EDITORIAL: Pitching X-MEN Movies In the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE (Part One)

Whether you're a fan of Fox's X-Men movies or not, there's no denying the possibility that Marvel Studios will reclaim the rights to the characters at some point in the near future. Well, staypuffed's here to pitch their first two X-films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

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By staypuffed - 7/7/2014


Before we get into the first part of this editorial, let me make something very clear — I am a fan of Fox’s X-Men films (well, most of them anyway). And I am not of the belief that Marvel Studios is perfect and everything they do is absolute gold. That’s not to say I hate their movies. I enjoy them a lot. But the so-overused-that-it-makes-me-want-to-bash-my-head-on-a-granite-bench saying of "give the rights back to Marvel!" is irritating and useless. Despite all of that, I’m going to contradict myself and make a completely hypothetical article from a fan’s — as well as a filmmaker’s — perspective. 

 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, eventually, the X-Men and all related properties will be with Marvel Studios. Whether that’s in ten years, or twenty, or more, we don’t know. But say Marvel retains the rights and now have the opportunity to integrate mutants into their cinematic universe. How would I, staypuffed, like to see them in this continuity? Well, as most of the MCU has done so far, I would use the source material but put a bit of a spin on it. Let’s break down the first two movies.
 

 

All-New X-Men (2019)


The title I have selected for the first film, All-New X-Men, acts not only as a reference to Brian Michael Bendis' current series of the same name (which stars the original teenage team in modern day), but also establishes that these are not the same characters as before but a reinterpretation of the team.

 

In the comics, mutants are born with the potential to harness super-powers, thanks to the X-gene of which the X-Men are named after. So far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have seen no superheroes born with powers — Thor is from Asgard, not Earth, so he is not technically human, and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch appear to have been given superhuman abilities thanks to Loki’s sceptre. So to have mutants pop up would be difficult to explain at this point. There has been talk of recasting actors (such as Robert Downey Jr.) due to age or contractual restrictions, so let’s theoretically say that after Avengers 3, there’s been a soft reboot of the MCU with some new actors or something like that, and mutants have been living in secret until now.

 

One of the things I would love to see on-screen is the original X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel) as exactly that. X-Men: First Class presented the early days of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, but had a mishmash of team members, with Beast being the only member of the comic book First Class in sight. It would be fantastic for Marvel’s first X-Men movie to focus on the teenage (or young adult) team, dealing with their newfound powers and the world’s distaste for mutantkind.



In ideal world, we would have Cyclops, aka Scott Summers, leading this group of mutants. As for the bad guys: I don't think that Magento should be the villain. In fact, I think he should only be mentioned by Xavier at some point. He's a hugely iconic villain that's already been played by two fantastic actors, and, like Warner Bros. with the Joker, are probably hesitant to revisit. Instead, Marvel could use the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (with the line-up of Mystique, Blob, Pyro, Rogue, Emma Frost and Sabertooth) under the command of Magneto.

If Avengers 3 arrives in around 2018, Marvel’s X-Men would take place in our present day (as in, 2014, or thereabouts), with our heroes being around 16-18 years old (this matters more for the sequels). Having a modern First Class is very different to the team’s early appearances in the ‘60s, so this would be the “bit of spin” I was talking about. With the Avengers out in the open, the world would react differently to super-powered beings, and while oppression is still a big theme in the X-staple, it wouldn’t be as heavy in this universe.



 

X-Men: Legacy (2021)


I considered calling the sequel Uncanny X-Men, but I don't know how that would fly with the studio and with the general public. It may sound great in our minds, but would filmmakers want to commit to/audiences be interested by the UNCANNY X-Men? I don't think so.

After focusing on the teenage team for the first film, the way I see Marvel progressing is to use the fan-favourite team of Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Storm. All of these characters have appeared, in varying capacities, in Fox's movies before, but since Logan has had most of the screen time there’s room to reinterpret the characters, making them more like their comic book counterparts. 

 

Both Jean and Scott would reappear, with the other three originals either making cameos or off elsewhere. Those two would act as our sense of familiarity, with a bunch of “new recruits” entering the school causing them to take leadership and have a sense of responsibility. Already, this is a more interesting character arc than what they (Cyclops mostly) have been given in Fox’s X-films. They have to try and organise these super-powered people, most of whom are much older and more experienced (Kitty is roughly the same age as Jean) but don’t necessarily operate in a team environment. 


