On of the largest issues created by Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 hit, X-Men First Class (XFC), was its absolute mess when it came to X-men continuity. Was XFC connected to the Bryan Singer trilogy? Was it a reboot? Would there be an X-Men 4? All these questions and many others were leading the pack in the minds of many movie goers and fanboys alike. With the release of XFC we got one major answer…yeah, sort of. That should put things to rest, right? WRONG!
You have characters that appear in XFC, Havok specifically, who are related to people from the Singer trilogy and yet they aren’t even mentioned. How do you just ignore years of continuity in the comics (messy in it of itself) and create a splintered universe? Well if anybody has the capability to do something that block headed it would be Fox. So with the release of XFC we get to try and pretend that X-Men 1-3 didn’t happen, but we don’t want to because we liked that universe, minus part 3…we hated you part 3…seriously. So how do we move forward without further digging ourselves into the void and missing out of making an X-Men universe that has sound continuity and is fun to watch. I think Fox might just have a proper answer and it’s pretty much a genius move.
It is being reported the sequel to XFC will be based on the famous X-Men storyline, Days of Future Past. Here is a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:
The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men’s failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future.
So do you see the potential here? Well let’s take a look and see what we can do to make things a little bit more reasonable in the Fox created X-Men universe. In the original story Kitty Pryde is the one to go back in time. This is a problem considering we haven’t introduced her yet and that might take too much time. Remember, we have a universe to fix, no time to fuck around here. So we can change the time traveler to someone(s) else for speed. I suggest instead of Kitty Pryde we chose the original X-Men who aren’t in XFC. So the time travelers would be Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel and of course IceMan. So right away you have the full original X-Men team from the comics back together. Now you take the time to explain the future with the Sentinels and how Cyclops is related to Havok, etc. You can now play up the fact that Havok and Cyclops don’t like each other and that could make for some good sibling rivalry. So how do you handle Professor X and Magneto? Surely, we can’t just ignore Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s fantastic portrayals. Due to the fact that two universes are clearly now defined we can just look at those versions of Professor X and Magneto as being trapped in the future. Have those guys make cameos in the beginning and that would be a nice way to pass the roles onto McAvoy and Fassbender while respecting the former actors. In reality, I’m not so sure how long Stewart and McKellen would want to play those characters anyway, this is a proper out for them.
So now you have the original team: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and IceMan what about actors? I say recast all the ones from the Singer trilogy. IceMan and Angel were so poorly done that now it’s time to start fresh. Cyclops and Jean can be explained by the simple use of time jumping and that they are the Cyclops and Jean from before the events of X-Men 3. Its slightly convoluted but it’s really the only way to do it, or mention that the Phoenix force brought them back but that could be way too much. In addition to the original team (from the comics) you now have Havok and Banshee. This is a pretty good team. You have now buttoned up any issues between the fractured universe and brought in some crowd favorites. Wait. What about Wolverine, we liked him!? Don’t worry, he is the easiest of all. Remember the awesome cameo in XFC? That means he exists in the proper universe and you can pull him in at anytime. Hugh Jackman loves playing Logan so I’m sure a quick call to his agent will get him back to clawing something up in no time. The rest of the story can play just like the original Days of Future Past arc did in the comics. We now have the CGI potential to pull off giant Sentinels and everyone is clamoring to see that on the big screen so let’s give the people what they want. What Fox and Matthew Vaughn were able to accomplish in XFC will pale in comparison to what they could do to bring all their X-Men universe into continuity and give it a proper boot in the ass that time travel did for J.J. Abrams Star Trek.
Final word: At the end of XFC’s sequel all they need to do is say that the time travelers are stuck and just continue to move forward with future films.