Deadpool is back on our screens with another fresh blend of superhero action and inappropriate humor, as well as a hearty supply of references to the ongoing X-Men universe. Just don’t think about how the continuity fits together. With characters like Colossus and Juggernaut looking completely different from their previous iterations, as well as characters from the 1980s showing up in a movie presumably set in the modern day, it could be said that the X-Men are due a good old fashioned reboot to sort things out.
All that will have to wait until after the release of Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, however, both slated to arrive next year. With deals between Fox and Disney coming to a close, it looks like 2019 could be the last we see of the current cast of X-Men, with MCU head honcho Kevin Feige all but promising that the likes of Wolverine, Cyclops and Professor X will eventually be absorbed into the most popular blockbuster series of all time (if everything’s coming up Disney, that is).
With that in mind, last year’s Logan set up a potential successor to the adamantium claws, an X-Force movie with Ryan Reynolds is still in production, and there’s whispers of The New Mutants potentially setting up a new trilogy. Who knows what could happen to our favorite dated metaphor for racism in the 60s?
If you’re anxious about the future of the uncanny mutant super-team, we’re about to count down 16 X-Men Universe Rumors After Deadpool 2 We Hope Aren’t Real.
16 We Could See Dinosaurs in the X-Men Universe
Look, we all know comic books are crazy, but despite focusing on a group of misfits with various uncanny abilities, so far most of the films have followed some form of logical sense (okay, maybe not X-Men Origins: Wolverine.) Although the films have involved healing factors, mind control and time travel, all the previous stories have revolved around the characters’ mutant abilities, and the grounded tone established by Bryan Singer in 2000 has meant that, until recently, the X-Men films have avoided some of the more far out concepts of comic history.
All that could be about to change in the upcoming years, though. It’s been confirmed that the X-Men are heading out to space in Dark Phoenix, as well as there being rumors that the films could finally be introducing the Savage Land.
A prehistoric peninsula in Marvel comics, the Savage Land is a tropical region created by the Nuwali aliens over 200 million years ago, populated by dinosaurs who narrowly avoided the big extinction. A worrying casting call for Sauron (not that Sauron) and Luna, characters closely associated with the Savage Land, have indicated that the X-Men series could jump the T-Rex very soon. Leave the dinosaurs to Jurassic World!
15 Dark Phoenix is Set Ten Years After Apocalypse (But Hasn't Been Recast)
Most people have stopped caring about the so-called continuity in these X-Men movies, especially after Days of Future Past erased pretty much everything that came before it, and Logan seemingly takes place in an alternate future. But jeez, can we talk about those prequels? X-Men: First Class established a brilliant new cast for the series after a few misses for the franchise, led by the perfect Professor X and Magneto, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
Each subsequent movie seems to be taking place roughly ten years after the previous, but none of the characters seemed to have aged a bit.
The last straw was their surprise cameo in Deadpool 2, looking exactly as they did in X-Men Apocalypse, as well as the synopsis revealing that Dark Phoenix take place in the 1990s. Meaning, characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm have remained in their early twenties for the better part of three decades.
Despite the glaring issues of continuity (unless it can be hand-waved away by their mutant abilities), it looks like Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and Alexandra Shipp will be sticking around, despite all of them easily passing for 18 year olds. Bring on the MCU reboot.
14 Someone’s Gonna Go
All comic book movies are guilty of this – we’ve lost count of how many times the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a big deal about taking the life of one of its characters before bringing them back a couple of movies later – and the X-Men franchise is no exception. It started with Professor X’s surprising (and still confusing) return, then they wiped the slate clean with Days of Future Past to bring back Jean Grey after all that nonsense with the Phoenix in The Last Stand.
However, Infinity War and, most importantly, Logan have showed us that sometimes superhero passings can stick. Don’t expect Hugh Jackman donning the adamantium claws again any time soon, folks. After introducing a new cast for the prequel movies, it seems untimely, then, that an integral character could pass away during Dark Phoenix.
Set photos of a classic superhero funeral (complete with black umbrellas) depict Professor X, Storm, Nightcrawler and, presumably, Cyclops, mourning the loss of a team member, and studio reports have indicated that this one could be a biggie. With four movies now under their belts, we could be saying goodbye to Mystique or Beast. Fingers crossed that this set photo doesn't mean one of our favorite characters is passing away.
13 Dark Phoenix is a Two-Parter
Reactions to the last team effort, X-Men: Apocalypse, were less than enthusiastic, especially after Days of Future Past became a strong contender for the best X movie so far. Until that mess of inter-connected plotlines, bizarre tonal shifts and overwrought action sequences, fans would have been a little sad to see James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender hang up their wheelchair and helmet to make way for the MCU. Now, however, the sooner it happens, the better.
