Here's my dream: after we get through X-Men: Apocalypse Fox brings a fresh, new eye to the X franchise, one that understands the changes that have been happening in superhero movies since 1999. One that understands that the core of the X-Men stories is always about family. One who gets it.
Well, I have a lot of hope that Josh Boone is that guy. The director of The Fault in Our Stars (a very good movie, by the way) is now working on New Mutants, the spin-off of X-Men based on the comic book spin-off of X-Men. There's news today, news about casting and which characters are involved in the film, and after that I'll give you some of my thoughts on timelines.
First! HitFix is reporting that Boone has done some casting already, and that he will be bringing in Maisie Williams, aka Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, to play the character of Wolfbane, a Scottish girl who turns into a werewolf (there are so many cooler X-Men then you have seen in the movies so far). Joining her is Anna-Taylor Joy, star of The Witch, as Magik, one of the coolest characters in the X-Universe. Also along for the ride: Alexandra Shipp, who plays Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse. And lording it over all of them is James McAvoy, returning as Professor X.
HitFix says that there are more parts yet to cast: Cannonball, the southern hick who has explosive flight; Sunspot, his Brazilian best pal who courses with the energy of the sun, and Mirage, aka Dani Moonstar, aka a Native American superhero who creates illusions. Magik, by the way, is the sister of Colossus and who has the power to teleport (and who, after spending some time in a hell dimension, also became one excellent sorceress). This is, except for Storm, the traditional starting line-up of the New Mutants, and for fans of this 80s title these are character names that will bring great joy. And all the casting so far is awesome!
But here's my question: this is set in the 80s? I mean, it has to be, what with Storm from the 80s-set Apocalypse on the team. I'm kind of bummed that this universe is trapped in the past, and while I understand it - they just cast all these new young actors in Apocalypse - I've had my fill of superhero stories set in a vague second half of the 20th century. I also think it's weird that in this universe the core team of X-Men we met in 1999's X-Men are largely the same age as the New Mutants. And this will mean Magik is older than Colossus, which is weird as hell.
I do wonder if New Mutants is just the title for the next phase of the X-Men movies. Like, there won't be an X-Men 7 because New Mutants picks up the baton. It allows Fox to make a very, very old franchise feel much fresher than if they just kept on using the same title for 20 years. And it allows them to hand the reins over to Boone, letting Singer Keyser Soze himself out the door. I'd like that. Josh Boone for president of the X-Men!
In the meantime, know that I will be watching this closely. These characters are ones I look at fondly, especially Magik and Wolfsbane. Knowing that Boone is in charge of them makes me feel much, much better about it all.