20th Century Fox
Less than a week ago, it seemed almost impossible that Fox would be taking the chance on serializing their X-Men franchise. But the studio's just confirmed, via FirstShowing, that the next film in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse, will not be another self-contained entry but a "direct sequel" to Days of Future Past. They'll even be using the classic Marvel post-credits tease to reveal their next villain.
[For the curious and SPOILER immune: Magneto, as played by Michael Fassbender, will come across the space mutant Apocalypse, who will possess his body and amplify his powers enough to make Magneto the most powerful mutant on Earth.]
Well, Fox, sounds like you put your money where your mouth is going to be in 2016! That promise to be more inspired by Marvel seems to be genuine. Even the inclusion of Apocalypse, an all-powerful villain, is pretty similar to Marvel's Ultron (though the former's space alien is swapped out for the latter's sentient robot).
Well, if you're going for it, Fox, why not copy a few more things?
- Same World, Different Heroes: Why shouldn't the new Fantastic Four take place in the same universe as the X-Men? That X-universe has had seven films to work itself out, and while everything hasn't always landed well, it's survived for 15 years.
- Humor: When dealing The Marvel films, especially the Iron Mans, mix serious subject matter with jokes. The younger X-Men cast is plenty charismatic, so it would help to see some occasional levity to lighten the weight of the apocalypse.
- True Ensemble: As we saw in the trailer, X-Men: Days of Future Past might seem like an ensemble piece, it looks like it will still primarily be driven by Wolverine. But The Avengers honestly gave each member of the group time to shine, and Apocalypse should be the same.
But Marvel isn't perfect, and they've run into a few stumbling blocks along the way. Here are a few things to avoid:
- Boring MacGuffins: When you have to follow an object like the Tesseract through several movies, you end up either confusing those who have no idea what it is, or boring those who have heard an explanation multiple times.
- Gun Shy on Kills: Bringing back Coulson, refusing to get rid of Loki — when characters get popular, Marvel is hesitant to go through with their plans to acknowledge mortality through their deaths.
- Diversity: The X-Men is a wonderfully diverse group of heroes and villains, and the films have reflected that somewhat, but there's still a default to the main white male characters of Wolverine and Magneto. Drawing in other characters (or, in the case of Storm or Mystique, developing their characters so the two Oscar winners who play them have something to do).