With X-Men: Apocalypse opening this weekend, and already unleashed unto the masses overseas, it's time to start digging into the granular details and speculating on what's next.
Are you ready? Because…
First let's talk about the about as subtle-as-a-bag-of-hammers hints the film was dropping that we'll likely see Sophie Turner return as Jean Grey in a Dark Pheonix storyline. Bryan Singer seems determined to make up for his past missteps, but none more than for the first X-Men trilogy's treatment of that character.
If you're unfamiliar with Dark Pheonix, take a look here to get a sense of just how wildly bonkers things may get. Of course elements of the storyline were used in X-Men: The Last Stand, but there is room for 20th Century Fox to make their riskiest X-Men film yet (yep, even more so than Deadpool) if they are really to go full-out on the Pheonix story, which could potentially take them to space…among other things.
Producer Simon Kinberg has teased an X-Men in space, so there is a very real possibility that 20th Century Fox is considering it. With the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, studios are now open to more daring comic book fare. Which is pleasing news, because one of the biggest complaints about Apocalypse is that if felt far too familiar and safe.
We saw some lovely hints at the Pheonix in this film, and it looked quite promising.
In unrelated news…
Another option ties into what we saw in the closing credits teaser. In which we return to the room in Stryker”s bunker where Jean discovered a tortured Wolverine. We see a group of suits walk in and remove vial of liquid labeled Weapon X. They place it in a briefcase, which when closed we see reads Essex Corp.
Nathaniel Essex a.k.a. the supervillain Mr. Sinister is the head of Essex Corp., which really could mean a number of things for the X-Men universe moving ahead. Essentially, he loves to experiment on mutants to make them bigger, better, and stronger. Sound familiar?
It was originally Apocalypse that gave Mr. Sinister mutant powers in the 19th-century, making him essentially immortal. Since Apocalypse was asleep during the 19th-century in this continuity, we have to imagine that they're playing with the backstory a bit.
He's also connected to Cable, who will be featured in Deadpool 2.
The most likely significance moving forward, however, is for the “female Wolverine,” X-23, appearing possibly — but not necessarily — in an X-Force movie. Bryan Singer has teased that he's pitched brining X-23 into the X-Men universe. X-23 is a clone of Wolverine, so the Weapon X serum doesn't necessarily have much to do with her origin. However, the movies have veered from the comics and there's a possibility that they'd re-work her creation. Hugh Jackman has only so long to play the character, and Fox seems determined to introduce new blood.
She'd be an interesting choice.
In the video above or below Drew McWeeny and Roth Cornet talk about what's next for the X-Men.
Take a look and let us know what you think here or on Twitter.