Simon Kinberg has been involved with some of the highs and lows of the X-Men movie franchise. He is the man responsible for writing X-Men: The Last Stand, but he also wrote X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rumors surfaced yesterday that Kinberg is pushing to both write and direct the next X-Men movie. More rumors suggest that movie will be titled X-Men: Supernova and will once again bring us the Dark Phoenix saga.
The X-Men are and have always been my favorite group of super heroes. I still read their comic books to this day; most of my fondest comic book memories have to do with the children of the atom. The original X-Men movie came out 17 years ago and, over that time, we’ve had nine movies in that universe with the tenth coming out next week.
In that time, Fox hasn’t really moved much beyond Magneto and Wolverine. There are over 60 years of X-Men stories, yet the movies continue to mainly focus on the same handful of characters and villains. If the next X-Men movie does indeed focus on the Dark Phoenix saga, then we’ll once again get a rehash of a story we’ve already seen before.
If I were running things these are the X-Men stories I’d like to see next.
The Shadow King
One of my biggest gripes with the X-Men movie franchise is its insistence on Magneto being the main villain or one of the main villains. Even when the Hellfire Club was menacing in First Class, Magneto ended up as the major villain, same with Days of Future Past. I love Magneto, but the X-Men have some truly great villains. One such villain is the Shadow King. He’s a powerful psychic with the ability to control countless others at a time. The Muir Island Saga would be a great story to tell or any of the others featuring the Shadow King. Magneto always wants to kill humans and he causes physical damage to do so. The Shadow King just wants to rule everyone and uses the astral plane to achieve those goals. That would be far more interesting than another story with Magneto eventually succumbing to his evil desires.
The Shi’ar Empire
X-Men: Supernova sounds like it could be heading to outer space where the X-Men have had some of their greatest adventures. I’m all for the X-Men going to space, but do so for the Shi’ar Empire, not a retread of the Phoenix story. Sending the X-Men to space, having them interact with Lilandra and the Starjammers would be amazing. Then, at the end of the movie when they return to earth, they could actually kill Jean Grey how they did in the comics and set up her return as the Phoenix. Then the next film could be another space adventure, perhaps with the Brood and then the movie after that could focus on Dark Phoenix. They keep making these movies every two years; we can wait another four or six years for the Dark Phoenix.
The X-Men had a crazy exile to Australia in the 80s after they faked their deaths. Their time in Australia introduced us to the Reavers and brought more intimate storylines. Everything in the X-Men movies keeps getting bigger and bigger, with the destruction in one movie having to be topped in the next. Perhaps a move to the Australian outback could help us take a breath and get to know the current stable of mutants, without worrying about another world-ending catastrophe. Perhaps Logan will give us a taste of a smaller, more intimate movie and perhaps the X-Men could follow suit.
I love the X-Men and I want their movies to be great. Up until this point, though, we’ve got one great movie in X-2, some OK movies and some not very good ones. If Simon Kinberg takes over, hopefully he’ll bring the series back to its former glory instead of wallowing in its current state of mediocrity.
What X-Men storylines would you like to see next on the big screen?