Lucas Till debuted in the X-Men series as Alex Summers (aka Havok) back - a founding member of Charles Xavier's first squad of mutant heroes in First Class. The actor reappeared, briefly, in the First Class sequel, Days of Future Past, in which his character was rescued by Mystique (while fighting in Vietnam). Two years later, and Havok returns with bigger role for X-Men: Apocalypse - introducing Charles Xavier to Alex's brother, Scott Summers (aka future X-Men leader Cyclops).
Till's role in Apocalypse may be his most impactful contribution to the series - and a passing of the torch to Havok's younger brother. While it's too early to rule-out future appearances from Till entirely, the actor has kept busy with other projects over the years and, with the release of Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming family adventure, Monster Trucks, Till could be poised to lead a franchise all his own.
On the set of Monster Trucks, Till reflected on the pressures of portraying a beloved comic book hero like Havok - and the freedom that comes with bringing a new character to life (one that audiences do not already know or have preconceived notions about).
You don’t really think about how high the stakes could be [in a new franchise]. I guess that’s the only difference [Laughs]. Because they could be pretty high later on, but it’s nice, because you get to create on your own and you don’t really get very many opportunities like that, because usually movies that get made are something that have been made a million times before - or an existing property that’s in the comic world or a novel or something. So it’s really, really awesome to be a part of something like this, that has a potential to be a franchise, but also it’s mine, it’s whatever I want to do with it.
It’s relaxing. Because with X-Men, I was just nervous beforehand, nervous when I got it, nervous during the movie, and nervous after it came out for a year until I talked to as many people as I could and got a good range of people to tell me whether or not I messed it up!
Monster Trucks has taken longer than initially planned to arrive in theaters; yet, it wouldn't be the first film to get delayed but still make a solid splash at the box office. While, at this point, the studio is focused on getting their first film out, there's no question that Monster Trucks was developed with the plan to sell toys, push merchandise, and lay the foundation for future installments.
While Till will have to wait to see how this first movie is received, before the studio will open the door for him (and his onscreen CGI best friend "Creatch") to return, it's understandable why the young actor is enthusiastic - given that he's starring in a modern-day riff on classic family adventure stories of the 1980s and early 1990s. As a result, if director Chris Wedge and his team manage to deliver something special, Till is right - there's longterm potential in Monster Trucks. No one would have guessed How to Train Your Dragon would ever become a $1 billion franchise property but an entertaining and heartfelt realization of a clever premise turned a zany idea into a full-on franchise (complete with a TV spinoff).
Time will tell if Monster Trucks strike the same sweet spot, and delivers a quality film that resonates with kids, not to mention adults. Hopefully, the Monster Trucks filmmakers have something special in store for viewers and that Till gets to hop back behind the wheel of his monster-powered truck in the future. Of course, now the studio will have the added challenge of squeezing production of a sequel into Till's schedule - which, in the coming months (and potentially years), will be packed with work as the star hero in the MacGyver reboot series.
Monster Trucks is set for release on January 13, 2017.