Fox is ramping-up the releases from their X-Men franchise, in 2016 will see three films with Deadpool, X-Men Apocalypse, and Gambit. In 2017, Wolverine 3 is currently the only X-Men film expected to be released along with the sequel to Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four.
The studio might want a third Marvel film released sometime in 2017 or start developing ones for 2018, and that could very well be X-Force, New Mutants or a Cable film (which as been hinted to in the past just like Gambit). You only have to look at how quickly they put Gambit together to see how fast they could get more X-Men films ready for 2017 and 2018 release dates.
Fox has planted a flag for an untitled Marvel project expected to be released on July 13th, 2018. This gives the impression it’s going to be an X-Men film mainly because of it’s placement during the blockbuster summer lineup. I could see them holding the date for another Bryan Singer film but since we have a script for X-Force I’m thinking it could be that project instead.
Some have suggested a Fantastic Four/X-Men crossover but it’s possible they might be thinking expansion of their Marvel universe instead.
A sequel to Apocalypse hasn’t even been announced and I have a feeling X-Force might be finally greenlit once they find a director. Those are seemingly the two options for that date at the moment. I won’t hold my breath when it comes to New Mutants getting made before X-Force since the characters aren’t as interesting and currently a script hasn’t been developed for it.
This July 2018 date screams X-Men but Fox hasn’t announced what that film will be.
What would this film look like and who will end-up on the final lineup of X-Force?
There’s been some understanding that the lineup could be a mix of the classic team matched-up with the more recent Uncanny X-Force and Cable And The X-Force members.
Here’s what Wadlow had to say about his favorite characters from the team when talking to Screen Rant. While he couldn’t reveal or confirm these will be the characters in his script, he does apparently have control on who is apart of it. Even if Jeff Wadlow doesn’t end-up directing the film he’ll be heavily involved with the film’s script which he started to write a year ago.
“Look, I’m a huge Deadpool fan, who doesn’t love Wolverine – but obviously Cable is an iconic character we haven’t seen onscreen yet. I love Psylocke, Domino is an amazing character – it’s a long list of characters that have appeared in X-Force – Colossus is in the current lineup… There are a lot of really exciting characters that you can use in X-Force that have been in other movies, that haven’t shown up, or maybe there’s ways to re-imagine them, even though they might’ve shown up in other films.”
There was talk from Matthew Vaughn of possible recasting Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in his version of Days of Future Past. Along with some older quotes from Jackman sounding like he was ready to end his run as Logan. Until a new interview with Cigar Aficionado (via Comic Book) revealed that Hugh wants to the play the character until he dies.
“I said to my wife, ‘The moral is that I should never stop playing Wolverine. I’ve got to find a way to keep playing him until I die.’ I know that someday they’ll recast the role with another actor…I’d be happy if the role was eventually recast. It would mean that it had become iconic.”
This might be a bit of hope for fans that have assumed that Wolverine 3 might be his last movie as Logan before a recasting. I’m sure the Spider-Man crossover might have perked him up a bit about staying on for a couple more films and seeing if he could get into the MCU as well.
James Mangold has teased Wolverine’s iconic cowl costume with it being a gift given at the end of The Wolverine in a deleted scene. I don’t think in a film with Deadpool it would be out of place to see Jackman wearing the combat outfit. James even considered having him wear it in the film we could see that play-out in Wolverine 3.
That said, X-Force is sort of the movie that a recasting would make sense. Considering it’s not one of the prequels or main lineup films it could allow for a new actor. However, I don’t think Wolverine could have more than a supporting role in this project. If only to give the new leads a chance to be established as the faces of a new X-Men franchise.
It’s also a franchise that could give Laura Kinney aka X-23 a shot at taking Logan’s spot since she was apart of more recent incarnations of X-Force. Instead of recasting just introducing the clone via Mister Sinister. There are plenty of clones running around the X-Men universe and it seems good enough time to start including them into the franchise.
The talk for while at the studio has been how to introduce Cable and give him his own film. Well that is pretty much what X-Force could be, giving him a leadership role within the universe without taking over the other films. Nathan Summers could become another character like Wolverine that could jump into other films to help connect the films as set in one cinematic universe.
It’s also possible that Fox might want to give Cable his own solo outing before putting the team together.
Deadpool is sort of a lock at the moment as he is seemingly posed to be an excellent character for those kinds of X-Men off-shoots, I’m a bit doubtful he’ll show-up in the more mainstream films. This also depends on if Ryan Reynolds’ contract for Deadpool included other films as it’s looking like other roles will have a similar deal via a leaked casting-call for the production.
Other members have already been established in Days of Future Past with Warpath and Bishop. Who could easily stand-in for cameos and maybe become full members in sequels. Although, I’d love to see these films expand into a bit more diversity and these two characters along with Psylocke (could be played by an Asian actress) and Domino (could be played by an actress with any background).
