Back in 2000, X-Men helped launch a craze of superhero movies. It was taken seriously by fans and critics alike, paving the way for Spider-Man and showing that a superhero film could again be great. Since then, there have been twelve films released in the series. The original trilogy, the four prequel films, Wolverine's trilogy, and the two Deadpool installments. Most were very good, but a few missed the mark.
Everything is set to change now that 20th Century Fox, who owned the rights to the X-Men, has been purchased by Disney. The sale means that there's now an opening for the X-Men, along with heroes like Deadpool and the Fantastic Four, to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most people feel the MCU gave us our best Spider-Man, so they might do the same for some X-Men. But who will they make better and who do they not have a shot at improving?
10 Won't: Quicksilver
This is an easy one because we've already seen it. Quicksilver is a weird character in that he is equally well known as an Avenger and a member of the X-Men. That made for a gray area allowing the character in both Fox's X-Men universe and the MCU. Since 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fox's X-Men featured a Quicksilver played by Evan Peters, who stole the show with an incredibly fun scene at the Pentagon.
A year later, Avengers: Age of Ultron included a Quicksilver played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He was a lot less fun. The X-Men series used the character's power to much greater effect, while the MCU one felt like an afterthought. Even his emotional sacrifice to save Hawkeye didn't resonate. With the MCU's Quicksilver being dead, this feels like a character we won't even see them try again.
9 Will: Jubilee
Jubilee is a character who got a ton of shine during the early 90s thanks to X-Men: The Animated Series. Known for her pyrotechnic energy blasts, this young girl played a significant role in the popular show. However, her role in the film franchise is almost nonexistent.
Jubilee is relegated to cameo appearances during the original trilogy, though the novelization of X2: X-Men United gives her more to do. Though she was supposed to be a bigger part of X-Men: Apocalypse, Jubilee ultimately just hangs out in the background of more important characters. A better Jubilee is a slam dunk for the MCU.
8 Won't: Professor X
The X-Men films have featured not one, but two fantastic portrayals of Charles Xavier. Both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy have played the powerful telepath and leader of the team at different stages of his life. Stewart was a bit of dream casting for the role and McAvoy happened to be perfect at playing the younger version.
Professor X was a focal point in all seven X-Men team up films. His stance on how mutants should live amongst humans and the direct opposition he gets from Magneto are driving forces in the series. When you consider his importance and the great actors who got to play him, giving us a better Charles Xavier isn't something in the cards.
7 Will: Storm
Here's a character who is known for being a key player in the comics and X-Men: The Animated Series. After doing next to nothing in the first two films, Storm, played by Oscar winner Halle Berry, was given a bit more in X-Men: The Last Stand where she took over after Xavier's death. Still, she never felt like a major part of the team.
There's already a built-in story arc to bring Storm over into the MCU that would make her more important than previously seen on film. In the comics, Storm is married to T'Challa, better known as the Black Panther. With the incredible success, that film had, introducing her in that world would be a way to get a ton of eyes on the new X-Men.
6 Won't: Magneto
Everything that was said about Professor X can be said about his counterpart, Erik Lehnsherr. Like Xavier, Magneto was played by two tremendous actors, Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender. Both have arguably been the best parts of their respective appearances.
There is a bit of room for improvement in terms of his overall story arc because he's inconsistent and plays both sides in the prequel movies. However, it'll be tough to top the Magneto we've seen so far. One huge reason is chemistry. It felt impossible to find two actors who could match the chemistry between Stewart and McKellen. They somehow did it with McAvoy and Fassbender. Finding gold like that a third time seems highly unlikely.
5 Will: Rogue
In 2000's X-Men, Rogue got a ton of screen time. She kind of acts as the "in" for the audience, getting introduced to the world of mutants along with everyone watching. Unfortunately, with each passing movie, her role was diminished. Fans were outraged when she took the cure for her mutant gene at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand and was then mostly cut out of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In the cartoons and comics, Rogue is a badass. The version we've seen on screen is too timid. The MCU can bring that tough woman to the forefront. Like Storm, she has a comic storyline that intertwines her with an existing MCU character. At one point, Rogue uses her absorption of abilities on Carol Danvers. With Kevin Feige admitting that Captain Marvel is the most powerful character in the MCU, Rogue with her powers would make for something interesting.
4 Won't: Deadpool
Sometimes, a comic book movie casts an actor who is absolutely perfect for the role. That was the case when Ryan Reynolds ended up playing the "merc with a mouth," Deadpool. After writing completely failed his debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds perfected things with 2016's Deadpool and its sequel.
One of the first things fans said when Disney purchased 20th Century Fox was that they shouldn't recast Deadpool. Reynolds nails every aspect of the character. He's the one thing that the MCU should bring over. Even if they do, we haven't seen Disney venture into R-rated territory yet. Deadpool is a rare character who needs that environment to work best.
3 Will: Gambit
Like some other characters on this list, Gambit is a fan favorite to those who loved X-Men: The Animated Series. His Cajun accent, card throwing, kinetic powers, and overall attitude made him one of the coolest characters of any X-Men. Unfortunately, he's mostly been absent from the movies.
The one appearance of Gambit in a film came in the critically panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Almost nothing that works about the character was brought to that movie, and it made for a massive disappointment. This is another case where it's virtually impossible for the MCU to not improve on him. Plus, a pivotal Gambit would be a great way to ensure their version of the X-Men is different from what we've previously seen.
2 Won't: Wolverine
When Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine for X-Men in 2000, it was a question mark. The actor wasn't well known, was considered too tall for the role and the character was beloved. Here we are almost two decades later and you can't picture a Wolverine that isn't played by Jackman. His swan song in 2017's Logan was his finest hour.
Wolverine is the most iconic member of the X-Men. Any shot that the MCU has of nailing this property has to involve a great iteration of the character. The MCU has earned the full faith of its fans for getting a lot of unexpected casting right. We think they'll give us an excellent Wolverine, but it's tough to top the journey we've gone on with Jackman.
1 Will: Cyclops
What the X-Men films have done to Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, is almost criminal. In the comics and cartoons, Cyclops is the leader of the team out in the field. In the movies, he was kind of just a whiny dude standing in the way of the heavily pushed Jean Grey/Wolverine romance.
Even outside of that trilogy, the character hasn't done much in the films. The MCU can give us a fully fleshed out version of Cyclops that works as a real leader for the team. Establishing a strong Cyclops will go a long way to making the MCU X-Men something different and unique. Some great stories are begging to be told for this character.