Unfortunately, we may be waiting for a lot longer than anticipated. Reports are conflicting, with some indicating that Dark Phoenix will be the start of a new trilogy, alongside the spinoff trilogy we’re already getting with The New Mutants.
However, a comment made by Psylocke herself, Olivia Munn, could suggest that Dark Phoenix is an over-arching story that will continue for two films. In an interview in September with Collider she revealed, “It’s like a two-parter, this movie”. Whether this means Jessica Chastain will be terroriszing the mutants for more than one film or if Munn is simply saying she’ll be returning as Psylocke for more than one movie is unclear. We've already seen the Phoenix story done badly once - do we really have to see it two more times?
12 Dark Phoenix Will Be the Final Movie in this Continuity
Hey Fox, make up your minds! Let’s be honest here, all X-Men speculation is pretty up in the air until this deal with Disney goes through, but Hollywood is Hollywood and Fox are bound to keep making X-Men movies until it’s literally impossible. The New Mutants and X-Force are still well on their way (although a last minute post-credits stinger could easily slot them haphazardly into the MCU), but Dark Phoenix could be the last we see of the current line-up of core X-Men.
Some reports have indicated that the production team behind Fox’s most profitable franchise have been thanked for their service and dismissed, as Kevin Feige is “hoovering” up characters for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This includes the X-Men, Deadpool (yep, we could be seeing the first R-Rated MCU film sometime soon) and the Fantastic Four, who are long overdue a good movie.
Whether this means that the current actors portraying the mutant heroes will be replaced is unclear.
Given that the rest of the series has practically given up on continuity and the MCU is all about being a series that makes narrative sense, we could expect to see some recasts happen in the near future. As excited as we are, it will still be a great shame to let this brilliant cast go.
11 New Mutants is Planned as a Trilogy
The X-Men series is currently in the phase of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. The main franchise is experimenting with period piece prequels that have thrown our usual standards of narrative cohesion out of the window and it’s also taken a page out of the MCU’s book with its ventures in television. Legion’s first two seasons have been impressive and The Gifted is currently operating within an alternate timeline that imagines a world in which the X-Men have disappeared, and younger mutants are left to fend for themselves.
The New Mutants is Fox’s latest experiment, pitched by Josh Boone (The Fault in the Stars), who is a lifelong fan of the comic book offshoot. Although it was delayed by a year (we were supposed to have seen it last month), it looks like a promising reinvention of the superhero genre, more in line with a psychological horror film than an action-packed blockbuster.
What’s less promising is the possibility of a New Mutants trilogy. Although it looks distant enough from the current X-Men series to remain its own distinct entity, Josh Boone will have some explaining to do if it gets absorbed into the MCU. Although we're intrigued, they should wait and see how the first New Mutants does before announcing it as a fully-fledged franchise.
10 Deadpool 3 Might Not Happen
Some critics are saying that Deadpool 2 is even better than the first and it’s on track to become one of the highest grossing R-Rated movies ever made. It’s certainly solidified Ryan Reynolds as a movie star born to play the character and Kevin Feige best think twice before considering recasting him if he ever gets absorbed into the MCU. It’s also introduced two fan favorite characters in Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Cable (Josh Brolin), the latter of whom has signed on for three more movies to explore the character. Normally, a second sequel would be inevitable, but we’re not living in a normal time for superhero movies.
At the moment, Deadpool’s future is somewhat unclear.
Although we’re definitely going to see him again, whether that’s leading his own movie or simply part of an ensemble cast in future X-Force movies, we don’t know.
Reynolds has since confirmed that Deadpool 3 is indeed in the works, but his initial comments still have us a little worried. He has said that “I don’t know that there would be a Deadpool 3”, suggesting that the character will work better in the future teaming up with other X-Men characters. Let’s hope he meant what he said when he went back on these comments, because we would happily see a hundred Deadpool movies, let alone three.
9 Jessica Chastain is Playing Miss Sinister
Mr. Sinister is perhaps the X-Men’s most infamous foe who hasn’t yet been adapted to screen. A shapeshifting, telekinetic and practically immortal scientific genius, Nathaniel Essex has been a formidable enemy since his first appearance in the 80s, appearing on many lists of the best comic book supervillains, yet has been constantly side-lined by the movies.
After being teased at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, we should expect to see him soon, though the character has a troubled history of being brought to the big screen. Originally cast to be played by Jon Hamm for The New Mutants, his role has since been cut thanks to the film’s extensive reshoots. It could also be the case that Fox is planning to use the villain for their core X-Men series.
