The very first big screen, live action X-Men movie was released in 2000. Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore and Anna Paquin, the movie was the first of todays modern superhero movies, that has since seen the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008's Iron Man and The DC Cinematic Universe with 2013's Man of Steel. After the release of next years Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse, 20th Century Fox's X-Men Cinematic Universe, which also includes this years Fantastic Four, will have totalled 10 movies, with more planned for the foreseeable future, but how much longer can this aging franchise continue.
Recently Hugh Jackman announced that his next outing as Wolverine in 2017's sequel to 2013's The Wolverine, which is expected to be an adaptation of the comic book story 'Old-Man Logan', will be his last in the role. Additionally and quite controversially, after repeated heavy promotion with X-Men producer Lauren Schuler Doner, and an appearance at this years SDCC it is looking likely that Channing Tatum may not be bringing X-Men fan favourite Gambit to the big screen after all; an announcment that puts the Gambit spin-off movie into uncertainty. Then of course there is the uncertainty of whether or not 20th Century Fox will want to pursue connecting this years Fantastic Four movie to the X-Men franchise, considering poor fan opinion of the project and especially after director Josh Tranks well publicized troubles with the movies producers.
"Say old chap, do you think it time we hung up our capes?"
Add to all this the low likelihood that the stars of the original X-Men trilogy would want to continue their roles for much longer, despite appearing in last years X-Men: Days of Future Past, or with some reprising their roles in next years X-Men: Apocalypse; Patrick Stweart is now 75, and his co-star and friend Ian Mckellen is 76. While the stars of the new prequel trilogy cannot feasibly star in many more films past X-Men: Apocalypse without stepping over the timeline of the original trilogy. Though what remains of the original trilogy is uncertain thanks to the (much needed) retcon of events depicted in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
It seems that, somewhat inevitably, 20th Century Fox's X-Men movie franchise is starting to wind down, with many stars leaving their roles due to old age and/or the whole franchises timeline becoming more and more intertwined and convoluted. In reality the future of the X-Men movie franchise now lays squarely and heavily upon the shoulders of Ryan Reynolds, with next years fan favourite Deadpool. While the trailer shown at the SDCC wowed the fans, the movie, which was green lit due to overwhelming fan support, is a highly risky prospect being the first R-Rated comic book movie, which will feature the title character breaking the fourth wall and relating directly to the audience throughout the movie.
Could X-Men: Apocalypse be the first X-Men movie to not feature Hugh Jackman's Wolverine?
While we hope that Deadpool can lead the way for more mature, adult-orientated superhero movies, we cannot help but feel that the movie production rights to the X-Men may return to Marvel Studios sooner than we think.
Logan March 3rd, 2017
More about Logan (movie)
Directed by James Mangold, Logan's release date is March 3rd, 2017.
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