Although the release of X-Men: First Class is still months away, fans are speculating and news is coming out about the future of Marvel's mutants in movies. Right now the most talked about ones are Deadpool and The Wolverine, although both have been hit by problems — namely Ryan Reynolds busy schedule with Green Lantern impacting Deadpool and for The Wolverine there is a search for a new director after Darren Aronofsky opted out. But there's more to the the X-Men film universe than those two, so let's look at all the X-related movie projects that been announced, as well as some that those in Hollywood should try as well.
X-Men: First Class II
The first film isn't out yet, and already the movie's producers have said on the record that they envision X-Men: First Class as the start of a trilogy. There's a wealth of stories to be told in the X-Men movie universe taking place in the 1970s and 80s. If they do these as period pieces with heart, and a great topical story, they could definitely work. I just hope Cyclops doesn't wear Ray-bans.
We've talked before about the prospects of this Wolverine sequel after the departure of director Darren Aronofsky, and it's more a matter of "when" as opposed to "if". Expect this to show up in your local multiplex in 2012 or early 2013.
There's been talk of a feature film based on Marvel's Merc With A Mouth going as far back as as the early 2000s, but all those hopes and ambitions solidified with the expert performance of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The screenwriting pair behind Zombieland were hired to write a script, and the script was sent to Robert Rodriguez who almost signed on the dotted line. As of now not much is known about this movie's current status, but all Deadpool fans — including the character's creator Rob Liefeld — are aching to see Deadpool on the big screen.
Back in 2009 Marvel Studios issued a public call for screenwriters to work up proposals for some movies including Cable, and not much has been said since then. With the entirety of the X-side of the Marvel U currently licensed out to 20th Century Fox, it's unknown if a Cable movie would spawn out of the X-Men film continuity or would be reborn sans his X-related past. For my money, I'd love to see them give it a chance — a time-traveling story of a man and his cyborg twin. I just hope they keep Cable as much older than the standard super-hero — Stacy Keach, this is yours for the taking.
This one's in the category of pure speculation, but what if movie producers went back to the uneven X3: The Last Stand and took Ben Foster in the role of Angel and hoisted him to a solo feature. Foster is one of the most talented members of young Hollywood, and Angel's story — as told through team books through the years — is a strong psychological tale. What if they refashioned Warren Worthington III with his silver spoon upbringing through the crucible of Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen and see what came out of the other side.
It's every Hollywood producers' wet dream — Super-Heroes meets Harry Potter. The idea of the next generation of X-Men in a school setting with a sprinkling of veteran stars from previous X-Men movies could be catsnip to comic fanboys and the movie-watching world at large. Although the vagaries of previous X-Men movies lay waste to the idea of a New Mutants cast perfectly in line with the original comic, I think they could fashion a respectable cast of characters — and child actors — to make this work.
Although she played a major role in the first X-Men film, her role diminished over the course of the remaining two movies — and it wasn't until the success of True Blood did actress Anna Paquin regain the spotlight. Although a Rogue comic series has failed to work for any discernible amount of time, there's an immense amount of story in her X-Men years to fashion into a unique and standalone series. Here's my idea — Anna Paquin starring in a standalone Rogue movie; you can even throw in Gambit, but only if you recast him with Vincent Cassel.