With Fox's ninth X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse, now in the record books, it's time to look to the future, to the next film. As with every previous film, Apocalypse injected new mutants into the fray, namely Jubilee, Psylocke, and new takes on fan favorites like Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Storm, but there are still dozens of mutants out there that haven't made the jump from the comics to the silver screen yet.
Just like all three films in Fox's prequel series, the next main X-Men team adventure will be set ten years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse -- in the '90s. With a new period, a new setting, and several teases and plot points set up in Apocalypse, franchise producers and writers have a slew of new mutants to choose from.
Of all the potential candidates, here are 15 Mutants We Want To See In The Next X-Men Movie.
Let's start with the obvious, just to get it out of the way. At one point in Apocalypse, Colonel William Stryker comes to the X-Mansion and captures select mutants who he believes know Charles Xavier's location, and takes them to Alkali Lake. Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler teleport aboard the transport helicopter and sneak into Stryker's testing facility, where they meet a feral Wolverine. When discovered, Jean sets the beloved antihero loose, who proceeds to mercilessly kill all of Stryker's men, leaving behind quite a mess. This sequence sets the stage for the film's post-credits scene, and (presumably) an upcoming villain.
In that post-credits scene, a paramilitary group is shown cleaning up the mess Wolverine left behind, while men dressed in suits head straight to where Wolverine was being kept captive. They take a vial of his blood, as well as a number of other things, and put it in a briefcase. When that briefcase closes, the Essex Corp logo is revealed; a not-so-subtle reference to Nathaniel Essex aka Mr. Sinister, one of the most iconic and long-running X-Men villains in history. He is a genius-level polymath who, in addition to having telepathic, shapeshifting, and regenerative powers, clones mutants for the purpose of perfecting human evolution.
While Essex Corp is taking vials of Wolverine's blood, he's not the only character Mr. Sinister is a threat to; Mr. Sinister is the perfect villain to affect the stories of several mutants going forward, especially Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) and Jean Grey.
With Jean Grey unleashing the full potential of her dark, mysterious powers in X-Men: Apocalypse to destroy the titular villain Apocalypse, there seems to be a high chance the film's sequel will at least partially explore The Dark Phoenix Saga (which X-Men: The Last Stand did a horrendous job of doing the first time around), a story in which Jean Grey succumbs to the primordial Phoenix Force and, inevitably, dies.
Since Mr. Sinister's Essex Corp is already being shown to be collecting blood samples, he may have plans to manipulate the DNA of more mutants than just Wolverine. It's no secret that he has an unhealthy obsession with the Summers bloodline, and since (in the comics) he couldn't experiment on Jean Grey herself, Mr. Sinister created a clone of her instead -- Madelyne Pryor. Unfortunately for him, Pryor failed to develop mutant powers, but with Jean Grey dying due to the Phoenix Force, Mr. Sinister was presented with a fortuitous opportunity and concocted the plan to have Pryor fall in love with Scott Summers and give birth to the perfect offspring.
That child would later become the time-traveling mutant Cable (yes, that Cable), who is scheduled to make his cinematic debut in Tim Miller's Deadpool 2. For that to happen, though, Madelyne Pryor needs to exist first, and for her to exist, Mr. Sinister needs to create her -- and the Dark Phoenix Saga needs to happen for all the pieces to fall into place. If the movies are going to stay faithful to the source material, that is, which is far from guaranteed.
As previously mentioned, Nathan Summers aka Cable is the mutant son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey's clone), who Mr. Sinister created when he couldn't experiment on Jean Grey. But who exactly is Cable?
In a rather convoluted story arc, Apocalypse had infected Nathan with a virus, and the only way to save his life was for a member of Clan Askani to bring him to the distant future, to her time. It's there that Nathan becomes Cable, and learns to master his mutant powers as well as keep the virus at bay. And it's there where he remains until he is forced to return to the 20th century, where he meets his parents, Scott and Madelyne, despite having not been born yet.
The events of X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as its post-credits scene, have paved the way for not only The Dark Phoenix Saga but for the inclusion of Cable, as well. Since the character is already scheduled to make his debut in Miller's Deadpool 2, perhaps a minor origin story in the next X-Men movie is in order.
Just as Mr. Sinister used Jean Grey's blood to create Madelyne Pryor, he used Wolverine's blood to create Laura Kinney aka X-23, a younger, female version of Wolverine -- regenerative healing and all. As previously mentioned, in X-Men: Apocalypse's post-credits scene, Essex Corp is seen procuring vials of Logan's blood from Alkali Lake, where Wolverine was being held captive. In the comics, Mr. Sinister uses Logan's blood to propagate the perfect assassin, but little did he know that the assassin would one day betray him and become a full-fledged member of the X-Force.
