5 Films That Could Be Next for the X-Men Franchise

With its introduction of the eponymous ancient mutant, X-Men: Apocalypse could very likely mark the end of an era for the Fox film series. Current stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender are unlikely to return for a fourth entry, and younger versions of original trilogy characters like Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey are set to make their debuts. Following the new film, the only X-Men films scheduled for release are spinoffs for Gambit and a third (and presumably final) solo film for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Here are five more places the franchise could go with future installments.

According to a source cited by ComicBookMovie, 20th Century Fox is considering teaming up with Marvel on a crossover movie deal, similar to what Sony did with Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. This means that some of the movies outlined below could feature characters previously only seen in the MCU.

1. X-Men: The Next Generation

'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Scene from X-Men: Apocalypse |  Fox

Since X-Men: Apocalypse nicely dovetails into introductions for some of the first mutant heroes to hit the big screen, it’s very possible that the films will turn their focus to younger actors like Tye Sheridan and Sophie Turner. These actors are already far less bankable (i.e. costly) as established stars like Lawrence, Fassbender, and McAvoy, and transitioning into their stories would help the films bridge the gap between the 1980s setting of Apocalypse and the “not-so-distant future” of the original X-Men.

2. Bring on X-Force

X-Force | Marvel Comics

For the past couple of years, a film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ X-Force – a mutant team that was an offshoot of the X-Men in the comics – has reportedly been in play with Kick-Ass 2 filmmaker Jeff Wadlow in line to write and direct. However, there has been no official release date announced and the project has seemingly been put on hold. If it does happen, it would likely involve Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and introduce time-traveler Cable.

3. So many spinoff possibilities

Jennifer Lawrence in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'
Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men: Days of Future Past | Fox

While the current ensemble may be a bit tricky to keep together considering the stars’ busy schedules, there’s always the chance that an entire film could be built around a single popular character. At this point, Lawrence’s Mystique is probably the most likely, but X-Men characters like Magneto, Nightcrawler, Quicksilver, and Storm have all led their own solo comic books at one point or another. So there’s no shortage of story possibilities that the team at Fox could draw from.

4. A proper sequel to the original trilogy

James Marsden and Famke Janssen in 'X-Men: The Last Stand'
James Marsden and Famke Janssen in X-Men: The Last Stand | Fox

Following the disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand, the closest fans have gotten to a proper follow-up to that 2006 release was the post-apocalyptic future of Days of Future Past. Now that the most poorly received X-Men film has been erased from continuity, the time appears to be right for James Marsden, Famke Janssen, and other members of The Last Stand cast to reprise their roles. With the warm response to how Days of Future Past ended, audiences appear to still be interested in seeing further adventures with the original group of actors.

5. An X-Men reboot

'Ultimate X-Men'
Ultimate X-Men | Marvel Comics

Rumors have circulated that X-Men: Apocalypse will close the curtain on Bryan Singer’s X-Men universe once and for all. If that’s true (and not simply an indication that Singer himself may move on), it could mean that Fox will take this opportunity to scrap the current incarnation altogether and attempt to start from scratch. Some fans have long bemoaned the convoluted timeline and inconsistencies throughout the films, and rebooting the franchise would give the studio a chance to plan ahead, since shared universe films were not mainstream as they are now.

Additional reporting by Nathanael Arnold

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!