According to X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer/producer Simon Kinberg, Wolverine isn’t the only mutant who deserves his own movie.
“I love what Jen Lawrence has done with [ Mystique ],” says Kinberg, “and I feel like because she is in such a crowded ensemble, there’s so much more opportunity if you were to follow her solo.” It might seem like there isn’t much of J-Law’s naked blue shapeshifter that we haven’t already seen (so to speak) – but few characters in the X-verse have got quite so much potential for a spin-off.
First Class re-writes her origin story as the adopted sister of Charles Xavier who helps found the X-Men, but her conflicted move to the dark side in the gut-wrenching finale puts her back in-line with the comic chronology.
The MVP of The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants (before switching sides again and forming the Freedom Force to bring down Magneto… before turning terrorist again and blowing up a dam…), her constant struggle with right and wrong makes her one of the most interesting anti-heroes in the series. And, obviously, we want to see more of Jennifer Lawrence.
A good seven months ago, Channing Tatum told us - first and exclusively - that he'd love to play X-Man Gambit in a movie. Fast-forward a few months later, and it's looking an increasing reality - producer Lauren Schuler Donner namedropped him in their recent spin-off announcement.
Gambit might have had a bit of a shaky start in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (played by Taylor Kitsch), but there aren’t many other characters that fans would be so willing to give a second chance to – even if it meant a complete overhaul.
Charming, swaggering and always with an eye for the ladies (especially Rogue), he’s the X-Men’s Cajun Han Solo. With a crackling script, and with Channing Tatum on board (sorry Taylor), the chances are good for a Gambit movie working well as another origin story – rife with dark pasts, shotgun weddings and plenty of wisecracks.
The ‘Merc with a mouth’ has already had a big screen backstory, albeit a bit of a forgettable one – buried in X-Men Origins: Wolverine , with Ryan Reynolds cracking a few jokes, spinning a few swords and getting beheaded by Sabretooth.
Nevertheless, Deadpool is still top of Lauren Schuler Donner’s spinoff wishlist – and rightly so, with so much more that needs to be done with the character.
Deadpool might just be another genetically engineered mutant killer, but he knows how to make it funny. A script has reportedly been in development for years, with Deadpool’s trademark quick-wit set to break the fourth wall and land obvious comparisons to Marvel’s savvier supers like Iron Man 3 and The Avengers .
One of the few ‘old’ mutants in DOFP that isn’t being bothered by her time-traveling younger-self, Storm has an obvious gap in her past that needs filling.
Descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses, Ororo Munroe’s troubled childhood is split between Harlem and Egypt – going through a brief punk phase in the ’80s that left her with a penchant for black leather – before Prof X taught her how to harness her weather controlling powers and she joined the X-Men.
And if Halle Berry doesn’t want to hand the reigns to a younger actress for an origin story, there’s plenty left to do with grown-up Storm.
Often described as the real leader of the group (with Wolverine off doing his own thing), she’s been a strong supporting-player in the movies but she’s a long way from the leading role she grows into in the X-Treme X-Men series – a strand that’s already crying out to be picked up as a new direction for the film franchise.
One of the more conspicuous X-Men thanks to his fine, furry blue coat (move over, Sully), Beast has already cropped up in three X -movies, played by Kelsey Grammer in X-Men: The Last Stand and Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: First Class and DOFP .
Considering he actually leaves the X-Men in the comics when he turns 20, he’s ideal for a standalone spin-off.
Like fellow blue-skinned mutant Mystique, he briefly had trouble with right and wrong when he joined the Brotherhood of Evil (though Mastermind is responsible for that, having wiped his memory), but Hank’s defining feature is his intellect.
Could a John Grisham-style story about a young whippersnapper struggling for credibility in a man’s world be just the thing for a Beast stand-alone?
Unceremoniously written into a mere cameo for DOFP , despite being a main player in the comic of the same name, Kitty’s a firm fan favourite who’s always been somewhat sidelined on-screen.
A mere bit-player in X2 , she was capably played by Ellen Page in The Last Stand and upcoming DOFP – so much so that Joss Whedon has talked about wanting to make a Kitty Pryde movie himself.
The studio turned him down when he floated the idea in 2009 – though Page is definitely keen. “I’m available!” she told Vulture in 2013. “I would be so thrilled to play Kitty Pryde again. I really would.”
Though Whedon wrote some great Kitty stories during his Astonishing X-Men run, it’s the Christmas issue of Uncanny X-Men #143 that really demands a movie adap – it sees Kitty taking on a demon when it attacks the X-Mansion on Christmas Eve. A mutant Christmas story? YES PLEASE.
Though Rogue was reportedly cut from and then replaced into the final edit of DOFP , she’s far from an expendable member of the X-Men.
Played by Anna Paquin all four times that she’s appeared on the big screen, Rogue's actually more of a badass in the comics, which means there’s plenty of room to explore that Rogue, who most X-fans feel hasn't made it into the movies yet.
There’s a wealth of comic material to draw from, whether Paquin would take up the role in a spin-off or not. While certain stories have seen her getting married to Magneto (in an alternate universe, natch) and teaming up with the Avengers, her on-off romance with Gambit could make for an interesting sideline into an action-packed mutant romantic comedy. Why not?
Marvel attempted to launch a Cable movie as early as 2009 when it assembled a team of writers to tackle some of its lesser-known characters, but we’re still waiting to see the iron-fisted telepath on the big screen.
In fact, Cable hasn’t even cameod in any of the existing X-flicks, which is probably because he’s just too important to reduce to a cameo role, with Marvel surely waiting to give him his own movie.
That movie could actually turn out to be X-Force , which is named after the X-Men team that Cable heads up in the comics. Fox has it in development already, and with Cable also important to the story of Apocalypse (the big bad in Fox's other upcoming X-movie, X-Men: Apocalypse ) we imagine it won't be long until Cable finally stomps onto our screens in a Terminator meets X-Men actiion-packed thrill ride.
“I think Cable should be in every single X-book,” says comic writer Duane Swierczynski. And every X-movie, including his own spin-offs, hopefully...
A self-absorbed playboy and the heir of a multi-billion dollar company who likes to brood away his days… Sound familiar?
Instead of a Batman rip-off, Archangel is actually one of the most unusual X-Men, mostly because of his huge feathered wings and his transformation from ‘good guy’ Angel into tortured anti-hero Archangel.
While he flapped around as one of the original five X-Men as a naive, wide-eyed prettyboy, he’s most recently known to comic readers as a member of a black-ops incarnation of X-Force . With Fox already developing X-Force , that bodes well for an Archangel spin-off if the character proves popular enough.
Will Ben Foster play the role again after X-Men: The Last Stand , though?
Played by James Marsden in the first three X-Men movies (the third of which killed the character within minutes), the Cyclops of the comics is a badass mutant and one of the best anti-heroes the writers ever came up with.
A spin-off movie would probably have to divert away from the movie canon if it wanted to resurrect him, though we wouldn’t be against a new Cyclops emerging to kick-off a run of movies entirely separate from Singer’s films.
Joss Whedon did some fantastic stuff with Cylcops in Astonishing X-Men , a story set in space in which the one-eyed one goes up against evil aliens. Throw in the fact that his Dad is later found to be alive and well as a galaxy-hopping space-pirate, it's not hard to connect the dots - we want space mutants!