 

In terms of relationships — Scott and Logan would, of course, butt heads (what leaders in the Marvel Universe don’t?), Kitty would be drawn to Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm would share a connection and Jean could bond with Kitty, seeing as though they are young women going through very similar things. Where the first film is about exploring powers, this second film would be about teamwork and responsibility. 
 

Since most viewers would be familiar with Magneto, the movie would not act as an introduction to the character, but would simply imply that Scott and Jean have already fought their greatest foe. He would be a little younger than Ian McKellan’s portrayal, and a lot more edgy — years of anger building towards humans cause him to attempt a major attack. His actions in the film would push mankind to become less trustworthy towards mutants, and Magneto’s reckless (fair in his eyes) behaviour echo the theme of responsibility (and the title of Legacy) I mentioned. Rogue, 

 

I imagine Marvel’s X-Men 2 ending with Captain America and Iron Man paying a visit to Professor X, Scott and Jean, concerned with what Magneto has done and the public’s view of super-powered beings, both mutants and Avengers. Cyclops doesn’t exactly enjoy being talked down to, as he is keen to prove himself as a confident leader of the X-Men. You can feel the tension brewing between Scott and Steve, whom he sees as a boy scout. They leave with a warning, Professor X reassuring them that Jean and Scott will work harder to stop Magneto whenever he strikes again, but Cyclops isn't too keen on being commanded. Some of you might be able to guess where this is going…


 

But that's for another day.
 

TL;DR: Avengers 3 provides a soft reboot to the MCU that now includes mutants. Marvel’s first X-Men movie features original five (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel) as teens/young adults, exploring their powers and going up against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Second film would introduce line-up of Scott, Jean, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine facing an edgy and dangerous Magneto, with a focus on character interaction and responsibility.

 

And that concludes the first part of the editorial! The second half should (hopefully) hit within the next week. If you have any suggestions as to how the X-Men could work in the MCU then please, leave your thoughts below. Of course, hitting that big red glove never hurts, especially if you enjoyed reading this (or just enjoy reading in general).


Related Content: 

Ranking the X-MEN Movies From Worst to Best

Pitching X-MEN Movies In the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE (Part Two) COMING SOON

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TheRedCondom - 7/7/2014, 5:03 PM
Great article bro!

I think for a rebooted X-MEN, a great villain to start off with would be Mr. Sinister
FastFlames - 7/7/2014, 5:07 PM
Hmmmm ok
MrBlackjack - 7/7/2014, 5:33 PM
When I think of "uncanny", I honestly start thinking about cans.
MrBlackjack - 7/7/2014, 5:38 PM
Anyway...

Great article! I'm fine (for the most part) with the X-Men properties at Fox, but the "soft reboot", or easy transition idea is actually great! The article looks fantastic too!
NightWatcher - 7/7/2014, 5:45 PM
*Hits Like button*
KingNTheKong - 7/7/2014, 5:51 PM
Great article!!!

One thing I want to see in the X-Men films is a super powered Civil Rights movement type thing. Everything from discrimination to prejudice. Imagine one of our main characters going in to a bar and for some reason their powers are displayed (but don't affect anyone in any way) and he/she are kicked out immediately. Despite them being with Marvel I'd like ot see the X-Men films take a darker turn than the Fox one's have.

Xavier would be compared to MLK and Erik to Malcolm X even more than they already have. The X-Men would participate in the march on Washington, the Brotherhood would be more like the Black Panthers are start killing mothasuckas!!!

Once again, awesome article!!! Hopefully your next article will be longer so I can read more of your ideas!!!
AlexanderLykins - 7/7/2014, 5:52 PM
Near future? You mean in like 20-30 years?
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 5:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far, guys!

@TheReddestHood
You've got some great ideas there. I didn't think too much on the ethical/social/political aspects of these movies, kinda just kept it brief with characters and whatnot, but that sounds very interesting. And yes, part two is definitely longer!

@AlexanderLykins
Who know? Anything can happen...
jmartinez986 - 7/7/2014, 5:58 PM
this is pretty good, could definetly see this as a way to incorporate the xmen into the MCU if marvel would find a way to make that happen..
CorndogBurglar - 7/7/2014, 5:59 PM
I like your idea for the first film.