With Hugh Jackman retiring his claws come next year, this is the perfect time for the franchise to introduce X-23 as a viable replacement for the team's most popular character. In just 12 years since her debut in the animated series X-Men: Evolution, X-23 has made a name for herself (despite taking Wolverine's identifier) as a member of the X-Men. James Mangold's The Wolverine 3 is already rumored to be including a female Wolverine, so perhaps there's a chance she'll show up in the next X-Men movie, too. Or, at least, X-Force.
After years and years of waiting (Artisan Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced Deadpool back in May of 2000!), fans finally got to see the Deadpool movie they've always wanted earlier this year. And it instilled hope that one day the Merc with a Mouth will fight alongside the X-Men.
In the film, Deadpool visits the X-Mansion, so we know he and the X-Men exist within the same universe. The problem is, the current X-Men series is stuck in the 1980s, and Deadpool is set over 30 years later. That presents an issue, but with Cable set to appear in the upcoming Deadpool sequel, we can expect that time-travel is a possibility -- which means Cable and Deadpool could theoretically travel to the 1990s, the decade in which the next X-Men movie takes place, and join the new mutants.
In addition to Wolverine and Deadpool, Gambit is scheduled to be getting his own solo movie, starring Channing Tatum as the titular character, Remy LeBeau aka Gambit, though we don't know exactly when it will release. The film was initially going to be helmed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, who unfortunately dropped the project last September due to scheduling issues. Not two months later, though, 20th Century Fox hired Edge of Tomorrow mastermind Doug Liman as the new director. This shakeup, along with scripting delays, forced the film to be pushed back from its planned October 2016 release, and with Fox constantly shuffling their release schedule, we really don't have much concrete info about Gambit at the moment.
With the possibility of Mr. Sinister emerging in the next X-Men film, perhaps, then, Tatum's Gambit should receive an introduction in the same film before venturing off into his standalone story. Both characters have a profound history with one another, especially when considering Gambit eventually becomes the leader of Sinister's superpowered team of evil mutants, the Marauders.
Jean Grey's connection to the primordial Phoenix Force was teased throughout Bryan Singer's original two X-Men movies and eventually was (abhorrently) adapted in Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand. In X-Men: Apocalypse, however, everything that happened in those three movies is condensed into just two-and-a-half hours.
Throughout the film, Jean Grey fears this ominous force lurking inside her, but, to thwart Apocalypse, she lets go of her restraint and unleashes the Phoenix. In doing so, however, she opens the door for the Phoenix Force to one day consume her. While that fate doesn't befall on Jean Grey in this film (which would have been way too much too soon), that doesn't mean she won't submit to it in the future.
As previously mentioned, Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand attempted to adapt The Dark Phoenix Saga on the big screen, but failed to do so correctly. Series producer Simon Kinberg has expressed interest in re-telling that story in a future X-Men movie, which means Sophie Turner, who plays the young Jean Grey, is potentially in for one heck of a ride.
Although Charles Xavier kept tabs on Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) throughout the decades since they last saw each other at the X-Mansion in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, he apparently overlooked the fact that she got married, divorced, and had a son along the way. And however unlikely it is, it's possible that her son's name is Kevin MacTaggert -- and that he is a mutant with the psionic ability to warp reality.
While it's possible Singer and company revealed that piece of information just to show Xavier that Moira had settled down in the years since First Class, it's also possible that the creatives are hinting at Moira's son turning into Proteus aka Mutant X, one of the strongest mutants in the Marvel universe. Unfortunately, there is a lot we still don't know, but since the next X-Men film is set in the '90s, her son would be the proper age to manifest his mutant powers and inevitably turn evil.
Until a blasphemous retcon by Marvel Comics in 2014, Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff and her twin brother Quicksilver aka Pietro/Peter Maximoff were the mutant offsprings of Magneto. Suffice to say, mutant evolution endowed them with super powers -- Quicksilver displayed super speed and Scarlet Witch displayed the ability to alter reality itself. While X-Men: Days of Future Past did not feature Scarlet Witch, an image surfaced online of Peter holding his younger sister, thus suggesting Wanda;s potential appearance in the future. Though she doesn't appear in Apocalypse, fans want to see what Fox's version of the mutant would be like (yes, mutant, not "miracle").
The twins fall into a gray area that allows Marvel Studios to use them without infringing on Fox's licensing rights. Interestingly, Quicksilver was killed off in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet he lives on in Fox's X-Men universe. And though Scarlet Witch plays a vital role in the aforementioned MCU, she is nowhere to be seen in X-Men, despite her twin brother having an essential position on the mutant team. Could it be that Marvel and Fox reached some agreement not to interfere with each other's universes? Are these two finally learning to play nice?
When that image of Quicksilver and his younger sister surfaced online, Singer refuted rumors that the girl was Wanda and instead claimed she was another Maximoff sibling. Could that third sibling be Lorna Dane aka Polaris -- a mutant with the power to control magnetism, like her father, Magneto?
