Fox has a busy few years ahead after naming six untitled Marvel movies to its slate from 2019 to 2021. These are in addition to the already-announced 2018 lineup featuring The New Mutants (April 13), Deadpool 2 (June 1) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Nov. 2). The new dates announced are June 7 and Nov. 22 in 2019; March 13, June 26 and Oct. 2 in 2020; and March 5 in 2021. Fox also has the Fantastic Four and its huge stable of X-Men characters, thus creating several potential candidates to fill these slots.
Sequels to The New Mutants, Deadpool and Dark Phoenix are the most obvious contenders, with X-Force also expected to be included, as Deadpool 2 introduces Cable and Domino, laying the foundation for this covert ops team. Gambit, which seems forever stuck in developmental hell, is also a candidate, but the studio lost a director in Doug Liman to the project, which still has Channing Tatum attached to star. All of this aside, new paths would be the best ones to forge and Fox won’t be short of options, made all the more better with their recent success. That’s why CBR decided to look at 15 movies we think they NEED to destroy the MCU’s lineup!
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for various X-Men comics and movies
X-23 is a hot contender for a film after Dafne Keen’s rousing performance as the Wolverine clone, Laura, in the critically-acclaimed Logan. She brought depth to the character, who was introduced in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon prior to debuting in the comics. James Mangold depicted the character as a brutal and violent clone, on the run after a stable of genetic mutants broke apart.
Things ended with her on the lam after the Wolverine died saving Laura and her fellow runaways. This offers the potential to continue her story in Canada in the refuge they sought called Eden. Mangold would be a fan-favorite to return to direct and shape her as leader of this pack in a brave, new world where mutants are starting over. After all, she played a big part in Logan, leaving the MCU fans in awe.
14. FANT4STIC: A NEW CHAPTER
After Josh Trank’s film tanked, fans were left hoping the franchise went back to the MCU. However, it’s unlikely Fox will let this slip out their grasp and honestly, if they find a director who can work well with the studio, then creative differences will be at a minimum. This, coupled with the talented cast, could give us a continuation from the reboot with the team more mature and pressing forth as adult scientists.
Secondly, the option is there to do what Sony did with Spider-Man: Homecoming and reboot the franchise yet again. The reset button can be hit and rather than continue a botched team and a terrible portrayal of Doctor Doom, restarting from scratch may be the best thing. Either way, Fox has options to craft Marvel’s first family in their world-building and universe-exploring quests, maybe this time with Franklin, Valeria, Galactus and Annihilus.
It’s yet to be seen if the space pirates called the Starjammers will be in Dark Phoenix, but if they were, they probably would have been announced by now. That said, if this movie — Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut for Fox — opens up the cosmic universe fully with the Phoenix Force and the Shi’ar Empire, then we could well have a spot available for these spacefarers to appear.
They could be Fox’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy, with Cyclops’ father, Corsair, leading a ragtag band of misfits as they go star-trekking. They could even bring back Havok from the dead after X-Men: Apocalypse killed him, and have him join his dad. Fox should expand to the depths of space as the MCU has done. Even DC is doing the same with Warner Bros. and November’s Justice League.
Sinister was teased at the end of Apocalypse when we saw suits that belonged to Essex Corps. collecting vials of Wolverine’s blood for him after he went crazy at a Weapon X facility. He helped the younger X-Men, including Cyclops and Jean Grey, escape before running off into the wilderness. This blood had us thinking Sinister, a.k.a. Nathaniel Essex (a Victorian-era mad scientist), would appear in Logan as part of the cloning scheme, but nothing came of it.
That means Fox still has Sinister to use, and Dark Phoenix could be a great launchpad to hint that he’s interested in the omega-level mutants that Professor Xavier is guiding. As Sony is doing a Venom film, that means Fox could look at a villain of their own, documenting Sinister’s experiments over decades before landing him in a spot to prey on the X-Men.
