X-Men: Days of Future Past has already revitalized the once floundering X-Men cinematic franchise, and has opened up brand new possibilities and directions future films can take. The following are some option – some theoretical, and some not.
1. X-Men: Apocalypse/Days of Future Past fallout
We’ve already had the next film, Apocalypse, announced, which will feature one of X-Men’s most iconic and powerful villains, and will pit the “First Class” team against him in what I hope was some paradox or something unlocked by this new timeline. Rumors have said that this film is going to be sort of an “X-Men Disaster Flick” in the same vein as 2012, so apparently S*** gets real very quickly.
Now, let us conjecture:
Wolverine: At the end of Days of Future Past, it appears that the “current of time” overcame the “ripples” of time travel, as Stryker pulls up Wolverine’s body from the lake. And so, the audience assumes that this will pave the way for Logan to get his signature metal bones…until it’s revealed that this Stryker is Mystique. We were left on this cliff-hanger and don’t know a lot, but this reveal has allowed for the possibility for Hugh Jackman’s Logan to join any future installments from the First Class team, albeit as the younger, brasher, more immature Logan (which is disappointing, because the mature one was actually a breath of fresh air, but whatever).
Mystique: Presumably now a “good guy,” it will be interesting to see how Fox plays with Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. Will she elevate to the role of leader now? Possibly. It depends on if Fox intends to make Lawrence the new “face of the franchise,” which is of course contingent on how much longer Jackman intends to play Wolverine.
Magneto: At the end of Days of Future Past, Magneto’s role was left ambiguous – he clearly hasn’t been converted yet, but the events at the end of Days in the future lead us to believe that he’s probably not going to continue being the scourge to the X-Men that he was formerly. Does he turn a new leaf? Perhaps Apocalypse, combined with the new events of the altered timeline, forces him to abandon his radical agenda?
The rest of First Class: Pretty ho hum here, which is actually a good thing – I expect these characters to continue growing in interesting ways, but nothing adverse to what we typically understand of them.
Quicksilver: More please. Thank you.
The future cast: For me, the end of Days of Future Past was like the end of Toy Story 3 – the absolute perfect send-off for these characters. Between contract issues, franchise direction, and the fact that fan-favorite Wolverine can easily just be part of First Class now, I’d be surprised but not adverse to seeing more sequels in this timeline. Essentially, it’s a clean slate now, so while it would be cool to see what new threat could take place in the future, I just can’t see it happening.
Then again, I could have never predicted Days of Future Past, so who really knows?
No matter what happens in the past, we’ve seen the new future of the X-Men, and everything is surprisingly happy. Many of our favorite characters are still alive, Xavier’s school seems to be doing better than ever, and the general spirit seems high. So no matter what happens in the past, it has to allow for this serene conclusion, right?
Theoretically, yes, but how we get to that point is up for debate, and it doesn’t mean the road has to be smooth. In Days of Future Past, Trask has a really interesting line where he talks about how the advent of mutants has allowed our species, for the first time, to truly unite against a common threat (which is the same line of thinking of Ozymandias in Watchmen).
Could Apocalypse’s emergence become the same catalyst for mutant-kind to team together? In one of the Apocalypse timelines in the comics, an altered timeline (again, long story) sees Charles get killed, but has Magneto actually slide into his place, becoming the head of the X-Men and an advocate for peace. Now, they wouldn’t and shouldn’t kill off James McAvoy’s Xavier, but the point is that a threat of this magnitude could bring all mutants together for a big finale.
The nice thing is, regardless of the direction they decide to go in, they have a clean slate with which to work on thanks to the end of Future.
Apparently, this is a thing that’s also going to happen. I’m not going to pretend to know a lot about X-Force, but there’s still an interesting tid-bit in here: Cable, Scott Summer’s and Jean Grey’s son from the future (long story) is typically one of the most prominent and popular characters of the X-Force. Besides being a bad-ass himself, Cable features prominently into the Apocalypse storyline in the comics. Could Apocalypse be the introduction to the X-Force film, and thus tying these franchises in together?
If it’s all part of the same cinematic universe ala Marvel, then I’m suddenly a lot more intrigued.
3. Fantastic Four Reboot
I’m the first one to defend studio’s choices of casting, and am willing to see the incarnation on the screen before I cast judgment. With that said, I don’t know if I’ve been this disappointed with casting choices since Ben Affleck as…wait for it…Daredevil (yeah, I’m actually sort of okay with him as an older Batman, believe it or not).
With that said, because Fox owns both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, a cross-over is not out of the question. And if I’m Fox, this is a no-brainer – from the word go, I’m planting seeds in this film so that a cross-over is possible, while leaving enough out so that Fantastic Four can stand on its own. That way, the road is paved for a cross-over event that would rival that of the Avengers.
And why not? Yes, there have been numerous X-Men movies with no mention of the Fantastic Four, but since Days of Future Past happened, it’s all essentially a clean slate. X-Men just tampered with the timeline – why not have the fallout be the creation of the Fantastic Four, and subsequent team up/face-off?
Make it happen, Fox. Between Marvel’s Avengers, DC’s Justice League, and Sony’s Sinister Six/Venom/Spiderman extended universes, I need more superhero crossovers to happen, and I need it now.