When Disney bought Fox, the first thought among many a Marvel fan was “Yay, now the X-Men can be part of the MCU!” But then the final Fox X-Men film, Dark Phoenix went out with a giant whimper, and now it seems like fans aren’t quite as anxious for the next X-Men movie.
Oh sure, if we get one, so much the better. But there’s a school of thought that says maybe the franchise would be better served by the small screen. Look what happened to Star Wars. The level of satisfaction with The Mandalorian was considerably higher than The Rise of Skywalker.
The X-Men really got the superhero craze going
Batman and Superman may have gotten their first, but it was really the X-Men who made superheroes rule the movie landscape. When X-Men came out in 2000, it had been 20 years since there was a decent Superman movie, and people were still getting over the stench of Batman and Robin.
Spider-Man was still a couple of years away, so when people saw X-Men, they thought, “Wow, we can have a movie with a ton of superheroes in it instead of one or two.” The multiplex has never been the same since.
The franchise chugged along, churning out movies that most people liked. X2 was considered superior to the first. X-Men: The Last Stand wasn’t, but it still made a ton of money. Then came reboot time with the well-received X-Men: First Class, followed by the reboot/sequel Days of Future Past.
But then audiences seemed to tire of the mutants. The Wolverine movies didn’t make much of a dent until Logan. X-Men Apocalypse did solid business, but to many it felt like too much “been there, done that.” Dark Phoenix got kicked around the schedule so many times that when it finally came out, it wasn’t that surprising that it didn’t even make $100 million here.
Another movie Fox had planned, The New Mutants, seemed like it would stay stuck on the shelf for good, or it might be released on Disney+ first.
Why fans want the X-Men on the small screen
Then along came Disney+ with its promise of Marvel TV shows. While there had been no plans for the X-Men on the big or small screens, some fans on Reddit got to thinking that maybe X-Men would be better if the screen size shrunk.
When a topic-starter asked, “What Marvel property do you want to see be a Disney+ show rather than a movie” more than one fan suggested some variation of X-Men. One person said, “X-Men. Just an episode for episode remake of the ’90s animated series.”
Another said, “Honestly not even as a remake of anything, but I would love them bringing in X-Men primarily as a series instead of theatrically, but still have some characters be in the movies like Rogue and whatnot.”
What’s the future of the X-Men?
As of right now, there are no known X-Men movies or shows in the pipeline. But perhaps a series would better serve the X-Men than the movies did. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of X-Men, but the movies always focused on the same dozen characters or so.
A TV series would allow fans to see mutants who don’t normally get more than movie cameos. It could expand the franchise and possibly feed ideas for future movies.
As for the movies, at least one part of the franchise will finally get a reprieve. Disney finally plans to release The New Mutants to theaters in April. That seems like a vote of confidence considering the movie was supposed to come out two years ago. When Maisie Williams made it, she was still in the thick of Game of Thrones, and now that show has come and gone.
It’s hard to say how well The New Mutants will do, but at least there’s still some life in the franchise, even if it was on life support. There has been some thought that the MCU X-Men could emerge from The Eternals. Perhaps next year we’ll see if that pans out depending on how well that movie does after it comes out in November.
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