A large, interconnected cinematic universe has been the dream of every movie studio ever since Marvel’s Avengers made a billion dollars, but replicating Marvel’s formula has proven problematic for rivals like Warner Bros’ DC movie universe, which has suffered from poor fan reception to films like Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, and which seems to be making up the plans for the DCEU as it goes along. Sony gave up plans for Venom spinoffs and Spider-Man sequels and just basically started letting Marvel make their movies for them. It turns out, maintaining a coherent shared superhero universe is kind of hard.
Perhaps the company with the most promising chances making it work is Fox, with its X-Men franchise. Though not all of the X-Men movies are hits with fans — X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and X-Men: Apocalypse received less than stellar responses — the franchise is still going strong, with a successful launch of Deadpool as an ongoing R-rated film series last year, and a lot of anticipating heading into the release of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final Wolverine film, next week.
And the future is looking even brighter for the X-Men Cinematic Universe (XCU). In development from Fox are a sequel to Deadpool, an X-Force movie, a New Mutants movie, a Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum’s abs, and probably another X-Men core franchise movie, tentatively titled X-Men: Supernova and expected to adapt the Dark Phoenix Saga, but not in a way that sucks like X-Men: The Last Stand did. But could Fox’s XCU be trying to accomplish too much too soon?
A new report from ComicBook.com, who had a five minute conversation with X-Men producer Simon Kinberg last week and has been breaking every sentence up into a separate news article, claims that the next properties up for development could be Alpha Flight and Exiles. “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,” Kinberg said. “Then, there’s other characters, like X-Flight, like Exiles… There’s a lot of characters to mine going forward.”
Though Kinberg appears to have mixed up the name of Canadian mutant team Alpha Flight, it’s clear that he’s looking to the future, but when it comes to Alpha Flight and Exiles, though the comics had dedicated fanbases while they were being printed, neither is able to sustain an ongoing series these days, and their appeal could be limited, though the right script, director, and cast can make a huge difference. The problem comes in where Fox goes after those films. Will we see an Adam X The X-Treme movie next? A Beak solo film? An adaptation of Chris Claremont’s epic Dinosaur Rachel story?
Our advice to Fox and Simon Kinberg: slow down, bros. Don’t overreach. Concentrate on capitalizing on the momentum of Logan and Deadpool and make that next X-Men film not a turd, and then we can talk about what comes next after that.