The final chapter of the First Class Trilogy, X-Men: Apocalypse, found the team restored to its former glory and looking forward to new adventures in the 1990s. Fox is also expanding its own shared universe to include new teams, such as X-Force and the New Mutants. In addition to bolstering the roster, producer Simon Kinberg has teased that the X-Men are headed to space for their next adventure.
With filming on New Mutants slated to start next year, pre-production is getting underway. The X-team’s lineup is beginning to shape up, and may include an alien character named Warlock. Could he be the X-Men’s gateway to the stars?
Last May, director Josh Boone teased a possible New Mutant team through a series of posts on Instagram. While reporting that Boone was reconnecting with his Fault in Our Stars’ co-writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for the franchise-starter, THR also released a short synopsis and character list. The latter seemed to confirm Boone's own cast of mutants. The rundown of the film reads as follows:
"The movie will focus on the angst-driven adventures of a diverse group of teens that include Native American Danielle Moonstar, Scots girl Wolfsbane, Brazilian ladies man Sunspot, a Kentuckian code-named Cannonball, and Russian teen Magik. Also in the mix will be an alien named Warlock."
The most intriguing, at least to Kinberg and the X-Men franchise crew's future plans, is Warlock. Son of Magus, the Technarch king, Warlock is part of an organic-mechanical race. His species feed off other organisms by infecting them with a transmode, or techno-organic, virus. Unlike many other Technarchs, he exhibits compassion, which leads the cyborg shapeshifter to join the New Mutants in issue 18, becoming a long-serving member (who also spends time with the X-Men, Excalibur, and X-Factor). Although the X-Men dealt with extraterrestrial life in the comic books, the films have been very down-to-Earth. Warlock's interstellar origins could spur the continued cosmic adventures of the X-Men and the New Mutants.
Naturally, the initial kneejerk fan reaction to the name Warlock is to think Adam Warlock. Rumored to be just about everywhere in the MCU, the synthetic superman and Christ metaphor has yet to appear on screen – although he has been teased for Avengers: Infinity War and in cocoon form during Guardians of the Galaxy. His counterpart will also appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While this particular cosmic Warlock won’t show up in the X-Men realm – due to (presumably) being owned by Disney/Marvel – his mutant namesake also has a lot of interesting connections, including time served across a number of X-teams.
One of the most intriguing links to the greater X-Universe is Warlock's connection to the techno-virus. His character won't be the first time a variation of the transmode virus wound up on screen. Although not touched upon much in the film, Omega-level mutant Apocalypse was revealed in the comics to use a strain of the virus (during the “Decimation” story arc). En Sabah Nur also infected the infant Cable with a similar strain. As a result, Warlock could be a very important factor in bridging gaps in Fox's cinematic realm, as well as bringing the stars to the X-Men, or vice versa.
Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017, March 2nd, 2018, and June 29th, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.