The MCU X-Men: Why Marvel Studios Needs to Bring This Director Back for the Upcoming Reboot
Everyone knows the X-Men are coming back to the big screen. It’s simply a question of how. Some fans believe the mutants will sweep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe from another dimension. Others believe the MCU X-Men have been hiding in plain sight this whole time.
Whatever the case, the MCU X-Men are definitely well on their way. And Marvel needs to tread carefully to introduce them in just the right way. With such a rich big-screen history, the previous X-Men series reveals one filmmaker who is perfect for the job.
The director of ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ is willing to return
Over a dozen movies, several filmmakers got to work with the Marvel mutants. The most recent, Simon Kinberg, was actually involved in several X-Men productions. Kinberg served as a writer and/or a producer on seven films in the series. Then in 2019, he finally got to direct X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Now Kinberg is up for returning for the MCU X-Men, he told IGN.
I love the X-Men. They were my favorite comic growing up.. for a lot of reasons, wanting to fit in growing up and being a bit of an outcast as a young teen, X-Men really spoke to me. It’s something I’ve always loved. … I’ve dedicated a whole lot of my life to it and could imagine doing it in a fresh new way. That would be exciting.
Unfortunately, X-Men: Dark Phoenix was a critical and commercial bomb. So the MCU isn’t likely to bring Kinberg into its version of the mutant team. Besides, he made his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix. And Marvel Studios will certainly want to bet on a more established director for the MCU X-Men.
But the MCU ‘X-Men’ could turn to a filmmaker from the series’ past
Most of the other directors who’ve touched the X-Men franchise aren’t the best fit right now either. For its vision of the characters, the MCU X-Men needs a filmmaker who can inject new life into the team. Why then doesn’t Marvel Studios hire the man who already did just that nearly a decade ago?
After X-Men: The Last Stand ended the initial trilogy, Fox opted for a “soft reboot” set decades earlier. 2011’s X-Men: First Class shifted the focus to a younger Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). In the process, director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service) ultimately got closer to the essence of the comics.
Placing them within real-life history, Vaughn’s X-Men played into the social and political commentary inherent in the characters. But it also stayed rooted in character, picking up discarded threads from a canceled Magneto origin film. Moreover, X-Men: First Class was the first to embrace the comic book aesthetic of Marvel Comics and the MCU itself.
Would Kevin Feige bring Matthew Vaughn in to reboot the X-Men?
Vaughn has plenty of experience working on comic book movies. As his dedication to the Kingsman series proves, he is willing to commit to an ongoing franchise. Vaughn directed both the first two Kingsman movies and its upcoming prequel. And he is attached to one more to round out the main Kingsman trilogy. Presumably, he’d then be free to take on the MCU X-Men.
Would then Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige be willing to bring Vaughn back into the X-Men fold? The MCU hasn’t yet hired a filmmaker who worked on a previous version of a property to tackle it again. The closest we’ve seen so far is Spider-Man director Sam Raimi’s upcoming work on the Doctor Strange sequel.
But Vaughn does fit all the qualifications the MCU X-Men should be looking for. After all, the James Bond franchise hired the same director to launch two subsequent eras in Goldeneye and Casino Royale. Why can’t the X-Men follow suit?