It has been announced that the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past film will be spun off into a movie featuring X-Force by Kick-Ass 2 writer director Jeff Wadlow. The news kind of got buried under a landslide of Batman/Superman-related hysteria, but yeah, this is happening too.
And what, pray tell, is an X-Force, you may ask? Well, my comic-challenged friend, you surely know the X-Men; Marvel’s marvelous menagerie of magnificent mutant misfit heroes out to protect a world that fears and hates them. X-Force is the dark underbelly of that appealing public image. Originally formed by Cable as a more militant team for the not-quite ready-for-primetime players outside of the official team, in their current form X-Force have essentially been an off the books hit squad that is sent out to permanently eliminate threats to mutantkind. Pretty kickass, no?
So what I’m going to do here is go ahead and list out my picks for the movie team’s line-up, why I think they should be included, how they might figure into the story, and how likely we are to actually see them. Since this is going to spun off of a film that hasn’t been released (or even fully filmed), I’m going to be speculating a bit on Days of Future Past (DoFP) as well.
Wadlow has stated that there are going to be 5 team members, so I’m going to (sort of) limit myself to that number. I’ll open up some more potential plot speculations and general musings after I’m done.
Cyclops had Wolverine form the re-vamped X-Force in current comics continuity, but Cable was its genesis and is back leading the team again so it’d just be dumb to assume they’d leave him out. He’s a rare X-Men character that is absolutely begging to be adapted to the big screen and is a fan favorite made entirely out of awesome so expect to see him. But fitting him in storywise might be tricky.
Cable (Nathan Summers) is the future son of Jean Grey and Cyclops. So….yeah, there’s that little problem with current cinematic X-Men continuity. But since DoFP is a time-travel story, this is a prime opportunity to erase the nonsense of X-Men: The Last Stand. Alternately, they could rework the character and have him just be a random future mutant rebel sentinel hunter who travels back or something cool like that. I’d take it.
So movie X-Force should totally be led by the time-traveling techno-organic mutant soldier with big guns and telekinetic powers. Any objections? Didn’t think so.
Every leader needs a strong right hand, and behind every great man is a great woman. For Cable, Domino is both of those things. She also happens to be one of the most underrated mutants in the Marvel universe and would translate really well to a live-action film.
Domino (Neena Thurman) is a firearms expert with exceptional combat skills all around that make her the equal of just about any mercenary out there. But what gives her the edge is her mutant ability that alters probability and makes things always turn out in her favor, making her practically unbeatable by any normal means.
So do we want Dom on this team? So much yes. And it’s almost sure to happen. I was kind of hoping she’s be in DoFP, but after the announcement of the X-Force film, the smart money is she’ll be making her big screen debut there.
If the X-Men are forming up a team of their most lethal members to do some wetwork, it’s going to be pretty hard not to picture Logan involved. I mean, the dude is the best there is at what he does. And (say it with me) what he does isn’t very nice. In other words, he dices people up.
Wolvie led X-Force for years after Cyclops decided that the mutant population was too low to eff around with non-lethal methods against their greatest threats and he did a decent job of it. He even acted as kind of a moral center if you can believe that, smacking Summers upside his head when he brought Logan’s female clone, X-23, into the mix.
X-23 (Laura Kinney) was bred and raised by Weapon X trying to duplicate their “success” with Wolverine. She was, of course, the 23rd attempt and the only success. Seeing that the X-Men have tried to civilize/socialize the teen dream killing machine, I can’t believe they never gave Laura a new nickname. Needless to say, Logan feels kind of responsible for her. Her Terminator-esque personality and sex appeal make her an interesting addition to the team.
Wolverine’s appearance in the film naturally hinges on Hugh Jackman’s price tag, gameness, and availability. They will most likely settle for a cameo in the end, either way. X-23 may be a good candidate to keep in mind for introduction in DoFP and transplantation to present continuity for X-Force. She’s hardcore badass like Wolverine, and boys think she’s hot too. Win-win. I’d say the inclusion of either is about even money.
When I found out they were including the merc with a mouth in the Uncanny X-Force comic, I raged. For the record, Deadpool (Wade Wilson) is my favorite comic book character. Why wouldn’t I want him to be on such a cool team? Well, Wolverine HATES him. I mean REALLY hates him. Always has. He’d never have it and it wouldn’t work.
