[Potential SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse ahead.]
Less than two weeks from its U.S. theatrical release, X-Men: Apocalypse is looking to regain some ground lost to mediocre early reviews and an oddly disinterested fan base. The producers, trying to pick up momentum for what could be an exciting conclusion to the X-Men: First Class trilogy, are pulling out their A-game now.
It began with Wolverine. It looks like Logan made his way into another X-Men film. Despite director Bryan Singer’s claim that there are already dozens of other exciting characters in the film, everyone assumed he would be there. After the Mystique-as-Stryker rescue cliffhanger in X-Men: Days of Future Past, it just wouldn’t be fair to leave everyone hanging about Wolverine’s fate.
Most recently, X-Men series writer/producer Simon Kinberg announced a little teaser at the end of Apocalypse. To be exact:
“There’s also another character that’s introduced, at least in name, in the tag and he could show up in any host of different X-Men films. Maybe a Gambit movie, maybe another X-Men movie.”
It sounds like the post-credits scene won’t contain much more than a namedrop, but whoever comes up after the credits roll could feature heavily in 20th Century Fox's upcoming X-Men movie production slate. Already speculation, rumors, and purported reveals of which character will impact the next round of X-Men films have exploded across the web. Here are a few famous faces from the X-Men universe we hope will show up after the film (so stick around).
After the Ragin’ Cajun’s false start in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Gambit’s future in the FOX universe remained uncertain. However, the bayou-based gambler is an extremely popular character, and you just can’t keep a good X-man down (heck, even Deadpool made a complete recovery from the mediocre outing). And with Channing Tatum poised to portray the Southern X-gent, Remy LeBeau is looking to get a new lease on life in the Singer-verse.
A simple matter of semantics could scuttle the possibility of his post-credit moment, though. Why would Kinberg phrase it to sound like Gambit would “show up” in his own movie, though? Of course he’d show up in his own movie. It’s got his name in the title. Naturally, Kinberg could merely be phrasing things as cryptically as possible in order to keep fans guessing. Even if he doesn't wind up getting a shout out after X-Men: Apocalypse, at least Gambit is set to return to the fold eventually.
11 Cable/Nate Grey
One thing’s for sure: We’ll be seeing Cable in Fox's little slice of the Marvel universe very soon. The writers, the director, and the studio have all but cast the time-travelling character in Deadpool 2. Who the studio will cast in the role is a tale for another time, though.
Cable has one distinct cross-marketing benefit – aside from that whole time travel thing – which would make him an excellent candidate for a post-credits button. He’s associated with several X-Men properties slated for release and possibly in development.
Since his creation by Chris Claremont and Rob Liefeld, the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey clone Madelyne Pryor has racked up numerous affiliations within the X-Men universe. After his adult form debuted in The New Mutants #87, he’s been an on-again off-again member of the spinoff team. He also reorganized the New Mutants into X-Force (along with Domino, who many fans would also love to see), leading them into battle on numerous occasions.
As though things aren't already confusing enough – what with Cable being a time-hopping mutant infected by a technological virus who often works with his own parallel-father – he has yet another alternate identity (aside from evil clone Stryfe). Depending on the timeline used after X-Men: Apocalypse, it’s even possible we could see X-Man. A crossover from the alternate Age of Apocalypse timeline, Nate Grey wound up integrated into the 'standard Marvel universe' for a time.
Of course, X-Man’s existence in the Singer-verse is a shot in the dark compared to his extremely popular alternate ego.
10 Mister Sinister
X-fans have been itching to see the team face off against that master of mayhem, Mister Sinister. If early reports are true (major spoilers could be attached to this link), one of the post-credits sequences may reveal this X-Men big bad as part of the next chapter of films. Originally a 19th century geneticist, Dr. Nathaniel Essex’s obsession with evolution leads him to make a deal with one Apocalypse to become a mutant-power-sucking semi-immortal known as Mister Sinister.
We know Kinberg and co. are about to introduce Cable. So, it only makes sense that Sinister will, at some point soon, rear his vampire-inspired head, especially since he created Nathan Summers in the first place (to destroy Apocalypse). The gene-tweaking super villain is the logical choice to head up at least one of the major upcoming X-Men outings.
