Before we had the DCEU, and before we had the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we had the X-Men franchise. 20th Century Fox's band of misunderstood mutants have remained a mainstay of the superhero genre ever since Bryan Singer's X-Men hit theaters back in 2000, and the series hasn't slowed down since. In fact, it now seems that the next installment in the X-Men series could begin production as early as this coming summer. Check out James McAvoy's Instagram post below to see for yourself!

James McAvoy's Instagram post doesn't necessarily confirm anything, but the fact that he says that he is excited about this summer (while meeting with Patrick Stewart and Simon Kinberg) seems like substantial evidence that the next X-Men movie will begin production later this year. It's not much to go by, but this could be great news for longtime fans of the X-Men franchise. I say bring on the next movie.

Few details have come forward regarding the actual plot of the upcoming X-Men movie, but most of the evidence that we have received points towards it being an adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga. Early rumors have suggested that the next X-Men film will film under the working subtitle Teen Spirit (because it will take place in the 1990s), but the final title of the movie might be X-Men: Dark Phoenix or X-Men: Supernova when it finally debuts. This would certainly line up with plot seeds that were planted during the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, as Sophie Turner's Jean Grey slowly started to embrace her hidden power. This allowed her to take on (and subsequently vanquish) En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), but it also opened up something inside her that could eventually lead to her downfall. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that this take on Dark Phoenix washes the taste of The Last Stand out of our mouths.

X Men Apocalypse Jean Grey Dark Phoenix

One other thing that stands out from this particular Instagram post is Patrick Stewart's presence in the photo. Could his older version of Charles Xavier make his way back to the X-Men franchise for the next installment in the series, or is he just hanging out will old friends? We will have to wait and see.

The promise of a new X-Men movie beginning production later this year is a fantastic development, but for now, our sights are primarily set on the future of the franchise's most popular character. While the entire team of mutants might begin filming their next adventure later this year, Hugh Jackman will soon don his adamantium claws for one more adventure as Wolverine when Logan hits theaters on March 3.

Want an even better look at the upcoming Wolverine solo movie? Check out a trailer for Logan on the next page to see Hugh Jackman's gritty, hard-R final adventure as violent, clawed anti-hero!

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