With the recent hubbub surrounding the Disney/Fox buyout I figured it would be appropriate to discuss a very specific matter that has people on two different fences. Should the X-Men continue on as they are or reboot to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Some have argued that it most definitely is in need of a reboot after the middling results of X-Men Apocalypse while others have strongly stated that it would be a mistake. Now here is my answer to that question as to what side of this question I fall under. I do in all honesty oppose the idea of a reboot.
Let me better explain myself now. These X-Men films are what got me into comics, particularly Marvel stories like God Loves Man Kills, Days of Future Past, and X-Men. They are the heroes I grew up with and wanted to be like because I could relate to some of their struggles of being an outcast by the majority of people and as a nerd who loves comics before it was popular to be an open fan or reader of them. There’s just too much iconography that exists now that’d go all down the drain if there’s a reboot. All the work put in by people like Bryan Singer, Matthew Vaughn, James Mangold Tim Miller and others will have been all for naught. From Jackman’s Wolverine to the famous John Ottman theme that’s been used in most of the films since X-2. It’s always been a delight to sit back and watch them because of all of the established stuff that we know fans generally already like and generally rake in a profit and critical acclaim, bar X-Men The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine which in all honesty were the only rotten apples in the bunch. The franchise has generally made up for it with the other films.
Here’s the other thing about this franchise that I think people are admittedly taking for granted amidst all of the hype coming as a result of the merger. This franchise was breaking ground long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was ever around and frankly has been thriving since the year 2000, which would make it the second longest running series next to Mission: Impossible. It also was the first to make true blue genre appropriations for a lot of it’s films compared to most other comic book movie franchises that claim to do so but really aren’t. Logan really did feel like a dark western in the same vein as Unforgiven. First Class was a 1960’s spy thriller which came out before the MCU really even kicked off. Deadpool was a superhero romantic comedy. The New Mutants is looking like an incredible haunted house horror movie. To throw all of this out to fit into recent continuity would just be a disservice to the fans of this franchise and to fans of the X-Men as a whole.
It’s clear that the MCU does not need the X-Men and the X-Men will never need the MCU. Yes, it would be great to see Wolverine fight alongside Captain America and I’d be lying if I didn’t think I’d be happy to see that. However, given how both franchises have been set up I think it’s best that we all put aside our lust for fan service aside.
Narratively speaking there would also be impossible challenges when it comes to even attempting to integrate the X-Men into the MCU. The X-Gene as a whole is something that has been around for a long time in the comics which largely means that the mutants have too. Where would they have all been this whole time in a universe that has in large part put it’s best efforts to sell the audience on the Inhumans since Agents of SHIELD and in the Inhumans series as “discount” X-Men? I sincerely doubt someone like Magneto who is known for his theatrics and hatred of humanity would just sit tight and hide in the shows for decades?
On a financial front, this franchise is still profitable. It would be an actual loss on money if Disney just chose to wipe that slate clean. To add context, Deadpool was a sleeper hit that nobody expected to make as much as it did due to it’s R-rating. It was a film that was nearing $800 million despite not making a debut in China, which is a critical country that generates the most money globally for a movie. The studio certainly turned a profit and on a spin-off project that they didn’t have fully vested faith in, no less. This would soon be followed by this year’s Logan, which cleared $620 million global which also had an R-rating attached to it. You could definitely say that this franchise is a lot like the mutants that are featured in it. They evolve and can really only ever get better and stronger. The goodwill generating from those films is definitely going to prove beneficial for The New Mutants and Channing Tatum’s Gambit once we start to see and hear more about those films respectively.
As for the team productions like X-Men: Dark Phoenix, it’s uncertain where that could lead with an untested director in Simon Kinberg. One thing is for certain though to me. By the time this deal does kick into effect I think that the Fox X-Men franchise will reach it’s second highest point since X-2 with shows like Legion and The Gifted and the clear diversity that we’re seeing more of with it. With all of this, I would hope that Kevin Feige reconsiders his potential plans for assembling his own Extraordinary X-Men even if it would be an understandable undertaking to show that these properties are under new management. It would be a much wiser approach if they actually work towards embracing what material is already there to further the agenda and objectives of the current franchise which includes continuing with a lot of the planned projects and beyond versus putting it out to pasture and killing it from both a creative, critical, financial, and consumer viewpoint.
What do you think should happen to the X-Men? Let us know what you think in the comments section down below! If you want to see more content make sure you subscribe to Up Your Geek.