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20th Century Fox is fortunate having the X-Men mythology at its disposal. That area of the Marvel Universe is so populated that 17 years after the mutant cinematic franchise began, there are still plenty of new characters left to be introduced. With Hugh Jackman's Wolverine departing after Logan, Deadpool enjoying critical and commercial success and X-Men: Apocalypse setting up in a new beginning for the main series, the X-Men movies are entering a new era. Fox knows this and already has several movies scheduled for the near future, but they also have an idea for new teams they want to include: Alpha Flight and Exiles.
While speaking to Comicbook.com, longtime X-Men producer discussed the future of the franchise, and casually mentioned these two superhero teams that could be brought in somewhere down the line. He said:
We have a sense of where each of all of the existing characters go from Deadpool to New Mutants to the mainland X-Men movies to potentially even X-23. Then, there's other characters, like X-Flight, like Exiles... There's a lot of characters to mine going forward. We're still sort of in this phase where now we've completed the Wolverine story with Logan and we begin hopefully with New Mutants and eventually Gambit and continue with Deadpool.
Just to be clear, when Simon Kinberg said X-Flight, he was almost certainly talking about Alpha Flight, but that slip-up aside, these are some deep-cut characters that he's referring to, and that's a good thing. While the main X-Men series looks like it will be continuing, Deadpool and Logan (if early reviews are any indication on the latter) show that this franchise can refresh itself through stories not connected to the core X-Men team. It's unclear whether the plan is to give these teams their own movies or feature them in other spinoffs, but either way, their introductions would help expand the X-Men universe further, opening up corners probably not seriously considered a decade ago.
There have been several iterations of both Alpha Flight and the Exiles in the comics. Alpha Flight (seen above) is a Canadian superhero team that Wolverine was a part of before he joined the X-Men. Its lineup has included Guardian (previously known as Weapon Alpha and Vindicator), Northstar, Sasquatch, Aurora, Shaman and Snowbird. The team name was briefly seen on the computer Mystique hacked in X2: X-Men United.
The Exiles (seen above) are frequently comprised of characters who are from different universes, and its members have included Blink, Morph, Forge, Thunderbird, Mimic and Magnus. The Exiles could be especially beneficial to the X-Men franchise, because even though Fox doesn't have access to some of the members from the comics, using the available ones could open the door for alternate realities, a concept which hasn't been explicitly explored yet in these movies (unless you count the time-traveling shenanigans from X-Men: Days of Future Past).
The X-Men franchise will continue next Friday with Logan, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates how the other projects set in this universe are progressing.