Colossus‘ recasting might also lead to being a large part of this film as well and would make sense to reboot the character giving him his Russian origins that could include his sister Illyana Rasputin aka Magik.
There are also plenty of the classic X-Force characters they could sprinkle into the franchise who are likely too obscure even for Singer’s films. I’d love to see classic characters like Wolfsbane and Shatterstar get involved down the line. We saw the classic member Sunspot in Future Past but I’m unsure they’d bump bigger characters to include him.
Who might they choose as the villains?
Wadlow is keeping-mum about potential baddies but there are plenty of villains too obscure or even too violent for an X-Men film.
The X-Force uses lethal means and are put together to take out serious threats. Hardcore genocidal mutant supervillains like Omega Red and Mister Sinister have been more recent antagonists for the team so using them here would make a lot of sense. Although, I have pointed-out that Wolverine 3 could use Omega and Gambit might include Sinister in that character’s origin story.
Omega Red has tangled with a majority of the X-Force team members having run-ins with Wolverine, Psylocke, Cable, and even Deadpool. The team has even gone-up against a group of clones of Omega. Considering they’re rebooting Colossus they could easily have the two linked because their Russian origins. I still think he’s better suited for a solo Wolverine film but could easily be the henchman to a bigger mutant threat like Mister Sinister.
In the Uncanny X-Force comics, Wolverine’s son Daken who is now leading the Brotherhood of Mutants and has The White Sky, a criminal organization that creates made-to-order superhumans for clients, makes Daken a trio clones of Omega Red to fight the X-Force know as the Omega Clan.
I’m doubtful we’ll be seeing Daken anytime soon but someone like Sinister could be cooking-up clones.
Another plausible threat to the mutant population is the deadly Legacy Virus which is brought-upon by the terrorist known as Stryfe (a clone of Cable) of the Mutant Liberation Front. Mistaking it for genetic material Mister Sinister unleashes the virus which devastates and targets mutants like Colossus’s sister Magik, eventually moving-on to humans like Moira MacTaggert.
I feel like preventing a biological weapon like the Legacy Virus getting into the wrong hands would be “McGuffin” for the film. Nathaniel Essex aka Mister Sinister as a geneticist could easily behind the development of the virus along with creating the Omega Red Clan and x-23. He’s also the reason Cable exists as he created his mother The Red/Goblin Queen who is a clone of Jean Grey, lots of cloning going on with this guy.
The reason for having a child born of Scott and Jean would produce an extremely powerful mutant that could be able to defeat Apocalypse. This leads to Cable joining the comic book universe, and was later introduced as a time-travelling badass, essentially the next big cinematic mutant character Fox has in their roster.
I’m unsure this sub-plot would make it into X-Men Apocalypse but Sinister’s rivalry with Apocalypse could be explored. Making him a prime candidate to be one of the Four Horsemen only to turn on Apocalypse for his own ambitious reasons and then go out on his own.
In my opinion Sinister could be a legacy villain that takes over for Magneto as a real multi-picture threat to the X-Men, X-Force and any other future mutant teams. He’s had plenty of followers from the Gambit/Sabertooth/Mystique/Sunfire affiliated assassin team Marauders to mercenary mutant group The Nasty Boys. The two groups are known for slaughtering The Morlocks which will first appear in Deadpool and could be apart of Gambit’s film.
X-Force will be a bit more lethal than their X-Men counterparts and a bunch of baddies like the Nasty Boys are best characters to get terminated by the wetworks team.
Like the Nasty Boys, another expendable group of villains could be The Reavers. The group is created by Hellfire Club’s Donald Pierce and is led by Lady Deathstrike, with the Days of Future Past retconning previous films she could be alive and well in this new cinematic timeline.
Not to be confused with The Reavers from Guardians of The Galaxy, these are an Earthbound team of Australian criminal cyborgs who usually are out to kill Wolverine.
Madelyne Pryor is another potential villain to consider as well having direct connections to Psylocke and Cable making her a more complex villain. The X-Men universe has many female characters and it would be nice to see Fox continue the trend of female baddies, since Marvel Studios isn’t a fan of that route. Pryor forms the mutant villain group The Sisterhood of Mutants and is a key member of the Shaw’s Hellfire Club. I could see them parring her up with Donald Pierce and try to bring back the Hellfire Club.
The Uncanny X-Force team is put together by Scott Summers and sanctions their activities but doesn’t want details. In older comics Pryor is sent-in by Sinister to replace the dead Jean Grey and eventually marries Scott, they have a child Nathan Summers aka Cable. I feel like this sort of stuff could be dealt with in Apocalypse or it’s sequel, but for future films Pryor could a great villain.
Should Fox make X-Force after Wolverine 3 and who do you want to be in the lineup?