Fox likes to take liberties with the source material, so audiences wouldn't be surprised if Lorna grew up as Quicksilver's younger sister instead of being adopted. Now to get meticulous: Lorna was born with green hair, though she continually dyes it brown so that she wouldn't be seen as unusual and different. The girl sitting in Quicksilver's lap in the picture has brown hair. Coincidence? Perhaps, but if Fox doesn't plan on introducing Scarlet Witch, then Polaris is too big of a character to leave on the sidelines. And since X-Men: Apocalypse already allows Quicksilver some family time (even if he didn't tell Magneto he's his son), perhaps the sequel would leave room for the speedster to introduce his younger sister at the X-Mansion, much like Havok did with Cyclops.
Charles Xavier's second generation of X-Men is packed with capable heroes, so there's no real need to add anyone else to the team. But should that stop Fox from introducing new mutants? Absolutely not. Not every character needs to appear in multiple films. And one of those characters could be John Proudstar aka Thunderbird, a mutant who possesses superhuman strength, speed, and stamina, and is a former U.S. Marine. He's also Warpath's (played by Booboo Stewart in Singer's Days of Future Past) brother.
A great way to bring Thunderbird into the fold would be to have the new generation of X-Men disappear on a mission (perhaps investigating the living mutant island Krakoa?), and then have Xavier recruit new mutants, such as Thunderbird, to help rescue them. A situation like this would represent the ideal circumstance in which to introduce Polaris as well. After all, she is the one who defeats Krakoa by hurling him into space.
FX Networks is currently hard at work on their first superhero series, Legion, based on the mutant character of the same name, who happens to be the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. Unfortunately, this past January, FX CEO John Landgraf stated the series would not exist in the same universe as Fox's X-Men movies, but rather a parallel universe. That leaves the door open for future crossovers, though it is unlikely to happen.
As mentioned before, Fox likes to take liberties with the X-Men source material, so with Xavier restoring Moira's memories from First Class, perhaps, then, the two mutant-aficionados will rekindle the relationship Xavier ended before it ever had a chance to begin. It would then be possible for Xavier and Moira to marry and have a child of their own -- who could eventually grow to become Legion. If Fox believes Legion is a strong enough character to warrant his own TV series, he surely must be valuable enough to appear in the films as well.
Fox has clearly made some mistakes with their X-Men franchise over the years, which is what justified a soft reboot with Days of Future Past. The film reset the timeline, thus allowing for Fox to retry their hand at characters like Deadpool and Gambit, two characters they flat-out got wrong with the abysmal X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But why should they stop there? There are plenty more characters out there who weren't exactly faithfully depicted the first time around -- namely Rogue, portrayed by Anna Paquin in Singer's original X-Men trilogy.
With Gambit getting his own solo movie, now is the ideal time to reintroduce Rogue -- one that adheres to the source material -- in the X-Men universe. The southern belle and the native Cajun share a fiery relationship in the comics, one that has not been seen on the silver screen yet. She could appear in the next movie as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants before eventually turning to the light and joining the X-Men, then be spun off as a co-lead in the solo Gambit movie.
Nine movies have released in Fox's X-Men franchise thus far, meaning many top-tier villains, like Magneto, the Sentinels, and Apocalypse, have already been used. The new class of villains has a lot to live up to, and there's one supervillain that just might be able to do that: Omega Red, aka Arkady Rossovich, an evil cross between the Winter Soldier (in being superpowered and indoctrinated by the U.S.S.R.) and Wolverine (the Russians endowed him with Carbonadium tentacles; a more malleable metal than adamantium).
Since the next X-Men movie is set in the '90s, the time in which Omega Red awakened from suspended hibernation, there's a high chance he could appear as a secondary bad guy. After all, the villain has had some nasty run-ins with characters like Wolverine, Sabretooth, Psylocke, and Deadpool, among many others.
Bryan Singer recently discussed the possibility of taking the X-Men to the next level, and by that he means taking them into the cosmos. The X-Men comics are littered with cosmic stories, like The Dark Phoenix Saga and the Shi'ar Empire, but an interesting choice would be to explore the Mojoverse; another dimension ruled by the supervillain Mojo, who also rules the planet Mojo World (this guy's a bit egotistical).
Mojo belongs to a species known as the Spineless Ones, appropriately named for their evolutionary lack of spines. The entire species remained spineless until the species produced its first mutant, Arize. The mutant scientist developed exoskeletons that would allow the rest of the Spineless Ones to move freely, which, in turn, technologically advanced their society, far beyond what humans have achieved on Earth.
Despite their advancements, the Spineless Ones were quite dim, and their entire society revolved around television shows of the X-Men from Earth-616. One of the series' stars was a captive Psylocke, who Mojo gave mutant powers. With Olivia Munn playing Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, perhaps she'll join the X-Men in the film's sequel in order to take down Mojo. While he's a vile and truly bizarre character, a Mojoverse tale would definitely be an interesting new direction for an X-Men film.
Which characters do you want to see join the X-Men films? Are you sad to see Bryan Singer step back from the franchise, or is it high time someone else took the reigns? Sound off in the comments section.