A rumor has emerged suggesting that we could be seeing the character very soon, but not as we might expect. Speculation has been circling Jessica Chastain, who is playing an undisclosed role in the upcoming Dark Phoenix, who is simply described as a “clinical shapeshifter”. Jeff Sneider recently proposed that she could be playing Miss Sinister. This has happened in the comics before, but it would be better if the first live-action iteration of the character stuck to his classic appearances, as to not confuse the audience.
8 Daniel Cudmore is Back as Colossus
Peter Rasputin, also known as Colossus, is one of Marvel’s most iconic X-Men, but, until the Deadpool franchise, he hasn’t really been done much justice on-screen. In Bryan Singer’s original films, he was only metal about half the time, around half the size he should be and didn’t even speak with a Russian accent! Now the character is a franchise mainstay thanks to his wholesome adventures with a certain Merc with a Mouth, and comic fans couldn’t be happier.
In Singer’s films, Colossus was played not by a pile of metallic CGI, but by actor Daniel Cudmore. He was introduced in a small role for X-Men 2, then made his comeback amongst the ensemble cast for Days of Future Past. However, now the character has been reinvented for the Deadpool franchise, it seemed safe to assume that the Colossus we once knew was long gone.
This might not be the case, however, as Daniel Cudmore is, surprisingly, on the cast list for Dark Phoenix. He’s joining the team in an undisclosed role along with actor and dancer Lamar Johnson. Some have speculated that he’s playing a different character and let's hope they're right, as the return of Cudmore's Colossus would screw up Fox's continuity (yet again).
7 Rogue and Dazzler
Rogue is an A-List X-Man, as a Southern belle with the ability to absorb the superpowers of anyone she touches, with some dangerous side effects. She’s been portrayed by Anna Paquin since Bryan Singer’s introduction to the X-Men in 2000 though, aside from a brief cameo at the end of Days of Future Past (unless we’re talking about the Rogue Cut), she’s been absent from the franchise for some time.
Dazzler, on the other hand, has never been included in the film franchise, although she makes a brief cameo on the cover of a record in X-Men: Apocalypse. Originally a singing sensation, she possesses the mutant ability to manipulate light to, well, dazzling effects that really give her the edge over the competition.
While we’re somewhat excited for Dazzler to make her long-awaited first appearance, the casting call that could hint at a new Rogue joining the team is, admittedly, a little disappointing. Rogue’s surrogate father-daughter thing she had going with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, as well as her relationship with Iceman, were some elements that made those first two films so special. A recast seems a little uncalled for, especially with the impeding merger with the MCU.
6 Crossover with The New Mutants
What’s the last thing a movie wants to do when a franchise is calling it quits for bigger and better things in the next few years? A crossover of course! That’s right, despite Fox’s TV ventures for the X-Men largely have little or nothing to do with the bigger picture, it looks like New Mutants is eventually planning to crossover with the core series of X-Men film. This could happen during the course of the film’s planned trilogy.
With Anya-Taylor Joy (Split), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) joining the cast as Magik, Wolsbane and Cannonball, they’d make exciting additions to the current roster. But is this really a wise decision considering the mouse-shaped elephant in the room?
What’s stranger is the fact that, despite receiving a PG-13 rating, New Mutants will work within the horror genre, and was even given extensive reshoots to make the film more frightening.
If this ever comes to fruition, it’s going to be interesting seeing how two wildly different tones could come together. And if Deadpool enters the picture, there's no way a character with his sense of humor and ability to avoid death would work in a horror film.
5 Oscar Isaac Coming Back as Apocalypse
As weak, thinly-motivated and unmemorable some MCU villains may be, they’ve never stooped to the downright silliness of Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of classic Marvel foe, Apocalypse. Stomping around in a heavy costume, rambling on about cleansing the Earth and fighting his mutant opponents with… sand powers? Look, Oscar, you’re a great actor. We all loved you in Ex Machina and Inside Llewyn Davis, and you’re the best possible replacement for a rebellious Han Solo type. Just, maybe leave this role off the resume.
Although Apocalypse looked pretty gone at the hands of Jean Grey flexing her Phoenix powers, there’s every possibility that the Ivan Ooze lookalike isn’t quite gone for good. Given that the ‘life force’ of Apocalypse can transmit itself to different bodies, the X-Men should keep on their toes. At the very least, if Oscar Isaac doesn’t make his triumphant return to the series, the villain could at least show up in a different body.
