Fox has made their move in the great superhero movie arms race: last week they announced 2017 release dates not only for a third Wolverine and a second (also fourth!) Fantastic Four, but a 2018 berth for a "mystery" Marvel movie. Unlike Marvel Studios, who own a plethora of original characters and thus a bevy of potential franchises, Fox only owns X-Men and Fantastic Four properties.

Of course, within those properties are dozens of potential spinoffs. Sony is really pushing it by turning the Spider-Man villains into potential tentpole stars. But the X-Men series holds infinite mutant possibilities for a number of strong characters. And while The Fantastic Four are just re-starting their mythos, the core group have several satellite affiliations that could make the transition from the page to the silver screen. The question remains: who will we see in 2018? Here are six strong possibilities.

What Is It? The X-Force were a paramilitary group of mutants who did the dirty work black ops missions required to keep the peace between mutants and humans. The roster has fluctuated wildly over the years, with some current and former X-Men among the group. Their frequent leader has been the time-traveling mutant Cable, who in some timelines is the militant son of Cyclops.

Why This Might Be It? Earlier last year, Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow was hired to pen this action spinoff of the X-series, and since then there’s been speculation about the group’s roster. While we know nothing about the project, comments made by Wadlow suggest that this would take place in a contemporary setting, which means it would be happening at roughly the same time, or a little after, the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Why This Might Not? The implication also seemed to be that Wadlow would direct the film: after Kick-Ass 2 was trashed by audiences and critics, that seems in doubt. The question is, how closely would the events of X-Force be related to The Last Stand? Would X-Force be an offshoot of the currently leader-less Xavier’s School For Gifted Mutants? If not, how do you keep people from wondering what’s going on over there while this splinter group undergoes missions?

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