In X-Men: Days of Future Past, with Bryan Singer returning to the director’s chair after launching the franchise in 2000, the cast of 2011’s prequel X-Men: First Class will team with the stars of the original X-trilogy. Using time travel as a plot device, Days of Future Past will attempt to make sense of years of convoluted continuity and may very well mark the last time we see the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen crew on screen as mutants. Some believe the next (and inevitable) X-Men film after Twentieth Century Fox reboots Fantastic Four in 2015 will simply be the third installment in the First Class trilogy but new evidence suggests that may not be the case.
With the time-travelling mutant known as Bishop making his debut in X-Men: Days of Future Past, fellow time traveler Cable could make an appearance as well. Cable, a character integral to many of the major story arcs in X-Men comics, would offer an obvious tie-in for the Deadpool movie (they were partners once) should Fox decide to greenlight the unique and risky project with Ryan Reynolds starring. But there’s potentially another major way to connect to the Merc with a Mouth to Cable and the X-Men: X-Force.
According to X-MenFilms.com, Fox registered the domain X-forceMovie.com several months ago, not unlike they did for Days of Future Past not long before it was namedropped by Singer. We do know Fox has an hour-and-a-half panel scheduled at Comic-Con next weekend with zero official word on what will be featured. We know from Bryan Singer’s tweets that Days of Future Past will absolutely be involved but could it also be the stage where Fox – taking some ideas from Marvel movies consultant Mark Millar – announces plans for the future of their own shared universe going forward?
The X-Force comic series launched in the early ’90s, continuing off of New Mutants, and its #1 issue is the second highest-selling American comic book of all-time. It was created by Rob Liefeld who also created characters Deadpool and Cable, both of whom got the spotlight in Activision’s recent Deadpool video game. The original X-Force team included Cable, along with fellow mutants Boom Boom, Cannonball, Domino, Feral, Shatterstar and Warpath, the latter of whom will be featured in Days of Future Past. Sunspot, another character who eventually joins the team, is rumored to be in Days of Future Past as well.
Such a property would allow Fox another launching point for a newer, young team of mutants without having to reboot the series, meaning they can still rely on and bring back familiar stars like franchise poster boy Hugh Jackman. The other alternative, assuming X-Force is actually an active project at Fox, is that they embrace the new X-Force series which spun out of the Messiah Complex crossover event in Marvel Comics where Cyclops – after events that led to most of mutantkind losing their powers and a single mutant birth practically starting a war – creates a secret assassination squad to hunt down murderous anti-mutant figures. That team’s roster began with Wolverine leading Caliban, Hepzibah, Warpath, Wolfsbane, and Wolverine’s female clone, X-23. Cable eventually joined that team as well, and Deadpool became a part of the roster as the series relaunched as Uncanny X-Force.
X-Men film producer Lauren Shuler Donner previously went on record claiming to be developing a New Mutants film and it could have evolved into the more marketable name of X-Force. Back in 2009, before First Class had even signed any actors, Donner had said they were planning another team-up based after X-Men 3 (that became Days of Future Past) and one based on New Mutants. Creator Rob Liefeld, later that month revealed that he had attended meetings with Fox and Donner where Deadpool, Cable and future X-Men projects were discussed. Here are some tweets from then, and today:
Clarification, Cable definitely NOT in Deadpool movie, but possible role in future X-films....not First Class.— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) September 23, 2009
Fast forward almost four years:
Update 1: Bleeding Cool claims to have been following leads this last week that Fox is planning multiple X-Universe films and that they could be unveiled at Comic-Con, while Rob Liefeld says he was informed back in March that Fox is in fact, planning an X-Force film. He clarifies:
And by informed, I mean told that an X-Force film was in the planning stages. Much different than shooting a film.— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) July 12, 2013
Update 2: X-Force movie now has a writer!
There’s a reason Fox brought back Bryan Singer to right the X-Men ship after two critically slammed outings in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just as there’s an important reason to bringing in Marvel comics veteran Mark Millar to help consult on their future Marvel projects, to take full advantage of their licenses going forward – as we were told on the set of The Wolverine. The X-Men franchise isn’t going anywhere and Fox wants to bring it back to the forefront along with the Fantastic Four which has Chronicle director Josh Trank at the helm. Don’t be surprised to see X-Force announced at Comic-Con, and if not, when the buzz is heating up for Days of Future Past in its new release date next May.
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, and Daniel Cudmore. Lucas Till and James Marsden may be involved if witness reports are true.
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2014.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you want Havok and Cyclops in the next X-Men movie!
X-Force cover art by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback.