Although it started out as a normal film series, the X-Men franchise is now building its own cinematic universe beyond the main films. Wolverine has already gotten two (soon to be three) spinoffs, and next year Deadpool and Gambit will be leading their own in-world adventures. Although it’s been confirmed that all these stories will take place in the same continuity, it’s been unclear how much these characters will be interacting with each other - but now we’ve learned there will be official crossovers in the future.
Reiterating how everything in the X-Men timeline post-1973 has been reset following the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and therefore creating a new canon, executive producer Simon Kinberg told MTV that there are plans to "cross-pollinate" the characters from the upcoming spin-off movies. Said the writer/producer,
So the Gambit movie, the Deadpool movie will exist in a world that acknowledges whatever happened in Days of Future Past and moving forward. Doesn’t mean they’ll always interact with those characters, obviously, it’s not like every movie has all the characters, but they all have to exist within the same rules. There will be interplay between different characters in different movies.
While Kinberg’s comments don’t suggest we’ll see the X-Men franchise make a grand Avengers-style film anytime soon, any crossover is a good move on the studio’s part. One of the first examples of this cross-pollination is Colossus appearing next year in Deadpool. Despite being played by Andre Tricoteux rather than Daniel Cudmore, this is the same Colossus we’ve seen beating enemies with his organic steel fists in previous movies - though it’s unclear exactly how much of his history with the X-Men will be referenced in the Merc with a Mouth’s film. Then there’s Gambit, who was last seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Although those rumors of Gambit appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse were eventually debunked, it’s hard to imagine that Channing Tatum’s version of the Ragin’ Cajun won’t eventually hang out with his comic book teammates.
Following 2017’s untitled third Wolverine film (which will see Patrick Stewart reprising Professor X alongside Hugh Jackman), the future of the franchise isn’t set in stone, but Fox is already planning new ways to expand this universe. Currently there is a New Mutants film in development, and there has also been talk about an X-Force feature. Both of these titles could easily include established characters in main or supporting roles, and bring Deadpool and/or Gambit in to play. Cinematic universes are all the rage now, so any way that Fox can take their library of Marvel characters and have them teaming up with one another across these various stories will no doubt be pleasing to longtime fans.
Next year will be the biggest for the X-Men franchise yet, with Deadpool coming out on February 12, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27 and Gambit finishing things off on October 7th.