It’s all hinging on how long this continuity goes on for, however, as we’re basing this on director Bryan Singer’s comments following the release of Apocalypse. Despite disintegrating Raiders of the Lost Ark style, Singer teased, “Is he gone? Is he dead?” Hopefully he is, and Fox can focus on introducing some more interesting foes.
4 Olivia Munn returning as Psylocke
As bad as Apocalypse was as a decidedly unconvincing, pantomime villain, Oscar Isaac at least gave it his all. Honestly, managing to spit out those outrageously hilarious platitudes about the future of mutantkind without laughing is some achievement. Sadly, the same can’t really be said about Olivia Munn’s Psylocke, who certainly managed to look great in the ridiculous outfit the studio made her wear, but wasn’t deemed convincing enough to be given more than a handful of lines.
Fans had been waiting on Psylocke’s appearance for some time. A punky version of the character (it was 2006 after all) appears in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, fighting alongside Magneto, though in a very minor role. The initial photos of Munn’s portrayal of the character for Apocalypse were promising, but, considering the crazy cast for that film, her role was sadly still just a small drop in an ocean full of mutants.
Although she’s not on the official cast list, it’s looking pretty likely that Munn will return to the role for Dark Phoenix. Given her less-than-impressive turn in Apocalypse, it’s not really a rumor to get excited about, although at least this gives her another chance to prove herself after that disaster.
3 Dark Phoenix could be using the Skrulls
The X-Men franchise has been ongoing for about eighteen years now and Fox have also played with the idea of releasing a good Fantastic Four movie, but sadly that’s never happened. Along with the mutant team and comic book history’s most famous superhero family, the studio also own the rights to Marvel’s most iconic alien race, the Skrulls. Criminally, they’ve never used them, but that could change with Dark Phoenix.
A green, reptilian humanoid species, the Skrulls are known for their ability to shapeshift into any form they choose.
Although they’re not able to absorb the abilities of the person they transform into, perhaps the most famous Skrull character is the Super Skrull, the result of an experiment that granted one lucky Skrull all the abilities of the Fantastic Four. Although Disney is using the Skrulls in the upcoming Captain Marvel (2019), being that the species is so intrinsically linked to Fox’s Marvel characters, we could see them show up in the X-Men series.
This report would make a lot of sense – Dark Phoenix apparently begins with the X-Men venturing into outer space and Jessica Chastain’s villainous role is described as a shapeshifter. However, two movies being released in the same year that feature two different versions of the same species does seem a little much.
2 Disney/Fox Deal Might Not Even Happen
When this deal was announced, fans were even more excited than Disney’s unprecedented deal with Sony to bring back Spider-Man to where he truly belongs. Imagine the possibilities. Not only could fan favorites like Wolverine, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four finally save the world alongside Cap and Tony Stark, it would mean that the MCU would finally be able to do all of that whacky cosmic stuff that previous films have tried and failed to do.
Yeah, Thanos is cool and all. However, wouldn’t you finally like to see Galactus, Eater of Worlds, finally appear in a movie, complete with his ridiculous horned helmet, where he wasn’t shrouded in space clouds?
Although this could all become a reality in the next few years, the deal isn’t looking quite as solid as it once does. For a start, it’s taken almost six months for the two companies to do, well, nothing. In addition to this, rival company Comcast have just thrown their hat in the ring to bid against Disney. Comcast are great and all (they own Universal Pictures), but they don't control the most popular franchise in the world right now, so fingers crossed this rumor doesn't come true!
1 Kevin Feige Doesn’t Have a Plan for the X-Men
Disney’s deal with Fox now seems so far away that, although Marvel boss Kevin Feige has some loose ideas for what could be done with the stacked roster of characters the MCU could eventually be playing with, he doesn’t really have a solid plan for what could be done once (if) Disney’s deal with 20th Century Fox actually goes ahead.
He revealed recently that “I really haven’t given it anymore thought than I did in my normal daydreaming over the last ten years.” For a man who plays with a superhero sandbox every day, we’re sure he daydreams about possibilities for the future a whole lot. There’s numerous storylines that could be drawn from the comics and told on the big screen, but, with the X-Men franchise currently in a bit of a mess, integration is definitely going to prove a challenge.
Feige is definitely wise to the press probing him for answers every time the smallest piece of news emerges about the MCU, and this could simply be his attempts to keep certain nuggets of information hidden from the public. Hopefully he's playing coy and has been keeping detailed notes about how the X-Men and Fantastic Four could work alongside the MCU heroes, because if all goes well, it could become a reality very soon!
Are you excited for the X-Men's future, or do you think they belong in the MCU? Let us know!