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What I Hope for X-Men: Apocalypse
We've known for some time now, since even before X-Men: Days of Future Past was even released, that the next film on Fox's X-Men docket was going to be X-Men: Apocalypse. Apocalypse has been one of the X-Men's most formidable foes since his first appearance in X-Factor 5 and 6, being featured prominently in the animated series of the 90s as well as in the wildly popular Age of Apocalypse, Apocalypse the Twelve and Ages of Apocalypse storylines, among others. Since most superhero franchises tend to up the ante every film, it makes perfect sense that after almost 15 years the X-Men franchise would finally get around to doing Apocalypse, even if the actual movie is a prequel (the third act of the First Class storyline). It doesn't bother me that this film is set before the original X-Men trilogy (although with Days of Future Past the timeline has been reset so big portions of those movies may never have happened at all anymore), but there are some things that I would like to see in the film. The franchise has been sort of soft rebooted with the time alterations made in the last installment, so the movie can go pretty much anywhere. The following is what I hope for this movie, and for the franchise going forward.
I don't need to see him. I really don't. I always thought that Wolverine was overrated as a character. I really never got his appeal. But I have become a huge Wolverine fan since Hugh Jackman started playing the character in 2000s X-Men. Jackman has made me a Wolverine groupie, it's true. That said, we have had 6 wonderful movies where Wolverine is a principal player. He doesn't need to be in every single movie. He just doesn't. X-Men: First Class was great, even without Wolverine (apart from a very funny cameo). Hugh Jackman, while not ready to retire from Wolverine yet, is starting to show his age. He just really is, and since Wolverine isn't supposed to age, that's kind of an issue. There is another Wolverine solo movie in the pipeline, and I'm very excited for it, but as far as Apocalypse is concerned, I'd like to see Jackman sit this one out. No Wolverine in Apocalypse, then have a spectacular Wolverine 3 (which I think should be called Wolverin3) and then Hugh Jackman needs to retire. Send him out with a bang in Wolverin3. Make it a fantastic end to that character's story. Make it epic. But we don't need him in the next X-Men movie. I know they kind of left a cliffhanger with Wolverine and Mystique at the end of Days of Future Past, but I really don't need to see that developed in the next film.
Cyclops, Storm and Jean
We already know that younger versions of Cyclops, Storm and Jean Grey are most likely going to be featured in X-Men: Apocalypse as newly recruited students. While I am excited to see this, I don't necessarily need to see them as main characters. I don't want to see this movie turned into X-Men: Twilight. To the credit of the franchise, many people were concerned that that was exactly was First Class was going to be, and it wasn't. I would like to see these new kids used in much the same way the kids (Rogue and Ice Man mostly) were used in the original trilogy. They can absolutely be integral to the plot, but the movie doesn't need to necessarily be about them. As a matter of fact, since the X-Men franchise doesn't seem to be showing any signs of losing steam or going anywhere, at least for a while, and I think that those characters need to be made the focal point of the NEXT X-Men trilogy. Fox has said that Apocalypse will be the end of the First Class trilogy, and they are giving every indication that hey are approaching these movies in 3 movie story arcs. And with all of the shafting Cyclops got in the original trilogy, I would love to see him made the star of an entire trilogy where they can use him properly. So yeah, absolutely introduce them and use them in Apocalypse, but don't feature them until whatever your next 3-part arc is going to be.
Gambit and Nightcrawler
Fox has already confirmed that Channing Tatum has been cast as the new Gambit, who was last seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine played by Taylor Kitsch, and it has also been hinted that Gambit will be the next character to get his own series of solo films. And that's great. Gambit is an interesting character. But he needs to be introduced in a proper X-Men film first. Introduce him here, make him an integral part of this movie, and then people will want to see him in his solo films. And I don't have a problem with Tatum doing it, but I would like to see Tatum play it with Gambit's signature Cajun accent. Kitsch tried it, but it was pretty subtle and he seemed a little uncomfortable doing it and at times dropped it altogether. Hopefully Tatum brings to the character all of the charm and arrogance we have come to know Gambit for, and a big part of that is his accent. Also, Bryan Singer has commented that he wants to use Nightcrawler again. Here! Use him here! I love Nightcrawler, he's my favorite X-Man, and it has been far too long since we got to see him in X2. Yes, use Nightcrawler and use him here. I can't wait to see who cast for Nightcrawler this go around.
I realize that time travel was a big part of the plot of the last film, and doing it twice in a row is a bit overkill, but you can't ignore the history that Cable and Apocalypse have together. In fact, I propose that it would be virtually impossible to do this story without Cable. So you minimize the time travel aspect of it. You mention that Cable is from the future and you leave it at that. Don't show his future, don't do anything that is reminiscent of DoFP, just mention he is from the future and he has a hard-on for taking out Apocalypse. And you make Cable your focal character. This is your star this time. Cable is your Wolverine this time. The X-Men definitely need to be following Cable's lead, after all, he's the guy who is going to know everything about Apocalypse. He's your exposition character. He's the guy who is going to tell the audience everything they need to know to be able to follow along with the plot. And the icing on the cake, of course, Cable is just a badass character and audiences will easily be able to rally behind this character.
So there you have it, that's what I want to see done in X-Men: Apocalypse. Agreements? Disagreements? What do you want to see? Let us know in the comments.