The final trailer for X-Men:Apocalypse was released last week. There had been speculation whether or not Wolverine was in the movie – most people suspected a cameo similar to what we got in First Class – but the trailer confirmed his presence. It doesn’t appear as if he’s heavily featured, but he is expected to show up for at least one big fight scene.
I had a brief discussion with a friend over the merits of the First Class movies vs. the original X-trilogy. We both agreed that the First Class movies are superior. The first two were excellent, and early reports on Apocalypse are good as well. Meanwhile, the originals ranged from okay (X-Men), to very good (X2), to crappy (The Last Stand).
However, I’m not sure they could have made the First Class trilogy if they hadn’t started out with the originals. (Aside from the obvious problem that about a third of Days of Future Past features the original cast.) Remember that when the first X-Men came out in 2000, comic book movies weren’t nearly as mainstream as they are today. As strange as it seems now, the general public wasn’t all that familiar with the X-Men, so they had to introduce the basic concepts: Mutants have emerged, humanity fears them, Magneto wants mutant supremacy, the X-Men want to stop him.
They also wanted Wolverine – the most popular character in the comic – to be heavily featured, since they (correctly) assumed that he would be a marketable movie character. But his presence in First Class likely would have distracted from the key story of First Class: The divide between Xavier and Magneto.
Speaking of Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has said that after the upcoming Wolverine 3, he’s done playing the character. We’ll see if he really means it (Shoving enough money in an actor’s direction can often make him reconsider), or if they have to figure out how to replace him. Would they be worried that fans wouldn’t accept a different actor playing the part? It didn’t hurt the Spider-Man franchise, but people were never that into Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker.
If they did replace Jackman, I hope they go with an actor of appropriate height, since in the comics, Wolverine is about 5’4″ tall. He’s somewhat a hero to all the short people out there, so it would be nice to see that reflected on the big screen.
Of course they could always take the revolutionary step of making future X-Men movies without Wolverine. It seems unlikely, but these movies seem to be licenses to print money, with or without Wolverine. Either way, we’re probably going to get X-movies until the end of time.
This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was X and the topic was “X-Men.”