Necrosha was an X-Force-oriented event that pit Rick Remender’s lethal X-Force team against the vampire, Selene, who was raising dead mutants as part of an army via the Transmode Virus with Eli Bard. This would allow Fox to use dead mutants and revive them as zombies; this is also a feasible turn of events, as X-Force is already in the works as a movie on its own.
This could be a horror flick, embedded with action, which has the makings of another R-rated Fox film. They saw success here with Logan and Deadpool thanks to its mature themes, and New Mutants is hinted at as a horror picture, so why not take it up a notch? This would truly be an X-Men story that tests all heroic mutants on an emotional, as well as a physical level.
When Deadpool was finally green-lit, fans were still concerned because as popular as he was, he was still outside of the mainstream. Fox’s formula worked and that success gave way to Deadpool 2. That means that risk does pay off and this could see Fantomex, who enjoyed similar traction with Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, allowed a foot in the door.
He has a mercenary vibe, that of a ninja, and oh yeah, he’s an escaped experiment from the Weapon Plus program. He’s basically a more intelligent Deadpool, with a lot more finesse. Fantomex is an expert marksman, skilled warrior, can withstand telepathy and also, he rolls with E.V.A. (an external nervous system) which acts as a partner in crime. His name may not be as out there as much as Wade Wilson’s, but he’s one major badass that Fox should be capitalizing on.
9. THE HELLFIRE CLUB
The Hellfire Club deserves a rebirth. They weren’t explored to their full potential when Matthew Vaughn helmed X-Men: First Class, as Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost felt like pale imitations of their comic selves. Donald Pierce was kept for Logan and Selene didn’t enter the fray, so Fox should do this team right. What better way to break ground than by delving into a villainous society?
Emma was killed off-screen in X-Men: Days of Future Past but the Fox timeline underwent a soft reboot at the end, so she could have been alive in Apocalypse. Fox could even go back to the end of First Class where Magneto broke her out and paint her story as she tries to reform this cabal. The Hellfire Club could offer Sinister another entry point with the Jean Grey clone, Madelyne Pryor, after Dark Phoenix.
The Hellfire Club pits Emma Frost as a villain but as we’ve seen in the comics, she can be a hero and a headmaster. Well, we would prefer to leave it as anti-hero since she never really stops making questionable decisions. If Fox wants to go this route where she’s not evil, then the Hellions would be a great place to start.
They were seen as the rivals to Professor Xavier’s New Mutants and boasted the likes of Tarot, Roulette, Empath, Magma and Warpath (as seen in Days of Future Past). Emma’s squad offers Fox a chance to showcase lesser-known mutants and they could be prepped to do battle with Selene, who was Hellfire’s Black Queen to Emma’s White Queen. This would be another gamble by Fox but being bold has worked in their favor, so why stop?
Fans were disappointed that Sabretooth didn’t appear in Logan. Victor Creed was alive at the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and actually made a heroic turn to help his brother. We could do with seeing a bit more of this side to him, as we’ve seen lately in the comics where he even took a turn as an Avenger.
If we get to see Liev Schreiber one last time as a rugged Sabretooth on the run, whether it be from Stryker or other facets of the Weapon X program, then this could mean that he’ll be shaped in the similar rugged vein as Wolverine: a seasoned war-vet who was used for evil when he really had potential for good. This could also be an R-rated avenue to explore, as well as one that leaves an anti-hero the room to cut loose as he sees fit.
Rictor (a seismic-shifting mutant) was seen at the end of Logan, helping X-23 guide runaway mutants into Eden. He was derived from the DNA of Avalanche, a mutant usually found in Magneto’s Brotherhood, so it’s clear Fox has an eye for fan service. It would be amazing to see them up the ante in the new world where mutants are now starting over, allowing Rictor to help found and run X-Factor.
This could be the detective agency that scours for newer mutants while protecting the current young bunch. Mutants like Monet, Strong Man, Layla Miller and Siryn (Banshee’s daughter) could be tied in, and if Fox is as loose with continuity and retcons as they usually are, thenJamie Madrox, or as fans know him — Multiple Man — could be re-used after X-Men: The Last Stand wasted him.
