The X-Men are coming sooner than later to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Marvel Studios will have some decisions to make. The original Fox Franchise has had its ups and downs over the years. Undeniable. However, when those films worked, they really worked. The Fox X-Men films brought audiences superheroes in a time where no one knew they wanted to watch superhero films. They made questionable decisions, yes. They also made brilliant ones.
It's clear that Marvel will have a chance to do things the Fox X-Men films could never -- or would never -- do. But what are some things they should copy from Fox? What are some things they can, potentially, improve upon? The era of X-Men in the MCU is fast approaching, so what should stay the same and what needs to evolve?
10 (Same) Humans Should Remain An Enemy
One thing many of the best X-Men films have in common is that the ultimate enemy isn't Magneto or another mutant, but, rather, a human being. X2, Days of Future Past, and Logan all featured human opponents abusing and attacking mutants, showing how prejudice and hatred can cause awful pain to minorities.
The X-Men function as reflections of real-world prejudices. This should be maintained for the MCU. After all, villains like Magneto need to have reasons for hating humanity. The idea that mankind just hates and fears them isn't enough. Man needs to make the first strike.
9 (Change) Make The Mutants More Powerful
The mutants in the X-Men franchise have always felt a little low-key in terms of power. Aside from Magneto and Professor X, most mutants seem strangely subdued in their power levels. This is even more startling, considering mutants like Phoenix can blow up stars by feasting on their energies.
Many mutants only had a limited potential of power when compared to their comic counterparts. Rogue's powers were limited (thanks in part to her never touching Carol Danvers). Iceman's Omega-Mutant powers were limited to him making ice slides. And Kitty Pryde couldn't phase whole buildings along with her.
If the X-Men are going to stand toe-to-toe with characters as powerful as Thor, the Hulk, and Captain Marvel, they'll need to be at least a little powerful.
8 (Change) Incorporate MCU Lore Into The X-Men
The Fox X-Men franchise only had Fox characters within it. Even so, they never utilized anything outside the core X-Men group into its continuity. This is no longer the case with the X-Men at Marvel Studios.
If they want to show Wolverine's old age, have him fight Nazis with Captain America back in WWII. If they want to show how people treat mutants differently than normal heroes, show the differing reactions to heroes and mutants alike. Show Ororo in Wakanda. Have Nightcrawler travel through Sokovia. Any number of connections to the greater MCU lore would be appreciated.
7 (Change) Start With The Original Five
While Storm, Nightcrawler, and Gambit are beloved members of the X-Men, if the MCU is going to relaunch the team, they ought to start with the core five members.
Scott, Bobby, Warren, Hank, and Jean ought to start as teens in an uncertain world, similar to the popular All-New X-Men run. They ought to feel like teens sorting through the dynamics of their new life and powers while also being an oppressed minority group.
Later members like Storm and Nightcrawler can and should appear in future films, but the core five should remain the same.
6 (Same) The Dynamic Between Xavier And Erik
While the X-Men films are criticized for relying too much on Magneto as an antagonist, he's there for a reason. The dynamic between Xavier and Erik -- between Professor X and Magneto -- is incredible. The two represent the powerful dueling side of cohabitation and conflict that embodies the core of the X-Men.
The MCU might feel tempted to retire Magneto as a character. This would be a mistake. Magneto is arguably one of the most beloved characters in the X-Men for a very good reason. He stands as their foil.
5 (Change) Make Iceman Gay
The original Fox Films came out in an era before Iceman's homosexuality became public knowledge. However, it informed every aspect of the character following this information "coming out." In this modern era of superhero films and social media, it would be incredibly problematic to ignore this very noteworthy gay superhero.
The X-Men exist as a metaphor for marginalized folks. It would be a great disservice to both the characters and audiences alike if real world marginalized people were not represented among the numerous members of the X-Men. We already have people of color such as Storm on film, none of the Fox X-Men (aside from maybe Deadpool) were anything but straight.
4 (Change) Bring On The Shi'ar
With all this talk of Kree, Skrulls, and Xandarians, MCU fans have forgotten about one of Marvel's most important alien empires: the Shi'ar. The reasons for this are simple: Fox used to own the rights to the Shi'ar. The Shi'ar remain a fascinating alien culture whose political schemes affected both the greater Marvel Universe and the X-Men over the years.
While the Shi'ar would feel out of place in the otherwise grounded Fox X-Men universe, the Shi'ar would be right at home with the greater MCU. Give the X-Men a chance to go completely wild.
Furthermore, bring on the Brood. Bring on Mojo. Bring on the weirder cosmic fights that the Fox franchise just couldn't.
3 (Change) Less Cameos, More Characters
The X-Men films are plagued by a desire to offer fans too much yet too little. Many X-Men films introduce characters as fan-service without really giving them anything to do. Characters like Gambit, Angel, and Bishop are almost completely wasted. It took the Deadpool franchise to give Colossus a real character after appearing in three films prior. Kitty Pryde, a character who eventually leads the X-Men in the comics, is relegated to a minor, tiny role. Describe Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde to anyone without mentioning her powers. What do you come up with?
And Jubilee. What... what are they doing with her?
The MCU should put the emphasis on fewer characters, but give those few characters actual characterization. Give them stakes in the plot and a reason for audiences to want to see them again.
2 (Change) De-Emphasize Wolverine
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is one of the most iconic characters in cinema. He has had one of the greatest character arcs across superhero cinema, culminating in the brilliant Logan.
But maybe let's back off Wolverine a bit.
That's not to say don't include him. Far from it. Wolverine is an iconic character and needs to be a part of the MCU. But make him closer to his comic counter-part. He isn't the main hero. He's a gruff warrior with a confused path. He's a berserker. He isn't the core of every story, but contributes some really unforgettable moments. He ought to be a supporting character for a while. Not the messiah. Not the hero. Just another member of the team.
1 (Same) Deadpool
Deadpool should not change. At all. In fact, it's better if he's the exact same character from Fox to Marvel. There should be no alteration to how Deadpool acts, sees the world, responds to the audience -- nothing.
Everything else needs to be written from the ground up in the MCU. How were the mutants hidden for so long? Why are they here? Who are its members? What are their history? Those need to change for the new MCU.
But Deadpool? Maybe it's better if nothing changes for him. He ought to be the only person around who is aware that Fox just got purchased. Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. He brought the character back after years of development hell. It would be unfair if Deadpool didn't continue to exist in a greater, more wild playing field than ever before.