Following the huge success of X-Men: Days of Future Past last year, 20th Century Fox is moving full steam ahead with more movies in this franchise, essentially creating an “X-Men Cinematic Universe.” In 2016, three installments will be released: Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit. 2017 will see the release of a sequel to The Wolverine, which will mark Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Logan.
As for other films, director Josh Boone was recently hired to develop The New Mutants, while X-Force has been in the works for a few years. There is a July 13th, 2018 release date being held for an untitled Fox Marvel movie; could it be for one of these two films? Meanwhile, there has also been talk of the rebooted Fantastic Four crossing over with X-Men, but that has yet to be officially confirmed.
Of course, it likely won’t stop there. The X-Men universe is vast, with hundreds of characters that have film potential. Especially with Jackman’s departure from the Wolverine role, it will serve Fox well to look to other characters to fill the gap. Below, I’ve listed five X-Men characters who could headline their own spin-off films. Some of these will be characters previously established, while a couple have yet to be introduced in the franchise.
After being played by James Marsden in the original X-Men trilogy, a younger version of Scott Summers will debut in X-Men: Apocalypse, this time with actor Tye Sheridan in the role. Many fans will agree that Cyclops got the short end of the stick in the original films, as he was frequently overshadowed by Wolverine and other characters. The fact that he was killed off so quickly in X-Men: The Last Stand (and later brought back for a brief cameo in Days of Future Past) didn’t help. And much of his screentime was spent with Scott being entangled in a love triangle with Logan and Jean Grey.
However, having Cyclops star in a solo movie would fully flesh out the character without the worry of his being overshadowed. If Sheridan’s performance in Apocalypse is well received, then Fox will likely wish to utilize him in future films. One way of doing so is putting him in his own standalone movie, which could finally show audiences why he is such a great character.
Magneto has been a key character in both the original X-Men trilogy and the First Class series. Michael Fassbender plays him in the latter, and despite Apocalypse being the last movie on his contract, he recently expressed interest in doing more. While Magneto could always return for future X-Men sequels, I would love to see the character go solo in his own movie.
Erik Lensherr is one of the greatest comic book villains/anti-heroes of all time. A film exploring his character apart from Charles Xavier and the X-Men could be fascinating. Remember his quest for vengeance against for Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class, particularly the “Frankenstein’s Monster” scene? More of that, please. Not to mention, Fox previously had in development X-Men Origins: Magneto. While many elements of the script were incorporated into First Class, it shows that the studio was, perhaps still is, interested in a solo Magneto production.
A personal, smaller in scale film on par with The Wolverine would be great for Magneto. Maybe such a movie could focus on the formation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. And if studios develop more comic book movies from the perspective of a villain or anti-hero, Magneto would be an obvious option.
Another younger version of a classic X-Men member is making her debut in Apocalypse, as Alexandra Shipp will play Storm. Again, if her performance is well received, then expect to see more of her in future installments. One of these movies could be a solo venture for Ororo Monroe.
Storm is one of the most iconic female characters in not only X-Men lore, but throughout the Marvel Universe. With Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel on the way, some focus is finally being turned towards female superhero films. A Storm movie would also mark the first comic book film starring an African-American female hero - Catwoman doesn’t count - adding even more diversity. Storm can be a unique character on film, and one way of showing it is to flesh her out in her own movie.
With Hugh Jackman exiting the role of Wolverine after the untitled 2017 film, Fox will surely seek a replacement of some sort. One character who could fill the gap is X-23, a female clone of Logan. She has many of Wolverine’s powers, such as a healing factor and adamantium claws, and she was designed to be the perfect assassin. Seeing this character in the X-Men franchise would be cool, particularly if they spin her off into a solo movie.
An X-23 film would be another good way for the X-Men universe to take advantage of its female characters. While she is essentially a female version of Wolverine, X-23 can certainly stand out on her own as a fan-favorite character.
Speaking of female X-Men members, why not make a film entirely focused on them? In 2013, Marvel launched a comic book series (as a part of its Marvel Now! line) called X-Men, which teamed up characters such as Storm, Rogue and Kitty Pryde. Creating a movie based on this concept would take absolute advantage of the X-Men series’ wealth of female characters.
X-Men: Apocalypse will mark the debuts of Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Jubilee (Lana Condor), as well as a new, younger version of Storm. That’s three members from the comic there. You could also add Jean Grey, X-23, relaunched versions of Rogue and Kitty…the possibilities are endless.
One way Fox can make its lineup of comic book movies stand out from Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.’ is to put special focus on its female characters. And having at least some of these characters form a team in a spin-off film would be very cool.
What spin-offs movies do you wish to see in the X-Men Cinematic Universe?