Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men franchise has lasted nearly 17 years since Bryan Singer’s X-Men kicked the mutant universe off in 2000. Over the years, the X-Men series has gone through a number of notable changes. When the original trilogy concluded in 2006, Fox tried to launch a new series with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though the negative response caused the studio to change course. In 2011, Fox kicked off a prequel series with X-Men: First Class. Then, the prequel series came to a kind of conclusion last year with X-Men: Apocalypse, and the next installment, Logan, will see both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart retire from the franchise they helped launch.
Of course, Fox has plenty of X-Men-related properties in the works, including another main franchise movie in X-Men: Supernova, Deadpool 2, Josh Boone’s New Mutants, and the recently announced X-Force project. Still, with many of these movies in early development or pre-production – and without release dates – the future of the X-Men cinematic world is still unwritten. However, there are certain characters and teams the filmmakers may be looking to adapt and include.
In an interview with ComicBook promoting Logan, X-Men universe writer/producer – and rumored director of X-Men: Supernova – Simon Kinberg revealed which comic book teams they’re considering including in upcoming projects. When asked about the future of the cinematic universe, Kinberg said:
We have a sense of where each of all of the existing characters go from Deadpool to New Mutants to the mainland X-Men movies to potentially even X-23. Then, there’s other characters, like X-Flight, like Exiles… There’s a lot of characters to mine going forward. We’re still sort of in this phase where now we’ve completed the Wolverine story with Logan and we begin hopefully with New Mutants and eventually Gambit and continue with Deadpool.
ComicBook posits that Kinberg meant Alpha Flight rather than X-Flight, since there isn’t a team called X-Flight within the comic book universe. Introduced in 1979, Alpha Flight is a team of Canadian superheroes – with members like Aurora, Guardian, Northstar, Sasquatch, and Puck – working for the government’s Department H. The Exiles, meanwhile, debuted much more recently in 2001 and features a cast of superheroes – including Blink, Beast, Forge, and Polaris – from different dimensions who attempt to correct hiccups in alternate worlds and timelines within the Marvel Multiverse.
Given Kinberg’s comments, it seems one or both of the teams could appear in either an upcoming main X-Men film or receive their own spinoff as Fox builds out their larger universe. Since neither Alpha Flight nor Exiles have appeared in any live-action X-Men media – aside from an Alpha Flight Easter egg in X2: X-Men United – fans of these particular teams will be excited to see them come to life. Going a step further, the possibility of the Exiles being adapted to Fox’s mutant universe could perhaps hint the studio is expanding their cinematic world to include alternate worlds and timelines – which is an exciting prospect.
Of course, Kinberg hasn’t confirmed either team will definitely appear in an upcoming movie, so it remains to be seen whether Fox adapts either. Still, Fox’s X-Men universe has lasted for nearly 17 years. If it continues on for another decade or two – and evidence seems to indicate it will – the studio will likely adapt not only Alpha Flight and Exiles, but other lesser known aspects of the comic book mutant world as well.