While the bods at Fox continue to insist that despite the megabucks already earned by X-Men: The Last Stand, they don’t plan to make any more team movies (and with an increasingly expensive, ever-growing cast to lure back each time, we sort of see their skittishness, but still…), word is continuing to leak on plans for spin-offs. Many spin-offs. And assuming all of these actually reach fruition, X-Fans will be provided with fresh material for a while to come.
The Wolverine stand-alone film has been in the works for ages, with even Hugh Jackman telling Total Film on the set that he’s ready to star in a Logan-only movie. With plenty of back-story left unexplored, we know that the cigar-chomping hairball will be hacking into his past experiences. Expect that one to be shoved on to the production line as early as next year.
As for the Magneto prequel, which will tell the tale that sits between the young boy being dragged away from his parents in the prologue to the original film and the firebrand, human-loathing master of disaster we know and love, the development process had been focused on a younger actor playing out the majority of the scenes, anchored by Ian McKellen’s typically stalwart work. “What's a Magneto movie without Ian?" producer Lauren Schuler Donner told USA Today. But with the technology – warning, spoilers ahead for anyone who still hasn’t glimpsed The Last Stand – used to de-age Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and McKellen’s Magneto for a flashback, it might also mean that McKellen could take on the younger role too. “It would mean that I could play myself at 25, feasibly. As long as I can keep myself lithe and sounding young,” he laughed to IGN FilmForce. Though given the budget restrictions of using the effect for more than a few minutes, we won’t be holding our breath for that particular wrinkle. Or is that lack-of-wrinkle?
But there’s more… "We've also talked about doing something on the kids in Professor X's school, focusing on their lives, and less of a global adventure for the team," Hutch Parker, production president of 20th Century Fox blabbed in the USA Today piece. And there’s also word of the studio considering Emma Frost, the sexy mutant with powerful telepathic abilities, who has a chequered past as both a villain and a hero in the comics. A possible name for the man to bring her to life? None other than I Heart Huckabees helmer David O Russell. The man who made Three Kings tackling mutants? Could be weird. Could be wonderful…