It’s an exciting time to be an X-Men fan, that’s for sure. Logan hit theaters this weekend and though it does mark the final chance to see Hugh Jackman don the adamantium claws, it’s also one of the best comic book movies, ever, and without a doubt the franchise’s high point. Looking further ahead, there’s also New Mutants, X-Force and Deadpool 2 to start getting excited for. But what about the next entry into the main series?
Well, 20th Century Fox hasn’t made anything official just yet, but all signs point to it being called X-Men: Supernova and adapting the much loved Dark Phoenix Saga arc from the comics. Shooting is said to get underway this spring and though no actors have been confirmed, several of the cast members have expressed interest in returning, including James McAvoy. His Professor X is a crucial part of the franchise, but it seems that for the next film, things are going to be a bit different for him.
Speaking with Variety in a recent interview, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner revealed that going forward, the series will be moving away from the dynamic between Xavier and Magneto. “We cannot, once again, explore the Erik/Charles dynamic,” she said, which makes sense given how heavily the movies have focused on it over the years. Both in the original trilogy and the new one, the relationship between the two has always taken center stage and as Donner explains, “there are other stories to tell.”
That doesn’t mean McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto, will be pushed off to the side, but it seems that a new era is about to begin for the X-Men franchise, one that won’t include Jackman, Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen. And while it is sad to see them go, these films desperately need new blood and new ideas. The stale and underwhelming X-Men: Apocalypse more than proved that, did it not? It’s clear that 20th Century Fox is soft rebooting things and numerous hints were dropped throughout Logan that provided hints about which direction they plan to head in.
With Mangold’s film now out of the way, the studio will begin to turn their attention to the future of their X-Men cinematic universe, which means that we should start getting some concrete answers on what to expect quite soon. One thing’s for certain, though, and that’s that even despite the middling affair that was Apocalypse, there’s still a lot of life left in the X-Men franchise and from the sounds of it, the best is yet to come.