For the 2nd film, they could pull a reversal and have the entire original team get captured, and only have Cyclops get away. Then he goes off and forms the New X-Men with Wolvie, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Storm.

Of course, the villain would be Sinister, and he has captured the team to run genetic experiments on them. This would also be in line with the way it happened in the comics, only instead of a giant, sentient island capturing the team, it would be an actual villain that everyone wants to see.

While the X-Men are held captive by Sinister, he discovers that Jean's DNA mixed with Cyclops' DNA would create a godlike mutant. When the New X-Men free the captive X-Men, it isn't Jean that gets rescued, its Madelyne Prior, and she and Cyclops go off and have a baby in between films.

For X-3, their baby is infected with a disease. They send the child to the future to be cured. Then Cable returns at the end of X4, just in time to take on Apocalypse.

Marvel, want to hire me? lol
AlexanderLykins - 7/7/2014, 6:03 PM
@staypuffed
Very true!
AlexanderLykins - 7/7/2014, 6:03 PM
@staypuffed
Great article by the way!
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 7/7/2014, 6:05 PM
I really like your idea Staypuffed. I agree with TheGreenCondom (lol). Mr. Sinister would be awesome.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 7/7/2014, 6:06 PM
TheReddestHood makes a great point as well. That was executed perfectly in the animated series.
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 6:09 PM
I should also add that at after the finale battle in X-Men: Legacy, I envisioned that Rogue would leave the Brotherhood, no longer believing in Magneto's methods and quest to pursue vengeance against humanity, and ask for solitude with the X-Men.
RorMachine - 7/7/2014, 6:12 PM
Great job..BUT, Marvel will only get the rights to these characters when, and more importantly if, Fox agree to sell them back -- and while they're raking in the $$ that's simply not going to happen. Someday? Maybe..but how many sequels and spinoffs do you think Fox can mine from the endless supply of comics that are out there and still being written? Exactly.
SuperCat - 7/7/2014, 6:14 PM
Great stuff! Enjoyed most of the X-Men movies as well. But won't be upset if Marvel gets a hold of the property sometime in the near future.
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 6:15 PM
@RorMachine
Thanks for that. I'm more aware than most that this probably won't happen any time soon. It's completely hypothetical. I imagine Fox will reboot before giving back the rights, like Sony.
DrKinsolving - 7/7/2014, 6:20 PM
Great Article, I like the recent x-men movies too, but I would love to see all these characters under the same roof and sharing the same universe
dethpillow - 7/7/2014, 6:21 PM
great article! i dig it. i've always wanted to see an original five movie and I hope they start with that. i think there's a real good chance they will. and i'd like to see the movies focus on the X-Men, not Prof X and Magneto and the Brotherhood. but actually focus on the X-Men.
sure, Charles is a part of that, but him and Magneto are so totally not what the X-Men is about. the X-Men is about the X-Men, surprisingly enough.
I'd rather there were 2 first five movies before they brought in the second version, which i agree with yours in the article. but the reason i always wish there were 2 is that it'd be better to feel like the original bunch were a close knit team, before they brought on the new team members. cuz they're kinda like the graduate students in a lot of ways. like still in school but working on a doctorate now or whatever else. but in reality, u can do that with one movie, also, and i don't think Marvel would want to put off bringing in the new cast, especially cuz there's so much more to get into after that.

but great article, right on. Fox already cannabalized parts of the Hellfire Club in First Class. so to me, there's never gonna be a Phoenix movie the way that I want it, cuz i've always seen the Hellfire Club as being a part of that. i don't think X-Men needs to come back right now, but someday in the future, that'll be really great to see a real deal Phoenix/Dark Phoenix set of movies, and see Patty Jenkins direct them.
Barchiel - 7/7/2014, 6:22 PM
As for titles, call it "THE UNCANNY X-MEN"...like the comics.
dethpillow - 7/7/2014, 6:29 PM
@RorMachine - i think the real way to get the rights back is to anticipate how CGI technology is going to improve in the next 15 or 20 years. Fox has live action rights. but Marvel has animation rights.

