Every so often I get a wild idea that isn’t related to RPGs, and go off on a “How I would do it” fan fiction, speculative movie theory.
Bringing the X-Men into the MCU
A lot of people stress about when or how to reveal the X-Men. They have a super long in comics history, and are famously involved in a lot of major MCU and real world events. I think my solution takes care of that. This reveal can be done by Marvel whenever they want or have time. It doesn’t even matter. Our first reveal is an end credits scene that should come after basically any movie. Ideally one that sets up the next MCU big bad, or follow up a major event. The only limit is that it should not be a small self-contained story like Ant-Man 1.
Background info if you aren’t current with X-Men comics. At the moment, the X-Men are operating off of Krakoa. They use it as an island base of operations and have portals to wherever the adventure of the week is. It also happens to be sentient, and while that’s not key right now it would make an awesome set piece for a battle in the future. I think you make the fans wait, and tell all their disinterested loved ones about it for a year or two, before you do it. Being Krakoa isn’t super critical, and you could swap it for an island off LA, or a school in NY (maybe not a safe space in Limbo). The remote tropical island is just a nice fit. Even better if you stick them near Bermuda (in the triangle).
The End Credits
Opening shot is a serene beach shot from shore, in the sky you see the events of your big event. We can use the Thano’s Battle if you want it soon, or whatever our key event is if you are waiting. Cut shot to someone’s boots standing on the shore and we hear a voice.
“Charles, we can’t stay hidden away forever. The world needs something Xtrodinary”. Camera is panning up to reveal your speaker. I’d vote for Cyclops or Emma Frost, but I could accept that it will end up being Hugh Jackman. As it pans, we also zoom out and see Professor X has approached. He gives a solemn, defeated nod and we see a cruise ship materialize on the horizon. Then we cut.
I vote for Prof X in the sweet 90’s yellow hover chair, or a traditional wheelchair. They always put him in some high tech contraption that falls short of the one from the 90’s, or they make him stand. The 90’s one is an iconic look, so why mess with it.
We can keep Fox actors or not. I’m betting that between Spiderman 3, Dr. Strange 2, Agents of Shield, End Game, Deadpool and Wandavision we have a workable multiverse theory in play that can let us keep actors and ignore old movies or keep the actors and pick and choose old movies if we want. Fox had two sets of actors for half the characters so we have plenty to choose from. (lol written 2/1. Spoilers if I say more).
The First Movie
They should get their own solo film. During this movie, you open with a montage that takes 5-10 minutes with no set up. Its a flash serial of 30 second clips showing the X-Men in various historical events that we, the audience, know they were not present for in the MCU. Founding of SHIELD, Man on the Moon, etc. You can also include clips of them battling famous X-Men villains who haven’t been in movies yet implying that there was some movie you just didn’t catch. Lastly, I’d strongly consider including short clips of the X-Men battling villains and side villains we know from the movies, maybe even in locations from the movies. You should also show them rebuilding after big city destroying events. This is a good chance to do a ton of world building real quick. It also lets us show off all sorts of fun costumes from years back that may not be the current look, and characters who aren’t on the current team this movie focuses on. Then we do the MCU opening credits, and start our movie.
We open on Professor X hooked into Cerebro, and he’s been playing these clips himself. The implication is that he is restoring the memories of everyone on earth. The next bit of dialogue makes it clear that Professor X, and whatever psychic mutants you want, have been keeping Krakoa, and the existence of mutants in general, a secret from the rest of the world after the devastating events of (your favorite X-Men callback arc. Jean probably died in it). Not only are they undetected, but people forgot about them entirely.
The X-Men are excited to rejoin the world and we show some boarding the Blackbird. But it turns out that Professor X didn’t actually block their existence from everyone… We cut to the villain. They are considered a fringe extremist, who was thrown out of SHIELD for trying to defend against a threat that no one else believes in. They are cast out, and doing all sorts of shady things to build an anti-mutant task force on their own. Now, they have a fully funded, massive prepared anti-mutant team ready to go. As folks memories come back, our villain is gloating to someone in a military uniform who calls begging for protection from this new threat, and can turn them down with a “you had your chance” rant.
