created to be a perfect soldier to hunt mutants, he instead chose to fight alongside them)
• PSYLOCKE (A mutant telepath, bad ass martial artist and sister of Captain Britain, she’s one of the fiercest super-heroines in Marvel)
• DEADPOOL (A disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary, known as the “Merc with a Mouth”, he is the funniest bad ass mercenary in literature)
There are many other cool characters who could potentially be part of the team. We do know that Adan Canto and BooBoo Stewart are playing X-Force members Sunspot and Warpath, respectively, in Days of Future Past. I guess it goes without saying that they just maybe getting slots in the X-Force film. Of course, Wolverine is part of X-Force too.
X-MEN 4 OR FIRST CLASS 3 THAT IS THE QUESTION
FOX really has a difficult decision to make after Days of Future Past and the direction their X-Men universe will take. On the one hand they can continue with the original cast in a new, essentially rebooted, present (thanks to timeline-altering events of Days of Future Past), or they can continue following First Class in the past as they expand the universe.
Could they do both films? Possibly, yes. But that could lead to confusion, as it would essentially convolute the story pretty fast. Convolution is already a problem for the X-Men franchise and Bryan Singer looks to fix some of that with Days of Future Past. Having two films with a different cast playing the same characters wouldn’t be the best idea either.
Moving ahead with First Class 3 would make the most sense. FOX wouldn’t want to lose the star power of Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Taking the Days of Future Past events into consideration, Hugh Jackman could also be added to the film as well. However, most of the excitement that has been surrounding Days of Future Past comes from seeing the original trilogy cast back on-screen. So FOX might want to keep them around. Either way this decision will be a determining factor for future success.
EXPANDING THE EXISTING WITH THE NEW
Not to be confused with the singing competition show, this team were originally posing as mutant-hunters for hire. They would capture and train mutants to control their powers, before becoming a US government sponsored team. Their most recent exploits see the X-Factor team as a mutant detective agency.
X-Factor could essentially work in both a past and a new present storyline, as it can fundamentally expand the X-Men universe by showing the government recruiting their own mutants to handle situations involving mutants, rather than wait on Professor X and his X-Men.
With mutants such as Beast, Angel, Iceman, QuickSilver, Havok, Forge, Polaris, Mystique, Wolfsbane, Leech, Sabretooth, Greystone and more, X-Factor could put together a interesting mix of new and old characters essentially creating a mutant Mission Impossible squad.
With DC leading in comic book TV adaptions and Marvel finally getting into the TV game with their soon to be released SHIELD TV show, New Mutants makes the most sense for an awesome X-Men TV show.
New Mutants focuses on the new teenaged students of Professor Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, as the original X-Men have grown into adulthood.
The shows premise could be exactly the same, with a focus mainly on these new young mutants learning how to control their powers. Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Shawn Ashmore (IceMan), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) and whoever else from the originally trilogy, could be the teachers in a supporting or guest star capacity.
As many members of the New Mutants went on to teams like the X-Force, X-Men and X-Factor, this show would allow audiences to get to know these characters for a few seasons before they make their graduation to the big screen.
This is probably a long shot, but it would be awesome if they could pull it off. The Marauders are a group of super-powered criminals working for Mister Sinister. They were formed by Gambit, who owed Sinister for helping him control his powers. Gambit pulled off some jobs for Sinister, but he needed a few extra hands for the last job, so he formed The Marauders.
The story of Gambit’s break away from the Marauders is quite an awesome story, as villains like Scalphunter, Sabretooth, Mystique, Sunfire and Lady Mastermind could potentially make up the roster for a film that would be all about its villains.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
There have been rumours that the Fantastic Four would be in a shared universe with the X-Men and that the first real hint of this would be in Days of Future Past.
In the comics Franklin Richards (Son of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman) was the lover of Rachel Summers (Daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey) in a future timeline. He would end up dying in battle against an Omega Sentinel, a mutant killing machine.
There are certainly little whispers that we would get a Franklin Richards Easter egg in Days of Future Past, but nothing is confirmed as yet. Bryan Singer would probably be keeping this a secret until the film releases, so we really have to wait and see. Don’t get too excited.
Many fans are against Fantastic Four and X-Men in one universe. Nevertheless, I stand behind this initiative by FOX for one reason. For many years, fans have been arguing about the reason why the general populace seem to hate mutants but they embrace superheroes, as essentially they are both humans with some “special” abilities.
The Fantastic Four are the ultimate superhero celebrities. In the comic world, they are the Kardashian family. Everybody knows their story. They know where they live and our heroes are quite open to the community. Putting them into the world of the X-Men, who are feared for being born different, who isolate themselves from the world, would make for an interesting moral and social debate within that world. We could also see a convergence in terms of narrative, i.e. as a youngster Mr. Fantastic could have been enamored by Professor X research on mutants, which would be the basis for his space travel. Maybe Ben Grimm has a dormant Mutant gene, which would explain his transformation being a little more violent in comparison to the rest.
Then there is always mixing it up with the characters, having Wolverine and The Thing fight, drink and get annoyed with Johnny alongside each other. Professor X, Beast and Mr Fantastic could talk science together. The Human Torch and Iceman could battle it out.
It’s a chance to handle the Fantastic Four and X-Men franchise in a whole new way, where filmmakers would potentially be able to have fun with these characters but also handle the deeper complexities of the mutant vs. superhero debate.
There are many other X-Men properties on the table, such as GENERATION X, EXCALIBER, ALPHA FLIGHT, X-CORPORATION, etc… Not to mention the hundreds of other X-Men heroes and villains that have yet to make their way to the big screen – Mimic, Morph, Polaris, Vulcan, Dazzler, Jubilee, Moonstar, Sage, X-23, Omega Red, etc.