For another thing Wade is a mercenary with no legitimate moral compass, which is to say he almost always sells to the highest bidder. Not someone you want to entrust with the secrets and responsibilities of a black-ops team like X-Force. Lastly, even among mercs, Deadpool is notoriously flaky at best and utterly unhinged more often than that. Not one to be used for potentially delicate or secretive work or watching one’s back. But what do I know? I’m not a comic book writer.
So why am I picking him for this, you ask? For starters, the film continuity doesn’t have the above-mentioned baggage; just the embarrassment of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But Ryan Reynolds was kind of great in the role near the beginning of that one and having established him as a former partner of Logan’s would make him an easy fit for the team assuming they can unwrite the horrendous boss battle at the climax. Plus, in the comics Wade gets along really well with both Cable (arguably the only one who can control him somewhat) and Domino.
I would tend to classify Deadpool as a shoo-in here. Wadlow is on record as a fan and there’s the post-credits sequence for Origins that pretty much promised (or threatened) more from him and the proposed solo film that has been floating around in development hell since. Reintroducing Wade back into continuity this way makes sense and is a great chance to undo the wrong that’s been done and give audiences a much better dose of big screen Deadpool while testing the waters for a film starring him.
Why Psylocke? See above picture. If you can say no to seeing that on the big screen, we aren’t friends anymore. Seriously, though, Betsy Braddock has much more going for her than just being the all-time hottest member of the X-Men and a ninja to boot.
I imagine having a psychic on your squad of assassins has got to be a plus. Cable has telepathic abilities, but he seldom utilizes them because he uses up a lot of his mutant abilities holding his techno-organic infection in check so having a full-time telepath on board is a good idea. The fact that she is also a master of combat and stealth who can utilize her psychic powers to incapacitate her opponents makes her a perfect fit for a crew like this.
In addition to all dat cred, Psylocke makes for a good moral center. Much better than Wolverine, I’d say. She’s a compassionate woman whose struggles with balancing the morality of what they are doing with the knowledge that it needs to be done make for an excellent character to have on board.
Bets is another I’m hoping/ expecting to see in DoFP, and I still think she’s more likely to show up there. I reject her crummy cameo in The Last Stand, and she’s a fan favorite so she simply has to turn up somewhere. They’ve just got to drop the whole body swap aspect of her backstory, which is easily done.
Psylocke has yet to be properly utilized outside of the comics and video games (although she has showed up in animated form here and there), and that makes me sad. I wouldn’t bet on seeing her in X-Force, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see her either.
Honorable mentions that would also be really cool to see include the lycanthropic Wolfbane, Fantomex with his powers of illusion, and the Native American wrecking machine Warpath. Archangel is a nonstarter because we’d need Apocalypse first, but he’d be sweet. Likewise, I really want to mention Age of Apocalypse Nighcrawler because he’s one of the nastiest mainstream comic characters out there. Dude killed Blob by teleporting a shark into his stomach and occasionally bamfs people’s heads right off of their shoulders. I would so love to see that in live action.
Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the current iterations of X-Force that are almost certain to form the basis of the film, I really have to recommend the first arc of the revamp, X-Force: Angels and Demons. If you read that, you will see why the movie would be so much better with an R rating. It also has some of the absolute finest art I’ve ever seen in any comic ever and is overall just way more hardcore than what you normally get in a superhero comic. But it is extremely violent and twisted at times, so be warned.
After the utter brilliance of that arc, the title toned it down a lot to become merely good before being rebooted as Uncanny X-Force with the above-pictured team. Their first mission was to off Apocalypse as a child. Pretty killer concept and one that is full of moral dilemma. I wouldn’t be too shocked if they utilized that as a goal in the film, but I’d kind of rather they establish Apocalypse as an adult in an X-Men film and then maybe try and kill him as a child in an X-Force sequel or something.
Speaking of potential villains, I’d nominate the Purifiers. They are an anti-mutant terrorist hate group dedicated to genocide so there’s no audience sympathy to compromise the awesomeness of the bloodbath. The moral dilemma came not in the wrongness of killing hate criminals, but in the ethics of using X-Men to secretly do it while putting up a moral front for the public. I really like that for an origin story.
I seriously would not mess with those guys.
I suppose an R rating is out of the question, but I’ve still got pretty high hopes for this film. The concept is a simple and effective one, so as long as they stay true to the characters it’s going to be a hard one to screw up. Doesn’t mean they won’t, but we can dream. For now, I’m going to go ahead and stay excited at the prospect of seeing some of the X-Men’s biggest badasses wreck shit on the big screen.