His association with Apocalypse, Cable, mutant terrorist Stryfe, the Nasty Boys, and the Marauders, among others, could open up a wealth of potential story lines. Additional speculation about X-23 joining the mutant folds makes Sinister a logical step in explaining the Wolverine clone's presence. Most importantly, he’s a nasty, genetically manipulative piece of work who tends to make the X-Men’s lives extremely unpleasant. Who wouldn’t want to see more of that?
On-again, off-again X-Men and X-Factor member Forge has long been a favorite character among fans of the comics. A son of the Cherokee Nation and a Vietnam vet, he possesses a powerful natural sorcery and is a wizard with invention and technology. He also carried a torch for Storm and had a little fling with Mystique, just to complicate things on the romantic side.
Although the character had a long association with X-Factor, unfortunately, FOX seems to have no major plans (at this time) to bring that particular series to the big screen. Forge's connection to Cable, on the other hand, as well as his technical know-how, could prove important to the future of the X-Men universe. If an X-Force film is in development, Forge may provide an important link between Deadpool's smutty little realm, the X-Men, and X-Force.
Even though Forge hasn’t been mentioned in the films thus far, he did receive a brief shout-out (for creating the device which held Mystique captive) in a novelization of X-Men: The Last Stand. His presence would allow the Singer-verse to head in one of several directions for the X-Men, including the fascinating Messiah Complex story arc, which includes a certain Mister Sinister.
If the X-Men are returning to the '90s for their next film, there are scores of great period plots the Singer-verse can draw from. However, few pre-millennial story arcs are as enjoyable or as intriguing as the Onslaught saga.
A psionic entity, Onslaught is the byproduct of a battle between Magneto and Professor X. In the comic book series, Xavier shuts the metal-rending villain down telepathically, putting him into a catatonic state. Somehow, the negative elements of Magneto’s thoughts creep into Xavier’s head, entwining with the Professor’s darkest thoughts and creating Onslaught.
Like something out of a bad horror movie, Onslaught tricked X-Man into manifesting him into a living entity. It took the combined effort of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men to bring down the psychic creep for the first time.
Without the rights to the Avengers, some aspects of the Onslaught story are out of reach. Of course it’s rare that a screenplay religiously adheres to its comic book source. Still, for better or worse, Fox has teased the return of the Fantastic Four. Aspects of the Onslaught story arc certainly could wind up as part of the next round of X-Men films or a FF/X crossover.
Clearly, Simon Kinberg wasn't trying to get too specific with regards to the post-credit teaser. However, when the producer used the term “introduced,” it does sound like he plans on pulling a fresh face into the X-Men realm. If that's the case, then Bishop already made his entrance in X-Men: Days of Future Past and wouldn’t require a proper introduction.
However, the Bishop in DoFP no longer exists technically. Could Kinberg's announcement allow for the re-birth of the character into the X-realms? And if so, will he play a larger role in Fox's next round of X-Men movies after returning to his previous timeline in the future? Is all this paradoxical temporal chicanery giving everyone a headache? Probably.
Yet if we liberally interpret Kinberg’s words, Bishop would make an excellent choice to kick off the X-Men's next phase. His time-hopping skills and anti-hero ways always kept the team on their toes since his inception. He also played a part in several major story arcs involving possible future villains like Mister Sinister and Onslaught, as well as often fighting against or collaborating with Cable.
Charles Xavier’s son David Charles Haller (a.k.a. Legion) is a MPD-suffering, blessed with Omega-level psionic powers who has great difficulty keeping on top of his chaotic mind. During his worst moments, he’s managed to accidentally kill his father, completely alter history, and screw up several perfectly good timelines. Under the best of circumstances, he’s proven to be a powerful if unreliable ally for the X-Men and New Mutants. Legion’s presence in the shared universe could unlock a number of interesting story lines, including his origins with the New Mutants and a rumored crossover with the Fantastic Four.
With a New Mutants film on the way and an an adult-oriented adaption of Legion headed to FX, the possibilities of this nutty young man joining the film world may be greater now. Legion producer Noah Hawley claims the series will stand apart from the films, but he doesn’t deny the possibility of a character exchange with the film world at some point. The Singer-verse could create a separate movie version, much like the DCEU is doing with Flash.