Excalibur would be a tricky property to pull off as it involves Captain Britain, but with the MCU yet to pull the trigger on him, the lead could easily be shifted to his sister, Psylocke, who went on the run after Apocalypse. This also opens the door for mutants who struggle for time in the main X-Men movies such as Colossus, Jubilee, Rogue, Gambit, Shadowcat, Angel and even Juggernaut, all of whom have been on the team in some or another incarnation.
It would take some refining to get this core down, but they could swim in the magical waters of the Fox universe, as opposed to the ones we’re accustomed to — like mutants and science. Evolution is overrated anyway so let’s get mystical! Psylocke has enormous potential but Bryan Singer didn’t harness it, so Olivia Munn could get a redo here, bringing with her other cult-favorites, who may also be ready to explore the multiverse.
4. THE ONSLAUGHT SAGA
Onslaught was the entity that resulted when Professor Xavier and Magneto clashed in the ’90s. Xavier was enraged after his rival nearly killed Wolverine by extracting the adamantium from him, and in a psionic attack, the evil segment of the Professor’s mind merged with that of Magneto to birth this psychic monstrosity.
The X-Men were no match for him, nor were the Avengers. In this case, Fox would have to scale it down as they don’t share with the MCU, and it would mean yet another crack at the Xavier and Magneto dynamic. However, Onslaught is such an enticing and powerful villain that he’s hard to ignore. It would take almost all mutants — heroes and villains alike — ganging up to stop him. Such a daring concept could also be used to kill off Magneto, and forge a new chapter along Logan’s timeline.
3. APLHA FLIGHT
We’ve already seen an Alpha Flight easter egg on the Deadpool 2 set, but that aside, it’s about time we get Canada’s favorite superheroes. They could be linked to another derivative of the Weapon X program if Fox wants to flog that dead horse, or perhaps they could be the heroic team that X-23 and the young mutants meet in Eden. This paints them as the new X-Men!
Either way, hardcore fans are craving the likes of Guardian, Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar, Puck and Shaman because they’ve been connected to them for years in the books. Marvel may not be giving this team much love these days but their fanbase is a passionate one. Also, they would make a killing in Canadian cinemas! They’re right up there with the X-Men and Avengers in terms of being a powerhouse team.
2. HOUSE OF M
When it comes to Magneto’s family, we’ve seen Quicksilver in Fox’s filmverse so we’re also hoping that somewhere lurking (and we’re not talking in a cameo) is his sister, Wanda Maximoff. The MCU made their version more heroic so Fox can look at the mentally unstable version of the character. This Scarlet Witch could alter reality, similar to the House of M event, and give us an alternate universe, albeit with mutants only and no Avengers.
It would be pretty cool to see her reshape things with her, her father (as this story wouldn’t really delve into Marvel’s recent retcons of their lineage) and Quicksilver, now leading mutants as their new messiahs. Such a spin flips the savior roles that Xavier and his X-Men usually fill, and provides a shot for new faces to oppose this regime, including Lorna (Polaris) as a potential sibling from The Gifted.
1. WOLVERINE REBOOT
It’s inevitable that we’ll have to get a new Wolverine. Hugh Jackman set the bar so high, but even as he rode off into the sunset in Logan, it was clear that with the actor not returning, something needs to be done to bring in a Wolverine for fans in the present. Recasting looks the likeliest option but rather than continuing with the current X-Men timeline, why not reboot and do a standalone Wolverine movie again? He could even be from an alternate timeline or universe.
This gives us the character, unleashed and unhinged, like we all want him. A new Wolverine also allows the opportunity to dive into the comic stories we love. it also allows Logan to interact with familiar faces like Deadpool, Cable and Domino if Fox wants to run away with its continuity. If he’s younger, then he could even link up with the X-Men or X-Force.
Let us know in the comments which mystery movies you think Fox will unleash to counter their rivals!
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