Making sense of the X-Men cinematic universe

Marvel was in dire financial trouble in the 1990s, so they sold movie rights of their characters to whoever wanted them. 20th Century Fox bought the live action rights to the X-Men characters in 1994. Development of a motion picture went back as far as 1984 at Orion Pictures, but never came to fruition. When 20th Century Fox bought the rights, development of an X-Men movie began, and after multiple attempts we eventually got X-Men directed by Bryan Singer in 2000. This was the beginning of a movie series that just got its tenth instalment with Logan, and has many new ones in development. However, while the series was pretty straightforward to follow with the first three instalments, we then where confronted with prequels, spinoffs and alternative timelines, posing the question: how does it all fit together? Take a moment to get some aspirins.

Let’s first determine what actually is part of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Cinematic Universe, as we can call it these days. Basically every X-Men, Wolverine, and Deadpool movie that bears 20th Century Fox logo is part of it. Cartoons, like the famous X-Men: The Animated Series, and anime series X-Men and Wolverine are not part of it. Video games, even if inspired by the movies, are not part of it or canon. And the Generation X TV movie and Mutant X TV series are not part of it. Generation X has X-Men characters like Jubilee, Banshee, and Emma Frost (who can control the weather in this iteration), and even uses the same building as the movies for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Mutant X, meanwhile, was not a 20th Century Fox but a Marvel production, leading to a host of lawsuits. The show did not star any of the mutants known from the comics, and the lawsuits made it impossible to make any hints towards them. FX show Legion and the upcoming Fox show Gifted, however, are part of the X-Men Cinematic Universe.

Now on to how the X-Men Cinematic Universe fits together. The quick answer: it actually doesn’t. There are numerous continuity errors even before alternative timelines came into play. But that isn’t a lot of fun, so let’s go for the long answer. The following is an entirely unofficial, suggested watch order of the X-Men Cinematic Universe (one that goes even further than our recent movie-only watch order piece), with as few spoilers as possible….

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Timeline: Original

This movie is considered by many as the worst X-Men movie, which may have been the result of heavy studio interference. That, or it is just not a good idea to dig into Wolverine’s history in too great a detail.

The movie is mostly set somewhere in the 1980s, is a prequel and a spinoff to the first X-Men trilogy of movies, and reveals the origin of Wolverine, as the title clearly states. It visits the events of Logan’s transformation to Wolverine, or Weapon X, as X-Men 2 also did, but this time in greater detail. You of course want to know that Wolverine got the leather jacket he wore in X-Men from an elderly Heather Hudson and James Hudson (in the movie called Travis Hudson, but still), in the comics known as Guardian and Vindicator from Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight.

Other characters showing up are William Stryker (Danny Huston), who here sports the rank of Major; Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), who’s comic alias of Sabretooth is never used in the movie; Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins), who has an altered power set from the comics; Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a version of Deadpool (Scott Adkins), Remy LeBeau/Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), and a young Emma Frost who is only identified as such by the credits.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is placed at the top of the list, so repeat viewers can skip it, or it may not be as bad as you remembered if watched first. First time viewers might want to watch this one after X-Men: The Last Stand, though.

Note: The movie has an after credits scene hinting at more Deadpool in the future. Whatever the original plans were, they did not come to fruition.

Note: This was originally intended to be the first X-Men Origins film. After the poor reception of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, plans for a Magneto origin movie where abandoned, but ideas for it where reused later in X-Men: First Class.

Note: Raven Software developed and Activision released a tie-in hack and slash action-adventure video game of the same name, when X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released. The game follows the same plot as the movie, but also diverts from it, and is to be considered non-canon. Examples of this are the inclusion of Sentinels and (one of the multiple versions of) their inventor Bolivar Trask, and Raven Darkholme/Mystique , who in this version is the girlfriend of Wraith and the mother of their child, Nightcrawler. The ‘Uncaged Edition’ of the game, which includes blood, gore and profanity, is the best received version of the game, which in general got mixed to positive reviews.

