Gambit is not having the best luck. After years of losing directors, Fox tried to force the film into being by locking down a release date for the Channing Tatum-led film, which was soon dropped off of the release slate. Now, with the Disney/Fox merger mucking up the current future of the X-franchise, it seems like Gambit is a project that may never see the light of day.
With that being said, in our eyes, there are a number of characters and teams who deserve their shot on the big screen a little bit more than Remy LeBeau. While we have nothing against Gambit, there are already a number of properties that have been partially set up in the X-Men’s Cinematic Universe, including a number of characters we just want to see more of. Today we are going to take a look at a number of these potential spin-offs that we would love to see, mostly set in the current Fox timeline, though not beholden to it.
The perfect replacement for Jackman’s Wolverine, the female clone of Logan (Laura Kinney) was first introduced to us cinematically in James Mangold’s Logan, though we could see a different version of the character take her place on the big screen. The X-23 of the comics – though the character was first introduced on the X-Men: Evolution animated series – has experienced tremendous growth since her first appearance as a teen assassin. She worked alongside Logan for a few years before striking out on her own, eventually taking over the role of Wolverine after Logan’s death in 2014. With Jackman no longer appearing in the role of Logan – despite recent rumors he may return for a Marvel Studios appearance – Laura is the best bet for the studio if they are looking to move the franchise in a new direction.
Laura’s potential in the X-Men franchise is huge and could achieve the same level of stardom her comic book counterpart currently enjoys. Not to mention it would start the move away from Wolverine led X-Movies (at least until they reboot the character in the MCU).
There have been a few interesting iterations of X-Factor over the years, but building off the already established film continuity, this version would focus on the government-sanctioned mutant team led by Alex Summers AKA Havok, who we’ve seen in X-Men: First Class, Days of Future Past and most recently in Apocalypse, played by Lucas Till. Yes, that version of the character died, but what does that really mean in the superhero world? Usually joining Havok in X-Factor is his on-again-off-again girlfriend Polaris, along with Forge, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Multiple Man, Wolfsbane, and even Sabretooth and Mystique, at one point.
Havok’s involvement with a mutant government strike force is hinted at in DoFP, which only sets to lay the groundwork for an X-Factor spin-off. With Quicksilver also featuring in DoFP, the familial connections with Polaris, who is also the daughter of Magneto, could set up a very interesting family dynamic, while exploring some of the new characters on the team. It would also offer an altogether new look at how the US government deals with mutants on the big screen while expanding even further on the Summers family of characters.
Magneto is a character we have seen on screen quite frequently, so his inclusion on this list might be baffling to some. We’ve witnessed his origins, seen his friendship with Xavier and his eventual turn against his friend as they pursued separate dreams. However, there is still a huge story left to be told for Magneto, which could explore his evolution from mutant rights activist to full-blown supervillain. Over the course of the films, we’ve seen Magneto as an enemy to the X-Men as often as he’s been a friend, so a return to villainy would be much appreciated.
With such a great resource in Michael Fassbender, it would be interesting to see a movie dedicated to Magneto that follows the formation of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and exhibits the darkest side of Magneto that we really haven’t seen on the big screen yet. His most recent series in the comics by Cullen Bunn is a great indication of how the character can still carry his own book and just why he is, was, and always will be the ultimate mutant villain/anti-hero.
Yes. clearly, I have a deep-rooted obsession with the Summers family, that much is obvious. However, the potential adventures opened up by a spin-off film featuring the Starjammers is ridiculous. The Starjammers are a team of space pirates led by Major Christopher Summers AKA Corsair. Corsair is the father of Scott and Alex Summers, who was long thought to be dead by his sons. His team consists of alien adventurers named Hepzibah, Raza, and Ch’od, with a few other notable members like Lilandra, Binary (Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel), and even Havok, Polaris, and Rachel Grey/Summers AKA Marvel Girl have been members on occasion.
While the X-Men primarily fight for mutant rights on Earth, they also spend a great deal of time in space, usually dealing with the alien Shi’ar. The Starjammers would provide a foothold into a larger scale film universe we are hoping to see touched on in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix. If this film could lead to a potential encounter between the X-Men, Starjammers, and the alien menace known as the Brood, it would be entirely worth it.
Another character we have seen a lot of in the cinemas is Ororo Munroe AKA Storm, who appears in four of the five X-films played by Halle Berry. The character also appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse, although the role was recast to fit the ’80s setting of the film, with Alexandra Shipp taking over as Ororo. This opens the doors for not only a fresh face to take on one of the most popular mutants ever, but for her unexplored origins to finally make it to the big screen.
While Halle Berry has featured heavily in the original trilogy, her character was never really explored beyond the fact that she can control the weather. Tragically underused over four films, Ororo Munroe deserves her own spot to shine, and with Shipp taking over the role the future is looking bright to finally see Ororo done right. These next few years just might feature some big moments for the fan-favorite character.
One of the first spin-off comic titles of the X-Men, Excalibur put together a British superhero team that featured a few X-members like Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Phoenix (Rachel Summers). The team tackled a number of incredibly unique villains while rooting itself heavily in Arthurian mythology. The team also explored the Marvel multiverse in new and exciting ways that would translate beautifully on to the big screen.
With Nightcrawler appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee), his future in the X-Men Cinematic Universe could be very bright, and we hope that his colorful teammates in Excalibur will be making their way to the cineplex as well. Excalibur offered a number of great characters like Captain Britain, Meggan and Pete Wisdom, but it also provided a ton of character growth for Nightcrawler, who proved himself as a capable leader of the X-Men.
While we got a small taste of Bishop in X-Men: Days of Future Past, we didn’t see his origin or related stories touched on at all. However, there are a number of stories involving the time-traveling mutant that would translate well onto the big screen. Initially, Bishop traveled to the present day and joined the X-Men, and even policed the mutant neighborhood known as District X before he eventually went a little psycho and turned into a genocidal time-traveling villain, offering a number of ways to evolve the character more.
One of the more interesting storylines to feature Bishop saw the character lost in time and flung to the far future, where he was known as the Last X-Man. He faced off against his arch-enemy Trevor Fitzroy while further exploring his unique role as a member of both the X-Men and the XSE (Xavier Security Enforcers), which would introduce another level to the X-franchise. His role in DoFP only served as a tease for fans of the character, who demand more.
The X-Men have operated over the years not only as a superheroic mutant squad, but also a school for training mutants in the use of their powers.We have seen a number of classes at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, starting with the New Mutants (who are set to appear in the recently delayed film from Josh Boone) and featuring a number of interesting mutants who haven’t even been hinted at on-screen. New X-Men showcased a young team of mutants for the new millennium, who were put through their paces early on in their career.
The team really strengthened and came together after a series of tragedies, and featured characters like the aforementioned X-23, plus Surge, Hellion, Mercury, Rockslide, Anole, Prodigy, Pixie, and Dust. The unique team would offer a fantastic new direction for the X-franchise by throwing a number of new faces into the ring, even potentially spinning out of an X-23 film.
So while the Gambit spin-off film might be dead in the water, there are so many more interesting options to develop. What character or team do you think deserves their own spin-off? Let us know in the comments section below!
Images: Marvel Comics