When one says the phrase “cinematic universe,” one’s mind usually goes straight to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel was the one to coin the phrase, and let’s face it, it’s been incredibly influential in that way. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that X-MEN was the first franchise to expand outward. Following the success of the original X-MEN series, Fox went on to create the much-maligned X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. From there, they went on to X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, THE WOLVERINE, and DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, shifting the timeline, and creating an incredibly intricate, ongoing narrative.
â€œItâ€™s every bit as large,â€ X-MEN: APOCALYPSE director Bryan Singer said to Variety, when comparing their universe to the MCU. â€œAnd now that weâ€™ve altered the timeline [with 2014â€™s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST], there are endless possibilities.â€
As mentioned above, the franchise has had its missteps. But the last couple X-MEN flicks have been quite good, and this year’s DEADPOOL has gone on to be one of the biggest surprises in recent memory. As such, one of the big questions for fan is whether or not we’ll ever get to see Deadpool interact with the main cast of X-Men.
While Singer didn’t rule it out, he was quick to point out the difficulty with making such a bold move.
â€œIf you take a character as irreverent and meta as Deadpool and connect him to something as grounded and serious as X-Men, you have to do it carefully and gently. When you drop them all in together it can be a disaster. That has to be done delicately, but thereâ€™s plenty of room to do it.â€
Like a smart, experienced director, he’s careful to muffle the flames, all while not extinguishing it completely. As it stands, Deadpool crossing over the X-Men seems like quite the tall order given how different they are in tone and style, but perhaps there will be the day when the combo could work.
The X-franchise, however, is looking to expand in more ways than just one. Not only will they continue on the film front, they are now taking their first steps into TV-land with HELLFIRE and LEGION, properties Fox is co-producing with Marvel — with Singer in the executive producer seat, no less.
Here’s what Singer had to say.
â€œI think the underbelly [could be explored]. Thereâ€™s always something interesting about a school thatâ€™s got a military aspect beneath its classrooms. Is there another layer to all of that? Is there another layer to the Hellfire Club? The idea of, â€˜Whoâ€™s running the world?â€™ â€” thatâ€™s something that was touched upon in â€˜First Classâ€™ but has yet to be fully explored. It just has to be explored in a very gentle, methodical way. And Iâ€™ve seen it go haywire. Iâ€™m not going to be specific where I believe it has. The audience will tell you. But when itâ€™s done right, it all can connect.â€
And with every new X-MEN film from Singer, the question always seems to be about whether or not it will be his last time out. Singer isn’t one to make any hasty claims on the heels of the exhaustion of finishing up his latest film.
â€œWhen you spend nearly two decades in a universe, to simply say, â€˜Iâ€™m done,â€™ or, â€˜Iâ€™m going to abandon it,â€™ just wouldnâ€™t make sense to me,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m very connected to this universe and a lot of these actors, and also the characters, whomever plays them. So never say never.â€
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE hits U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.
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