2. X-Men

Timeline: Original

The movie directed by Bryan Singer that started it all in 2000. Via Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) we are introduced to the X-Men, a group of mutants led by wheelchair bound Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and consisting of Scott Summers/Cyclops (James Marsden), Ororo Munroe/Storm(Halle Barry), and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Their base of operations is Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester County, New York. Their adversary is Professor Xavier’s old friend but now enemy, Erik Lensherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen). A holocaust survivor who now leads the Brotherhood of Mutants, which goal in this movie is to turn humans into mutants. Members of the Brotherhood are Raven Darkholme/Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), Mortimer Toynbee/Toad (Ray Park), and Sabretooth. It is unclear if this is the same character as Liev Schreiber played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as he is here never named Victor Creed and he seems to not know Wolverine. We also see versions of Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, and Pyro.

Note: Marvel made a prequel comic of three issues called X-Men The Movie Prequel or X-Men: Beginnings, detailing stories of Wolverine, Rogue, and Magento respectively. The comics became non-canon almost immediately, as the movie contradicts them.

Note: There isn’t a full on tie-in game, but the PlayStation and Game Boy Color game X-Men: Mutant Academy does use elements from the movie, like costumes.

Note: There is a blooper of a scene in the Statue of Liberty, where suddenly Spider-Man joins the X-Men. Interestingly, when Sony made their first Spider-Man movie there was the intend to have Hugh Jackman cameo as Wolverine. This only didn’t come true because they could not find a Wolverine suit for Jackman, which makes the truthfulness of that story a bit wobbly.

3. X-Men 2/X2/X-Men United

Timeline: Original

In 2003 the well-received sequel to X-Men, directed again by Bryan Singer, was released. Take your pick on how to call it. The movie is a direct sequel, with a story loosely based upon the comic story arc ‘God Loves, Man Kills’ by iconic X-Men writer Chris Claremont. The military scientist Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) is granted approval by the President of the United States to invade Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, after Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) invades the White House and attacks the President. This results in reveals of Wolverine’s origin and a unlikely team-up between the X-Men and Magneto and Mystique.

Bobbi Drake/Iceman (again played by Shawn Ashmore) becomes a prominent cast member after his small role in the first movie, John Allerdyce/Pyro gets a much bigger role and is recast with Aaron Stanford, and we see Kelly Hu play Yuriko Oyama/Lady Deathstrike. We also get the first hint at the Phoenix, and we see Theresa Cassidy/Siryn, a very normal looking version of Artie (he is the kid with the forked blue tongue), another actress playing Kitty Pryde, and Peter Rasputin/Colossus.

Note: This is the X-Men movie that introduces the main title theme also used in X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse.

Note: When Mystique accesses Stryker’s computer in one scene of the movie, a whole host of names are shown that reference characters and places from the comics. Also, in another scene with Mystique we see a television showing an interview with a human looking Dr. Hank McCoy.

Note: Iconic X-Men comic writer Chris Claremont wrote a novelisation of the movie that is different in multiple places, like Jamie Madrox/Multiple Man being a student at Xavier’s, and is therefore in contradiction to X-Men: The Last Stand.

Note: Marvel made two comic tie-ins, one for Nightcrawler and one for Wolverine. The Wolverine one contradicts X-Men Origins: Wolverine, if you consider Victor Creed the Sabretooth of X-Men.

Note: Activision released a video game tie-in for the movie called X2: Wolverine’s Revenge on all gaming platforms of that time. Instead of Hugh Jackman, whose likeliness is used, Wolverine is voiced by Mark Hamill. The story is almost completely standalone from the story of the movie, and features characters from later movies, like Apocalypse, as well as a cameo role of Spider-Man in an unlockable scene.

4. X-Men: The Last Stand

Timeline: Original

The first X-Men movie not to be directed by Bryan Singer, but by Brett Ratner. It is the final movie in the original trilogy of X-Men movies, and therefore has a vibe of finality throughout. The story was loosely based upon Chris Claremont’s ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’ from the Uncanny X-Men comic, and upon Joss Whedon’s ‘Gifted’ story arc from the Astonishing X-Men comic. In the movie a ‘cure’ is introduced that returns mutants to human; this doesn’t sit well with Magneto as he is sure the humans will use it as a weapon, and he goes in the offensive against it. This while the X-Men are of the opinion that use of the cure is of a mutant’s own choosing. Meanwhile the Phoenix rises within Jean Grey, posing a threat to everyone.

