Fox’s ever-expanding film universe featuring the mutant heroes of Marvel’s X-Men comics has tapped Drew Goddard to write and direct its X-Men spinoff, X-Force. There has been talk over the last several years that Fox was looking to bring the team to the big screen in some fashion, and after the massive success of 2016’s Deadpool, it seems Ryan Reynolds’ Merc With a Mouth and Deadpool 2 co-star Cable (as played by Josh Brolin) will headline the film.
As the only two confirmed members of what’s being billed as a “black ops” team of down and dirty mutants, that leaves a lot of room for speculation on what other characters could round out the X-Force roster. Thankfully, there are over 20 years of published comic books and multiple X-Force volumes for Fox to gather inspiration from.
We’ve combed through every iteration of X-Force to select the heroes we feel would best represent the unit on the big screen, making sure to pull from all eras of the team’s history, while keeping in mind the larger shared universe of the Fox films.
There are some standout versions of X-Force that deserve to be represented in a feature film, and with that come classic lineups. Narrowing the list down to a select few mutants was a harder task than it appears on paper. With that in mind, the below are names worthy of an honorable mention, but ultimately had to be cut from the final lineup.
The X-Men’s metallic powerhouse quickly became a fan-favorite character after his inclusion in Deadpool’s first solo film. Though he often disagreed with Deadpool on the amount of violence to inflict on his opponents, Colossus did stand side-by-side with Wade Wilson in the film’s final act. Fox could easily insert him into the film through his connection to Deadpool. Plus, Colossus was a cast member in 2012’s Cable and X-Force comic, where he shared a romantic relationship with Domino.
Even with all this supporting evidence for Colossus, we still don’t see him as a full-blown member of the team. Remember, the press release that accompanied Goddard’s announcement referred to the team as “a Black Ops force of down and dirty mutant warriors who are far more ruthless than their X-Men counterparts.” If you’re familiar with Colossus, then you know nothing about him screams ruthless or down and dirty. It is more likely Colossus makes a cameo in X-Force, perhaps in a scene alongside his pal Deadpool.
Archangel and Psylocke
Here is where Fox’s convoluted timeline for it’s X-Men films comes into play. X-Men: Days of Future Past served as a soft reboot for the franchise, mixing the original trilogy of Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto with their younger counterparts from X-Men: First Class. The next film, X-Men: Apocalypse, added Psylocke and Archangel as Apocalypse’s evil Horsemen. With the two already cast and Psylocke being played by Olivia Munn (who has openly lobbied to reprise her role in X-Force), why not sign them up? In the comics, Archangel and Psylocke have a history together -- they were both a part of writer Rick Remender’s highly successful run on Uncanny X-Force, and were once lovers.
Well, for one, X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in the 1980s. Secondly, fans are never explicitly told where in the timeline Deadpool takes place. He even makes a point to joke about the X-Men’s crazy timeline in his own film. Add to the fact X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, and Fox could choose to distance X-Force from characters who didn’t leave a lasting impact with fans.
Now, let’s get down to the business of presenting to you the mutants who should fight alongside Cable and Deadpool, pulling from the first group of former New Mutants to the X-Men’s secret kill squad.
Audiences will get their first glimpse of Zazie Beetz’s Domino next year in Deadpool 2. The luck-manipulating mercenary is a no-brainer selection for the Black Ops team, especially when you take into account she was one of the founding members of Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza’s first volume of X-Force with Cable. One can imagine the chemistry between Domino and her Deadpool 2 co-stars will be set up with future team-ups in mind.
One thing that remains to be seen is if the Deadpool sequel will plant Easter eggs for the ensemble film. Even though Domino wasn’t mentioned with Deadpool and Cable in the X-Force press release, she will no doubt be a lock for the team.
Another long-running X-Force member from the older and newer days is James Proudstar, a.k.a. Warpath. A fiercely loyal and trustworthy teammate, Warpath’s tie to X-Men comes from his older brother Thunderbird, who died on the team’s second mission. Warpath followed in Thunderbird’s footsteps by first joining the New Mutants, and continuing his role on the team once the group evolved into Cable’s militant X-Force crew.
Warpath was also recruited into Cyclops’ undercover strike team that the film will most likely take its inspiration from. He also played a small part in X-Men: Days of Future Past's future storyline during the X-Men’s last stand against the mutant-hunting Sentinels. Whereas our earlier argument against Psylocke and Archangel being in X-Force came down to film continuity issues, Warpath being included can be quickly explained away with a mention of the timeline being reset after Days of Future Past.
Each team needs a powerhouse bruiser, and Warpath meets that criteria perfectly with his enhanced athletic abilities. Plus, his matching twin daggers would be put to good use for some potentially bloody battles.
Hugh Jackman put a cap on his time as Wolverine in the critically acclaimed Logan earlier this year. Officially retiring from the role, Fox is left to ponder recasting the part or moving on from the character altogether. However, one of the standouts of the film was a young girl by the name of Laura, who goes by codename X-23 in the comics, and happens to be the cloned daughter of Wolverine.
There is no word on when, and if, Fox will return to the X-23 character again, but the studio would be crazy not to capitalize on her popularity by putting her in its X-Force film. Think of it this way: if you can’t have Wolverine in your movie, the next best thing is a younger version who also has a healing factor and Adamantium claws.
Fox has many options when it comes to choosing who will suit up for X-Force whenever it arrives in theaters. If Fox wants to choose an X-Force lineup that represents the best of the X-Men comics and films, it should go with our choices of Deadpool, Cable, Domino, Warpath, and X-23.