Fox’s X-Men franchise appears to be at a bit of a crossroads, following its dual releases of 2016. Though Deadpool proved to be one of the year’s biggest moneymakers, X-Men: Apocalypse disappointed fans and critics alike. Given the enormity of the Marvel mutants’ comic book history, there are infinite possibilities in play, but to our eyes, only one that makes sense from both a creative and business standpoint.
Now that Deadpool has been established as a major big-screen attraction, Fox needs to parlay that success into a reboot of the entire X-Men series. Here are 10 reasons why this decision would work.
10. Deadpool already reboots Colossus and the X-Men
Fans already met Colossus in three previous X-Men films, but when he appears in Deadpool, he bears little resemblance to actor Daniel Cudmore. Instead, the character emerged as all-CGI. Since the film already retconned one X-Men character (and introduced an entirely new uniform design to boot), why not go all the way?
9. The time has come for a fresh approach
When Logan hits theaters this March, the previous X-Men continuity will have gone through nine films. That’s an admirable run, but seeing as that total is pretty evenly split between releases that fans and critics love and those they loathe, perhaps the time is right to try something new with the iconic Marvel heroes.
8. Deadpool opens the doors to X-Force
Rather than revisit the past, Deadpool is clearly leading audiences down the road to a very different iteration of the X-Men franchise, namely the more militaristic X-Force. Cable and Domino are already set to appear in the sequel, and an X-Force film is in active development. There’s little reason at this point why future films should be shackled to the past.
7. A new opportunity to tie into Marvel Studios films
If Deadpool does mark the start of a new X-Men franchise, it would be very easy for Fox and Marvel to strike a deal to bring the mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since only Ryan Reynolds would be in place. This would leave Marvel Studios some leeway to cast its own version of iconic characters like Wolverine, Magneto, and Professor X, just as it has done with Spider-Man. Sure, it’s a long shot, but we can dream, right?
6. Freedom to reimagine iconic heroes and villains
Regardless of whether or not that dream deal between Fox and Marvel ever happens, starting fresh from Deadpool onward gives Fox the freedom to recreate many of the most popular characters from the comics. Fans have long criticized how the films have gotten so many of the character depictions and relationships wrong, and the convoluted timeline of the series has only made things worse. Time for a clean slate, we think.
5. Logan marks a solid conclusion to this era
As mentioned above, the X-Men films (Deadpool aside) will be nine films in once Logan is released. The future setting and dour, melancholy tone of James Mangold’s film feels like an epilogue to it all, following Wolverine and Professor X in perhaps their last story. The fact that it’s likely to be the last film to feature Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in the lead roles, makes it all feel that much more like the end of an era.
4. Fans are over Bryan Singer’s direction and style
While he has directed some of the most successful films in the series, Bryan Singer has always faced criticism for his take on the material. After nearly two decades of his vision, it might be a refreshing change of pace to give another filmmaker a chance to reinvent the world from scratch, untethered by Singer’s work.
3. Both original and prequel trilogies are complete
In addition to Logan bringing the Wolverine trilogy to a close, the release of X-Men: Apocalypse last year brought the First Class trilogy to an end. Though there has been talk that another film could continue following Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey into another shot at the Dark Phoenix saga, perhaps Fox would be wise to cut ties with that storyline after the lackluster financial and critical response to Apocalypse.
2. Ryan Reynolds makes a great franchise poster boy
Much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe was wise to use Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark as the foundation on which to build an interconnected universe, Ryan Reynolds is equally as well-suited to serve as the franchise ringleader for a rebooted X-Men universe. The actor stuck with Deadpool for nearly a decade of development and remains incredibly enthusiastic about playing the character for years to come. Moreover, he’s so damn perfect for the role and has enough charisma to help Fox develop something really special around him.
1. There is no better film to serve as the series’ foundation
Seeing as the moderately budgeted Deadpool went on to become the highest-grossing entry in the X-Men film series, is there a better film to serve as the launchpad for something daringly new and different? The character’s a fan favorite who is now as recognizable to moviegoers of all ages as Wolverine and is as beloved by some mainstream moviegoers as Captain America: Civil War. If Fox hopes to keep making X-Men films in the foreseeable future (and they do), this is the best shot they’ll get to begin anew.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
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