The X-Men can show up to SHIELD in the blackbird to give an offer of support, and even try to join the Avengers. They are met with SHIELD soldiers and have to negotiate with suits, not Cap or Iron Man. Our villain sends an attack in, and the X-Men get blamed, like always. Now the villain is framing them for attacks on major things around the world, and the X-Men need to find them and stop them before their reputation is ruined. The villain can send in cyborgs, or clones, or just high tech trickery (which veers too close to Mistereo for my taste).
Without writing the entire script, you have a small showpiece fight with the attack against the SHIELD soldiers. Then you have an investigation montage showcasing cool mutant powers, followed by another fight against some non-powered folks where the X-Men win a fight against a lot of folks, without actually hurting them. Maybe another smaller fight against the villains forces. Our big finale at the end is a big showcase inside the cloning facility/robot factory/old hydra base against the villain.
On top of our big showpiece action fights, I’d include a subplot about building the structure of the team. It’s a classic X-Men thing to send B and C teams for side missions, and so I’d do that here. The mix up, is Professor X is old. Like, at least 90 nearing 100. He can’t actually stay the main leader of the X-Men. So we are doing an arc about the passing of the mantle. Cyclops and Emma Frost are the two classical answers, and so our movie is interspersed with conflict there, even better with a potential romance between the two. They will fight with one another and wrestle with the debate of “should we just go back into hiding” throughout the movie. They also each head an X-Men team, and there is some rivalry there. Because they have to man the base neither can actually go on missions. They have to pick new team leaders. While Cyclops and Emma are having the philosophical battle, the two teams have the physical version of that same debate. We can also have that same inherit the mantle challenge going on at a smaller level. We want the teams all meeting together at the beginning of the movie, to show them being friendly, and then divided up to form teams. Then they are rivals, and at the end they form back up for the major show down and move past their rivalry. They probably even come to blows at one point.
One pivotal scene. When the two teams are doing the big final showdown mission together, the drops some illusion, and it is clear has been hiding some sickness, and is going to die. We can have both leaders with him, and while going through that emotional arc, they get a call from their team for help. One goes, and one stays. He will tell the one who stays that they should have gone and that’s why he is picking the other as his successor (he has some put aside personal feelings, and put the team above all else speech). This goes over poorly with that person but they don’t show that until they leave the romo. The Professor’s last act is to broadcast a goodbye message to the mutants telling them who he picked and why. Whichever leader is on the “don’t go back in hiding” side is the one he picks.
At the end of the movie, our new leader picks their new X-Men and that’s the team going forward with a “Bright New Day” theme of hope and optimism. This should end the movie on a high note, and be a big celebration. We may even have a shot of them in cool uniforms marching out to meet some Avengers back where the first action scene took place.
Post Credit 1 – The leader who didn’t win pulls a secret council with some of the students who didn’t get picked for the X-Men. They can explain that they aren’t happy with the decision, and “while we aren’t the X-Men, it doesn’t mean we can’t help keep mutants safe”. They can talk about the Professor’s final lesson. “The good of the cause above all else”. The leader has hand picked them to be a second team, one that operates in the shadows, and does what the X-Men can’t. An X-Force. One student should be unwilling to participate and storms out, but Emma, or Cyclops’s psychic helper, should mind wipe them of this whole thing showing right away that this group is going to be darker and cross lines.
Post Credit 2 – This is 10 seconds, but should show us that Professor X isn’t gone. Maybe he uploaded his brain to Cerebro, maybe we see his spirit in the Shadow Realm, or maybe we see a baby born and strong implications its him reborn. Not sure where you go with that, but Professor X was always doing stuff like that whenever he dies. Its a seed to build off 3-4 movies down the line.