No superhero franchise has been around as long as the X-Men series. However, while the franchise was trail-blazing for modern cinema, it has often felt something less than many other superhero films. Certainly, from the 12 movies produced under the X-Men brand, only five have a legitimate claim to being called good.
So, what does a franchise with infinite potential do when it has largely failed? Well, taking inspiration from Batman could be a good place to start. In this article, we’ll look at how the Dark Knight can inspire the X-Men to a movie comeback.
Ignoring Important Characters
X-Men are an ensemble of cool superheroes, so why are the movies always focusing on just a select few? Wolverine has been a dominating name in the franchise, while the same story has also been done twice around Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix. Why have some amazing characters been almost entirely ignored?
The obvious name is Gambit, one of the most popular characters in the comics. Not only could Gambit walk into any casinos and win without needing a Comeon Bonuskoodi, he is also a cool customer away from the tables. Known for his skills with playing cards, Gambit is the kind of wise-cracking smoothness the X-Men franchise has needed for decades.
How Batman Can Help
Around twenty years ago, the Batman movie franchise had fallen to pieces. Ironically, this was around the same time the first X-Men movie arrived to define the modern superhero movie. At the time, Batman had been taken down a colorful and overly silly road with Joel Schumacher’s box office bomb, Batman & Robin.
Fans were tired of the Dark Knight and his various adversaries being clown characters. Most people understand the infinite potential of Batman for being a dark and gritty exploration. Movie executives didn’t see it that way and it was looking like the franchise was dead.
Christopher Nolan had other plans and when given the freedom to direct Batman Begins, he reinvented the Dark Knight on the silver screen. Now Batman was closer to his comic characters. He was dangerous while the various villains that make Batman a treasure were more evil, callous, and well… realistic.
Since then, Batman has become the quintessential example of the comic book movie done in a realistic way.
Like Batman, X-Men is a property full of rich characters that must be written for screen in the correct way. Almost all the X-Men movies were too earnest. Being serious is necessary for this franchise, but there’s a difference between taking the subject matter serious and simply being too boring with it. Interestingly, when the X-Men franchise has experimented, notably with Logan and Deadpool, it has produced stellar standalone movies.
Dark does not need to mean no fun. There are ways to bring the best elements of the X-Men (hard-hitting themes, an array of characters, and humor) together into a seamless movie. With recent failures, the franchise is now under the control of Marvel. It will be interesting to see how the company folds X-Men into the MCU and what future standalone X-Men movies will look like.
DC Fanboy! Superman is the greatest comic book character of all time. Favorite movies are Man of Steel, Goonies, Back To the Future