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If you've seen X-Men: Days Of Future Past (and we're assuming you have, because ALL SPOILER ZONE FROM HERE ON OUT), you know that the movie leaves the franchise in a peculiar place. Weirdly enough, it continues the idea that what we're talking about is three separate franchises, each one wildly different than the last. Because of the time travel shenanigans in Bryan Singer's film, these three separate X-Men timelines seem even less related than they were before.
We've decided to delve into the three worlds of the X-Men and discuss where they've left off following the events of Days Of Future Past. To be honest, there's a whole lot of questions hanging in the air, and we don't want to have to wait until 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse to answer them all. Here's a peek at each separate X-Men timeline as they currently stand.
The First ClassThe events of Days Of Future Past basically exist in this timeline, so there's nothing that has to be changed, but a whole lot that must be established. For one, we know at the end of the new movie that Xavier's School is eventually re-opened, and at least Professor Xavier, Beast and Wolverine live to populate it.
Beyond that, we don't know what's in store for either Magneto or Mystique. In the previous timeline, as we moved to modern day it became clear that Magneto's Brotherhood was the greatest threat faced by humanity. Has monkeying around with the timeline changed that, allowing for the rise of Apocalypse? The post-credits baddie, the world's first mutant, has participated in several scenarios in the comics where he has enslaved mutant and humankind, and with the new film taking place in the eighties, could we see that occur again? And might time travel come into the picture once again, leaving this continuity forever fluid?
Given that these films are soon to be clashing against the continuity of the older pictures, the school does eventually need to become a major element in this universe, and the guess is that X-Men: Apocalypse deals plenty with Xavier's recruitment of mutants. The question is, which mutants are those? Bryan Singer has spoken about Gambit and Nightcrawler showing up in the next one, though Nightcrawler's presence would very much undo what occurs in X2: X-Men United. And we'll certainly be seeing Quicksilver again. From a brief moment shown in
Whomever suits up could end up facing off against Apocalypse, the X-Men's most powerful villain. One of the ongoing motifs in the comics was Apocalypse enslaving certain characters and turning them into one of his Four Horsemen (who are briefly glimpsed in the post-credits sequence). Surely a big hook of the film will involve up to four of Xavier's students at least temporarily turned into Horsemen, most notably Wolverine. Perhaps they can try another version of Angel separate from the one Ben Foster played in X-Men: The Last Stand, shifting him into the visually-arresting Archangel.
The Modern CastYay, everyone lives in the modern day! And we might not ever see them again! In an interview with THR, Simon Kinberg claims, "We approached it as a final goodbye for the original actors." Of course, nothing is ever final, and he adds, "But to be totally candid, that's the way I approached X-Men: The Last Stand."
Fox has a July 18th, 2018 slot ready for a Marvel film which will most likely be an X-Men property. Could they return to an older group that includes James Marsden's Cyclops, Famke Janssen's Jean Grey and whomever else they can bring back?
Days Of Future Past wiped the X-Men series like a blank slate, but what did happen in those first three movies? Clearly the Phoenix Force did not seize Jean as it did in the third film, nor did it emerge when she sacrificed her life in the second film. It's also unclear as to whether Col. Stryker, the antagonist in the second film, is even a factor in the modern day. Is this even a world that hates and fears mutants at all? Is Magneto still a threat? Is Magneto alive?
Given that there are no immediate plans for this film, if it does happen you have to reason it would be without Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. Perhaps they take the path of the current comics, where Wolverine and Cyclops lead separate factions of the X-Men, one youthful and full of hope, one darker and more militant. It could be a great lead-in to the X-Force movie Jeff Wadlow is writing, which looks like it would veer heavily from comics continuity if it happens in the world established after Days Of Future Past.
The WolverineThis is the timeline that seems the most heavily influenced by Days Of Future Past. Wolverine wakes up at the end in the 1970's, picked up by Col. Stryker, just in time to conduct the experiments seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, a final twist: Stryker is actually Mystique in disguise! Finally, Wolverine gets his happy ending.
Doesn't make for a great movie, does it? Since Wolverine isn't captured and experimented on, his memory is simply splotchy, not totally erased. And since they don't have his dogtags, is he even referred to as the Wolverine? Does he ever go back to Canada at all? The events at the end seem to suggest that X-Men Origins: Wolverine never happened. Which means that The Wolverine never happened. Which means the third Wolverine coming on March 3rd, 2017 will be the second straight film in the series to basically ignore the previous ones. He's the best there is at what he does, but in the contemporary world, what does he do? Logan, or basically Jimmy now, wouldn't really have nearly as much angst as he used to.
Of course, you have options. Maybe we see that sliver of time between The Wolverine and its post-credits sequence, with Wolverine and Yukio traveling the world. Maybe this spinoff finds Mystique and Wolverine (who don't SEEM to be friends) going on adventures in the late seventies. Maybe it takes off right at the end of Days Of Future Past in the present/vague future, with Wolverine leaving the mansion to discover the world around him? Whatever the case, James Mangold doesn't have much time to figure out the story for a cuddlier, friendlier Logan that might just be borderline unrecognizable to fans of the character.