Michael Devine is back with some ideas on how Marvel Studios could easily bring the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Take it away Michael.
Not that anyone’s asked me, but it seems almost certain that there will be no traces of Fox’s X-Men brought into the MCU. I’d be willing to be that even Deadpool will be purged of any Fox residue, someway somehow.
So, the question is how to relaunch the X-Men without reminding viewers of what came before. Here is a framework that would work.
1. Rethink Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters
It’s been portrayed by Fox as something fancy and proper and “old money.” A sprawling mansion filled with expensive woodwork. This is in keeping with the comic books, but it’s time to let that go to give it its own life within the MCU. Instead of that concept, make it a more industrial setting. Think of a trade school or technical college. A small utilitarian campus with simple and non-elegant cinder block buildings. Maybe even a zombie strip mall or an old warehouse. Also, say goodbye to New York. Relocate to the southwest or Chicago.
2. Fewer students
Fox introduced us to a point at which Cyclops and Jean Grey were all ready teaching at Xavier’s. Scrap that and make them the first students, along with the other original founding X-Men (Iceman, Beast, and Angel). This might be problematic, as the original five were all white and wider diversity would be more reflective of contemporary America. Redhead Jean Grey and uber-wasp Angel are probably locked into being white, but the other three would be more racially pliable.
Cyclops’ race doesn’t really matter. He only needs to be uptight and cranky, but with a good heart and a sliver of sarcasm. Marvel, please consider Charlie Barnett from this year’s Russian Doll on Netflix, who played a very similar character as Alan Zaveri. In his early 30’s, this might be a bit older than Marvel is intending. If so, shave his head, age him up a bit and drop him into the role of Xavier. He could pull off that role as well. Making Xavier younger would also help de-Fox the character. (We can all agree that James McAvoy has turned into “old” Xavier and we’ve forgotten that he played a young version in First Class, right?)
3. Americanize Xavier and Magneto
I’m not sure if Xavier and Magneto were originally European when introduced in the 1960’s comic books or not. But today they are immediately recognized as being European. When translated for the MCU, it’s time to let that go. This would really help get the MCU X-Men some distance from the Fox X-Men.
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4. No Wolverine
I know, it’s like going to McDonald’s and not getting fries. But Wolverine is a crutch character that writers lean on too much at the expense of other characters. That probably wouldn’t happen in the MCU, but why chance it? Just keep Wolvie out of sight for a few movies. And when he does show up, don’t let him steal the show. When he does show up, put him in the masked costume, too.
5. Make the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, well, evil
Of course, they wouldn’t use the word “evil” in their title (even Fox figured that one out). So use them as the baddies, but have them do bad things and STAY bad. They have to be so vile that the public would overreact and fear all mutants. And please, Marvel, don’t ever let Mystique be a good guy. She’s a bad guy.
6. Recycle the Fox actors
Out of respect for them (not for Fox) and for the fun factor. Hugh Jackman as creepy Mojo or James Marsden as mustachioed Cosair, anyone?
7. Superhero costumes, please!
So far, Marvel has really sidestepped the traditional superhero costume. Yes, we’re talking Spandex. In the MCU only Black Panther and Spider-Man have really embraced their comic book roots in terms of their uniforms. To be fair, the original X-Men comic book uniforms fit more like the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms than the tights that later followed. Fox did a pretty good job there in Dark Phoenix. But the tights became the looks that rang true for the characters. If nothing else, Marvel, please get as far away from black pleather as possible.
Photo Credit: Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox