I already did an extensive rundown of the future of the X-Men franchise, feel free to check out parts one and two. In that write-up, I discussed where Fox could go post-Wolverine 3/Apocalypse which included both X-Force and New Mutants being the major candidates for the next wave of X-Men films.
Considering that X-Force has a script by Jeff Wadlow it’s currently the strongest project to move forward next. All Fox really needs to do is find someone to possibly do a rewrite and direct the film. It’s looking like Wadlow will likely have to pass on the film to focus on his directing campaign for Masters of The Universe, he recently did a page-one rewrite of the script for Sony. Jeff confirming that his intentions when writing the script was to land the directing job as well.
Some newer developments are making me lean towards Fox getting ready to make X-Force next.
We now have confirmation of sorts from The Wrap that Ben Hardy is indeed playing Warren aka Angel in the film. A piece of production art released by director Bryan Singer seeming includes Angel in some sort of cage-device and possibly Oscar Isaac‘s Apocalypse at the bottom.
In the comics, Apocalypse uses technology (device in production artwork?) and his own powers to turn the heroic X-Men member Angel into one of his evil Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, after he is de-winged he agrees to join the villain. Warren would be given the new name of Archangel, and the character design became extremely popular which is still used today.
The Four Horsemen were teased at the end of Days of Future Past which seeming set them up along with Apocalypse as the sequel’s main villains. Angel was the original Death, which could explain why later versions of Death like Gambit and Wolverine won’t be taking the role but given cameos instead.
Jeff from The Wrap recently mentioned on Meet The Movie Press that Fox was actively looking to cast Psylocke in the film. Not unlike Angel, former British spy turned X-Men Betsy Braddock becomes villain for a period of time in the comics taking the code-name Lady Mandarin. Her telepathic powers and ninja skills could be quite the combo since she’s also able to make psychic weapons with her mind.
Psylocke also happens to be a former Horsemen of The Apocalypse, in that final version of the group Archangel becomes the successor of Apocalypse and names her the new Death. Having her introduction as a villain might be a great way to set her up for future films.
Warren and Betsy have been romantically linked in the comics, which is another reason their parring-up makes a lot of sense.
Jeff Wadlow had mentioned that the members of X-Force wouldn’t be kinds of mutants allowed in the X-Mansion. It’s a hard statement to digest until you think about what could happen in upcoming films.
“What ‘X-Force’ is – the way I talk about ‘X-Force’ is… ‘X-Men’ is about mutants, and not all the mutants get into the mansion. So I’m curious to tell a story about the mutants who don’t make it into the mansion.”
Someone like Deadpool automatically gets put into that category as the mutant mercenary is destructive and kills for money. Having his own solo film feels like a gimme he’ll be on the team, as we’re heard Fox is keen on Ryan doing some crossovers as Deadpool, it’s just finding the right X-Men film that suits him.
However, you wouldn’t automatically consider the same for other X-Force characters like Angel and Psylocke. That’s unless they’re trying to make amends after contributing to mass genocide on the behalf of mutant mad-man Apocalypse. Having them in the mansion feels like a big no-no if they’ve actually ended-up killing X-Men while under the control of Apocalypse.
Apocalypse could easily be planting seeds for the lineup of X-Force in a similar way they teased New Mutants in Days of Future Past in those future sequences with members Warpath, Blink, and Sunspot, both those gentlemen happen to be classic era X-Force members.
We suspect that X-Force could be the first X-Men film that audiences could end-up getting a new actor playing Wolverine, if the character get’s a new actor at all and they don’t pursue a character like Daken or X-23. The latter could be a major candidate to be apart of X-Force as well.
X-Men Apocalypse is coming out in May 2016 and X-Force is still TBA.