If Marvel could establish a precedent where their "animated" movies were using mocap as part of the "animation" process, say like they do for video game cutscenes often. But if Marvel could really establish as the way animation is going to work in the future, in 15 years that technology is probably going to be preferable for these type of movies. better and cheaper and more consistent than using filmed footage of actors like most movies are right now.

I think that's the way to do it the fastest. Fox has every reason to never sell these rights back. they're in a good position with them.

the bad part about the thing i'm talking about is it's probably who knows how long before any kind of mocap performance can rival real acting. if it's not a monster like Gollem or Hulk. if it's a human being. but who knows, stuff happens pretty fast now too.
dethpillow - 7/7/2014, 6:29 PM
how about the X-Men:Uncanned
Gromblidor - 7/7/2014, 6:30 PM
That's what I'm talkin' about!
TuckstheHalls - 7/7/2014, 6:31 PM
REAL actual articles, courtesy of StayPuff'd.
YOR - 7/7/2014, 6:31 PM
The only problem is that the whole prejudice/bigotry/xenophobia metaphor doesn't work in a world of Norse gods,irradiated gargantuans, and actual space aliens. The X-Men actually need Their own universe to play out Their unique brand of drama.
Spideyinthemcu - 7/7/2014, 6:33 PM
Hope this happens.
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 6:34 PM
@YOR
That's true, hence why both Avengers and X-Men are affected by one super-powered being's actions (Magneto). You'll see them both affected more in part two of this editorial.
TuckstheHalls - 7/7/2014, 6:36 PM
and, unlike Pasto, this is not at all plagiarized from a Tucks article
Jobu - 7/7/2014, 6:36 PM
Singer should hire you Staypuffed, great ideas. Watch your back though, he likes to sneak up from the backside....
SpiderFraud - 7/7/2014, 6:37 PM
I want more great editorials from you, bro.

typicalfanboy - 7/7/2014, 6:37 PM
it should be about mutants gaining acceptance in society. prof x gathers mutants to help them and train them to adapt to their powers and be in a safe place. each is given a code name, and costume. in a world that has accepted superheroes, why can't mutants just be...superheroes?

that's your angle. it's also from the comics.
Cumulactus - 7/7/2014, 6:43 PM
I am 150% sure that if that happened Marvel would fix everything that is broken.

I can't believe this, but I have been reading X-Men comics since before most of you were born. X-Men and Daredevil were my very first favorites. Now, because the of the crummy movies and print Marvel is all jacked up too I don't even like the X-Men much anymore. I buy old Marvel back issues every time I go to the comic book store. However, because I am so fed up with the movies I don't even buy back issue X-Men either. I have basically quit the X-Men because of what they have become.

So thinking about this is very pleasant. It's like dreaming the impossible dream. But I really don't believe it will ever happen.
sinsear912 - 7/7/2014, 6:46 PM
If marvel got the xmen rights back then we know who would be the next avenger!
TheActionAce - 7/7/2014, 6:49 PM
Hitting the Like Button
actionmoviefanatix - 7/7/2014, 6:53 PM
@YOR - It works in the comics. Why can't it work on film?

@staypuffed - Great work. I'd like to see these movies.
typicalfanboy - 7/7/2014, 6:53 PM
what has marvel really fixed? everyone is so eager to jump on the marvel bandwagon, but really the only good movies were iron man, the avengers, and captain america: the winter soldier. the others were throw away. sure they were good popcorn movies, but you could say the same about xmen tls, xo:wolverine.

i hate to defend fox, but they have succeeded with the xmen franchise.

xmen - paved the way for the modern marvel movie
x2 - made a great movie and adapted a story from the comics
xmen first class - great restart of the franchise, while keeping elements from the original
the wolverine - pretty great if you gloss over the last 20 min, that made no sense.
xmen days of future past - great sequel to first class, and bryan singer's movies, widely entertaining and possibly the most successful film of this year
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 6:59 PM
@typicalfanboy
Believe me, I'm definitely not jumping "on the marvel bandwagon". I really, really like most of Fox's X-films (as I mentioned in my introduction). This is just my version of how I would reboot the X-Men, and it just so happens the only possible way that can occur is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios has their flaws, and not all of their movies are amazing.
staypuffed - 7/7/2014, 7:06 PM
I'm thrilled so many people are on board with this. Thanks again, guys!

@SpiderFraud
Hopefully after I finish part two of this editorial, there are plenty more to come :)
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