Earlier this year, X-Men: Apocalypse not only concluded the "First Class" trilogy that began in 2011, but also ushered in a new "beginning" for the X-Men franchise. That said, the future of the main X-Men movie series hasn't been quite cemented yet. Director Bryan Singer has talked about making another X-Men movie, one that would be set in the 1990s and also potentially take the mutant heroes into outer space, but such a movie hasn't been officially green-lit yet. Because of that, it's probably a good idea if 20th Century Fox stopped making main X-Men movies for a while and left expanding this universe to the spinoffs already in the works.
Let's look at where we left off with the mutant protagonists at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. A newly-bald Charles Xavier finally established an official X-Men group to protect both mutantkind and humanity from threats. It seemed like a great fresh start for the series, right? The problem is that thanks to the optimistic future seen at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, we already know that not only will events in this new timeline play similarly as in the original movies (albeit with a few significant changes), but many of the lead characters will still be alive in nearly 40 years. These primary characters have had enough time to shine, and while it would be nice for their "First Class" counterparts (specifically the ones introduced in Apocalypse) to get a little extra screen time, it'd be better to focus on other, less-represented players.
The other problem is that the main X-Men movies have retread so many of the same story beats and themes over the last 16 years. Humanity hates mutants, Magneto believes mutants are superior race, he and Professor X will get into an argument, etc. There's nothing necessarily wrong with these elements, but they're starting to grow stale. It'd be foolish to believe that Fox will never make another main X-Men movie again, but the studio would be wise to step away from it for more than five years so that they can take a step back and think of some fresh ideas for these famous heroes that doesn't re-explore/re-tell adventures and ideas that we've already seen multiple times in the original and "First Class" movies.
Fortunately, the X-Men-related spinoffs can fill in the gap left over for the near future. Sure, Hugh Jackman is concluding his tenure as Wolverine next year, but Deadpool has taken his spot as the new popular solo X-Men character, delivering both action and humor not appropriate for children. The Merc with the Mouth, along with his partner Cable, can then pave the way for the X-Force, the militaristic team of hardcore mutants. There's also New Mutants, which will feature another team of teenage mutant superheroes under Professor Charles Xavier's care, so it's not like fans will be without a more traditional lineup of superheroes. Plus, if New Mutants ends up being set in the '90s, then we could still see established characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm involved, though probably not in major roles. Gambit is dealing with its own problems getting off the ground, but if those obstacles can be overcome, then the Ragin' Cajun can open up his own corner of the X-Men universe. So it's not that Fox should abandon the X-Men franchise altogether, it's just that they need to spend less time traveling down the main road and spend more time traversing those side paths.
Do you think the main X-Men series should keep going or should the spinoffs just be continuing this franchise? Let us know in the comments below. Don't forget that X-Men: Apocalypse is also now available on Digital HD (opens in new tab), with the Blu-ray/DVD release following on October 4.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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