X-Men – Continuity Issues, The Divide Between The Money And The Avid Comic Book Fan by Andrew Georgiades

So, to start from the top. Whilst X-Men is a marvel comic, the film rights are owned by FOX as when they made the movie the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) wasn’t created yet. Thus FOX owning film rights to X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic 4. Sony owning Spider-Man (until recently making a deal to share the rights with Marvels MCU in order for him to appear in the MCU universe e.g. Avengers etc)

So in 2000, X-Men kinda started the whole trend of bringing Superhero films back as a genre. The first and second movie run pretty well in terms of continuity. But then when it came to the 3rd film (Last Stand) the director Bryan Singer left the franchise in order to direct Superman Returns (DC) and also took James Marsden (Cyclops) with him. He was replaced by Brett Ratner who is considered amongst X-Men movie fans as the destroyer of the franchise! Cyclops (THE LEADER OF THE DAMN X-MEN! AND VITAL CHARACTER IN THE STORY OF JEAN GREYS DARK PHOENIX SAGA!) was killed off in the first 20 mins. Juggernaut had Vinnie Jones cast…. and then in an attempt to show the true power of the dark Phoenix; killed off Charles Xavier. Whilst also Nullifying Magnetos mutant powers as he is injected with an antidote towards the end.

Following this movie, there was a post credit scene which showed Magneto try and move a metal chess piece with his mind, and it ever so slightly moves. To open an interpretation that there’s a possibility the ‘Cure’ was merely temporary. There was also a scene in the DVD release which showed a dying man in hospital with a brain disease. It is said that while Phoenix destroyed Xavier’s physical form, his powerful mind survived and eventually placed itself in a human host whose brain was dead….and then….somehow this person also begins to look like him…..seriously??

A young Magneto and Professor X

Further on from that…the franchise is seemingly rebooted with First Class, focussing on a young Magneto and Xavier relationship, which I thought was a great idea. Although I will say that entire story has no connection to the comics, and mystique was never Xavier’s best orphan friend and she didn’t lead the X-men.

FOX studio saw the success of the first one, and being a big studio it saw an opportunity to bring characters and actors back from the original trilogy in order to make more money because Hugh Jackman was essentially the face of the franchise. With the Days of Future Past storyline (a famous X-men comic book arc) they used this opportunity to essentially re write any messed up continuity caused from X Men Last Stand, (and also Wolverine Origins, I’ll move onto that in a second) But in doing so, they also left quite a few plot holes and loose ends which were never tied up. For example, near the end, Wolverine is picked up by what seems like a young general Stryker, but it is in fact Jennifer Lawrence’s mystique. All these things happen out of place, and also further mess up the timeline. But essentially at the end of this movie, it flashes forward to present day, and Wolverine is in the school with a James Marsden Cyclops still alive, and Xavier. Timeline fixed…kinda.

The Mutant Chronicles. See the development of X-Men first hand.                                                  Photo credit: Empire.

Meanwhile Wolverine solo films came out. Bare in mind, Wolverine has some of the most amazing comic book arcs which the movies are loosely based on.

  1. Wolverine Origins – Origin
  2. The Wolverine – Wolverine (1982)
  3. Logan – Old Man Logan

X-Men Origins was a nice idea, but again FOX’s involvement ruined the original comic book story, which would have made for the best movie ever! And created a Ryan Reynolds Deadpool final boss which has no resemblance to the comics. And they also got Will I Am to play a character, like come on? really guys?…Missed Opportunity.

The Wolverine, another great opportunity to make an amazing authentic Japanese flick which was a GREAT story from the comics. But AGAIN FOX sold out and made a big bad CGI character at the end. Also, they wouldn’t allow a Wolverine movie to be R RATED or be filled with dark undertones. This was James Mangolds first time directing an X-men movie, and you could tell the movie had great inspiration, but his and Hugh Jackman’s vision ultimately had to remain in the guidelines of FOX’s money making rules.

“A recurring issue here, FOX care about making money. Sony care about making money. and while the MCU care about that too, being MARVEL, they also make their movies true to the comics”

ANYWAY…with a cleared timeline, the smart asses (Sarcastically speaking of course) at FOX pretty much decided to end the second trilogy that was doing great with the Fassbender McAvoy dynamic. And introduce a bunch of new mutants all re cast at a younger age who essentially we didn’t care about, and make them the leads of the movie. ALSO, just because Jennifer Lawrence is a great award winning actress, they then made mystique the fucking leader of the X-men!!!! (Far from the comics) ANYWHOOOO, I was disappointed with Apocalypse but I didn’t hate it.

Photo credit: Logan 2017

Now LOGAN (Cue the purple Horn Face Emoji)…. So off the back of Deadpool’s success as an       R RATED low budget movie which released same year as apocalypse and SMASHED IT out the water both critically, commercially and in box office. FOX finally agreed to allow Wolverine to be R RATED. Hugh Jackman agreed to get a pay cut, and the movie budget was cut by A LOT. But it left hugh Jackman and Mangold at the wheel to make a gritty, emotional, violent, character driven movie. One the fans wanted. It was very loosely based on Old Man Logan. (Which had Wolverine brainwashed and kill the xmen) but ultimately for an X-men fan, who has broken it down. I absolutely loved it. I cried. I also wish that the previous two Wolverines stories were done like this as their comic book stories are so amazing. If they had this would be the best superhero trilogy ever!

But in terms of continuity, the film wanted to separate itself from the rest of the franchise that FOX had its grips on. So whilst things from the previous movies probably happened, similarly to the scene where Logan was looking at comics, and said ‘maybe half of it happened, but not like this’ he actually was referring to the franchise as a whole. So I wouldn’t look at this film as a direct follow up from any of the previous 8 movies ha.

It’s also crazy but as a fan there’s so many things this movie gave me which the regular viewer wouldn’t notice to appreciate. But man, I’m happy. I don’t want a Wolverine reboot anytime soon.



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