If the show proves successful, a movie based on Legion could be an interesting continuation of the series on the big screen – sort an X-Men meets Sybil psycho-drama. Sure, he’s a long-shot for the follow-up teaser, but he'd be a great wild card in a cinematic realm which, admittedly, has a lot of wild cards already.
5 Omega Red
From what we know about the next chapter of the X-Men saga, it will take place in the Grunge-lovin’ 90s. It was during this era (at least chronologically) that Omega Red, the Soviet mutant menace, first came out of his suspended animation. Even though his connection with The Hand and the Red Room is out (Disney has those rights), the Russian assassin and crime lord still can make his presence felt as a hired gun or the leader of "The White Sky," the aegis for his shadowy cadre of clones.
He also has a lot of fun connections within the preexisting FOX shared universe. In the comics, Omega Red often tangled with Wolverine, X-Force, Deadpool, and scores others. The partially-manufactured mutant possesses a vast array of devastating powers, including carbonadium (the U.S.S.R.'s attempt to recreate adamantium) arm tentacles, superior strength, speed, and reflexes, as well as his patented “Death Spores” which weaken and kill nearby humans. It's honestly a little surprising Omega Red hasn't torn up the X-Men world already.
Of course, if you want to be literal with Kinberg's words, Mr. Rossovich hasn’t tangled with Gambit beyond the scope of the X-Men. His presence in a the Gambit solo-shot would come out of left field. Of course, the standalone may take a few liberties with X-Men history as it is.
Kevin Sydney first entered into the Marvel stable as a villain in the late 60s. The shapeshifting character enjoys an unusual dual role in the comic books. He exists as two distinct characters in different realities – Changeling in Earth 616 and Morph in Earth 1081.
In the modern era, his antagonistic identity became a reformed villain, while his heroic persona became a valued member of the New Mutants, the X-Men, and the Avenger. Either role would make him the perfect connective tissue to sew distinct X-teams and film realms together, depending upon how they choose to proceed.
Morph was also renowned for his sense of humor. If Kinberg and crew wish to respond to criticism that the Singer-verse is too serious, the prankster hero could help their cause. He'd also be a great way to introduce fellow smart alec Deadpool in a crossover event, His sense of humor would also play well off the dour Weapon X in any future team-ups.
Few characters have a greater significance (and fan base) within the overall franchise than Sabretooth. Victor Creed’s continual antagonism of the X-Men, his ongoing feud with Logan, and his shifting allegiances (his recent incarnation signed up as an X-Men and an Avenger) make him a logical reentry into the series.
Ideally, Sabretooth will show up for a Weapon X rematch after the disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine in Wolverine 3. Unfortunately, there’s been no news of whether Schreiber or any other iteration will return to the screen at this point.
Even though Kinberg claims to be introducing a new character into the X-Men’s world, his word choice may be nothing more than a smokescreen. It's doubtful that FOX is anywhere near done with the feral, regenerative, killing machine. His connections to the Marauders (Sinister), X-Factor (Forge), and the Brotherhood of Mutants also put him in arms reach of dozens of great characters and story arcs.
Plus, Sabretooth is just a great character – remorseless, ruthless, and nearly unstoppable (you have to decapitate the guy with a magical sword to kill his clone, for crying out loud). Even if he doesn't wind up in the post-credit teaser, Victor Creed needs to come back for another film or two.
2 So Many Possibilities
Of course, these are only a few possibilities as to who'll receive an after-the-credits nod. There are scores of intriguing characters who would greatly enhance the X-Men universe. All in all, we'd be happy to see any of the above X-Men cohorts or villains in the next phase of FOX's mutant multiverse. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out who the mysterious new entrant into the franchise is, since X-Men: Apocalypse is headed to theaters in less than two weeks.
Which new character are you hoping shows up after the credits roll? Are you excited for the next phase of the X-Men? perhaps even X-Men in space? Let us know in the comments.
1 NEXT: X-Men: Apocalypse Followup Will Take Place in the 1990s
X-Men: Apocalypse opens theaters on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018 (possibly The New Mutants).