Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Which X-Men Get Their Own Films?

So, after the less-than-stellar performance of "X-men: Apocalypse," but the overwhelming success of "Deadpool," it looks like the "X-men" cinematic universe is alive and well, but the actual "X-men" film series may need a break.  The second trilogy of X-films, that takes place in the past, can't really advance without running into significant continuity issues with the first trilogy, that takes place in the present. Then again, there are already continuity snafus everywhere you look.  With a third "Wolverine" solo feature on the way, "Gambit" with Channing Tatum pretty far long in the pipeline, and more "Deadpool" a dead certainty, FOX is already pursuing the spinoff strategy.  I think the "X-men" universe is big and diverse enough to support all of them, and a few more.  So what other characters do we want to see get their own films, before they all inevitably team up again?  Well, here's who I'd pick.

Quicksilver - This is the obvious one, since Quicksilver has been at the center of knockout effects sequences in the last two "X-men" films.  Since the "Avengers" quickly dispatched their version of the character after only one outing, there should be much less of an issue with confusing the two.  On the other hand, while Quicksilver makes a great secondary character, he may not work in larger doses.  Then there's the whole Scarlet Witch can of worms.  Also, keep in mind he's got some competition coming in the form of DC's similar Flash.

Magneto - The nice thing about the second "X-men" trilogy is that so much time passes between each installment, there's plenty of narrative space for the characters to have other adventures during the breaks.  So the young Magneto played by Michael Fassbender could have been having all sorts of adventures.  A Magneto spinoff was actually in the works at one point at FOX, and some of the material was incorporated into "First Class."  I'd love to see more Nazi hunting, more encounters with other mutants, and more globe-trotting.

Storm - At this point I don't care who plays her, but I want a Storm movie.  She was always one of my favorites from the cartoons, having such great, theatrical presence.  She was one of the first major black superheroes, and if we're getting a Black Panther movie, then we absolutely need a Storm movie too.  And I'm hoping Marvel and Fox can come to some agreement so we can see those two together.  And then there's Storm's primary adversary, the Shadow King, a villain with loads of potential who I'd love to see onscreen.

Rogue - Anna Paquin's timid teenage Rogue isn't the one I grew up with.  The Rogue I remember is a brassy Southern belle who's always up for a brawl, maintains an epic on-again, off-again relationship with Gambit, and has some really nasty skeletons in her closet.  And that's the version of the character that I always wanted to see in the movies.  Enough time has passed that Paquin could play the older Rogue, or someone on the path to becoming that person, but the character might benefit from recasting and a full reboot.    

The White Queen - Okay, the consensus seems to be that January Jones was a poor choice to play Emma Frost in "First Class."  I didn't have an issue with her performance, but I wish we'd seen more of the character.  She's one of the most interesting figures in the "X-men" universe, a major villain who switches sides eventually, like the current version of Mystique, and ends up leading her own team of mutants.  She's got a long, twisted history, and there's a lot of moral ambiguity to her that's well worth exploring in more depth.

Longshot - And here's where I get nerdy.  I'd love a movie about the Mojoverse, which is essentially a world run by a villain named Mojo, who is a network television executive gone insane in the body of a giant alien slug.  His primary programming is gladiatorial battles waged between captured or coerced combatants.  Think "Hunger Games," with a much funnier, nastier satirical streak.  The hero is one of Mojo's performers, Longshot, who starts a rebellion, escapes Mojoverse, and eventually ends up one of the X-men.  


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