For the last 17 years, Fox has continued to produce new installments in their X-Men universe. After the first trilogy stumbled to a close, solo Wolverine movies and a reboot in the ’60s attempted to bring the franchise back to prominence. Those films have been hit or miss ever since, while Deadpool and now Logan have given fans reason to believe in the studio’s mutant universe. Throughout it all however, Fox has had an incredibly difficult time maintaining their continuity.
This has not only been the case due to a lack of foresight for the future of the series, but also as they attempted to right the wrongs of movies that have come before. Now, Fox appears to be moving in a direction where a larger story is not as important as it may be in the fellow comic book cinematic universes from Marvel Studios and Warner Bros/DC. But, this does not mean they won’t connect eventually.
Deadline asked producer Simon Kinberg about the future of the X-Men universe and when or if fans can expect for the various timelines to connect. With decades of gaps between their various franchises, there is not an immediate need, but eventually he thinks they will connect once it can happen naturally.
There is a larger architecture to tell these stories in. I talk to the studio all the time about this and there is a plan for how these movies can connect and be a part of a larger narrative. It’s something that’s fun, exciting and it will be interesting to see how we marry the different tones that we’ve been generating in these standalone movies of the X-Men universe. But we go into making the best movie we can. It’s not just about a Colossus or Deadpool cameo. Connecting all of these movies will happen when it organically makes sense. These movies aren’t simply being built as stepping stones to a larger story. Each one is wholly enclosed and a movie worth seeing.
While many fans may want these films to be told in a similar long-form style to what the MCU and DCEU are using, Fox is in the position of having a much more difficult time at making that happen quickly and organically. The next mainline X-Men film (not titled X-Men: Supernova apparently) will be taking place in the ’90s, whereas New Mutants should take place in a relatively modern time. However, Fox also has their Deadpool-verse to worry about with Deadpool 2 and X-Force being worked on. Plus, the uncertain future of Gambit and the possibility for X-23 to carry on her story post-Logan continues to spread these films apart.
Eventually, the connection could be made, but it begs the question whether that’s actually what’s best for the universe. Right now Fox is excelling at telling great, single stories that just so happen to star X-Men characters. Deadpool and Logan proved this to be the case. Where Fox has struggled is with the bigger pictures, like X-Men: Apocalypse, that rely heavily on continuity and trying to compete with other mega-franchises. Seeing either version of Professor X interact with Deadpool or having Cable pick up X-23 sounds like a great concept, but there is no telling what it would do for the quality of the universe.
We will have to wait and see what approach Fox takes in determining how and when to connect these franchises to one another. If Kinberg’s comments are true, that will be happening at some point, but really there is no reason to rush. Everyone will be willing to wait on these crossovers if the films they get instead are great. Fox has recently shown the ability to deliver on this, giving them more time to figure out the best avenue to take.