We are introduced to the definitive movie version of Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat played by Ellen Page, and we see Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast. During the movie we also see versions of Dr. Kavita Rao (Shohreh Aghdashloo), Warren Worthington III/Angel (Ben Foster), Cain Marko/ Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones), and Leech. In minor roles we see versions of James Madrox/Multiple Man, Callisto, Elizabeth Braddock/Psylock, Maxwell Jordan/Quill, Philippa Sontag/Arclight, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, and yet another version of Bolivar Trask.

Note: The movie has an after credits scene involving Professor Xavier.

Note: Chris Claremont again wrote a novelisation of the movie. He also worked on the story of the tie-in video game X-Men: The Official Game, which was released on multiple platforms around the same time as the movie by Activision, and adapts X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and the gap between them. The game has a number of elements of note. It reveals why Nightcrawler is not in the movie, as the events of the game gives him the opinion a live as an X-Man would be too violent. The game also introduces a version of HYDRA, who are working together with the Silver Samurai. Especially the inclusion of the Silver Samurai makes this game non-canon.

4b. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (again)Timeline: Original

Released after X-Men: The Last Stand, first time viewers might want to watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine here instead of first.

5. The Wolverine

Timeline: Original

The second solo Wolverine movie was originally to be directed by Darren Aronofsky and to be shot in Japan. But when Japan got hit by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, with the subsequent meltdown of three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, the project hit a delay and Aronofsky left the project, after which James Mangold stepped in as director.

The movie is set after X-Men: The Last Stand, and shows us a Wolverine living in the wilderness. Throughout the movie Wolverine is trying to come to terms with what he had to do at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, which results in hallucinations. In the wild Wolverine is found by a Japanese woman called Yukio who wants to bring him back with her to Japan, to meet with a man called Yashida. A man Wolverine saved outside the city of Nagasaki, during the atomic bombing during World War II. Yashida gives Wolverine an interesting offer.

The movie takes its cues from the many comic stories of Wolverine in Japan, such as Wolverine’s romantic interest Mariko Yashida, ninjas, and the Silver Samurai.

In the movie we meet a mutant called Doctor Green/Viper. This is a very different version of the character we know in the comics as Ophelia Sarkissian/Madam Hydra. In the comics she isn’t a mutant, and she is a high ranking HYDRA member. But with the rights of HYDRA at Marvel Studios, the only reason why the character can be used by 20th Century Fox is that she had an alliance with the Silver Samurai in the comics.

To keep away from the numerous inconsistencies the earlier released X-Men: First Class has, The Wolverine is placed after X-Men: The Last Stand, as it takes place in the Original timeline and is a sequel to that movie.

Note: While in another timeline, the movie gives a prophetic hint towards Logan.

Note: On home media an ‘Unleashed Extended Edition’ is available. This edition of the movie increases the runtime of the movie with 12 minutes, including moments of character interaction and a whole new scene involving ninjas. This edition also pulls the rating up from a PG-13 to an R rating for including more blood and profanity.

Note: An alternate ending sees Wolverine receiving a comic accurate costume.

Note: The movie has an after credits scene linking it with X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

6. X-Men: First Class

Timeline: Altered

X-Men: First Class is directed by Matthew Vaughn and throws us back to the 1960s. But first we are reintroduced to a young Erik Lehnsherr in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp during World War II, in a scene that can be seen as an extended version of the one we saw in X-Men. Here he is introduced to main antagonist of the movie, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a Nazi collaborator and secret mutant. After this we are reintroduced to a young Charles Xavier, who finds an even younger Raven Darkholme in his parents’ kitchen. Charles is thrilled to meet another mutant and invites Raven to stay, basically making her his adoptive sister.

The story really starts when we jump to 1963 and Charles (James McAvoy) is finishing his academic education in Genetics, Biophysics, and Psychology at Oxford University, while Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) is not at ease with hiding her true form. It’s here when Charles is contacted by the CIA via Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) to help investigate the Hellfire Club, which consists of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost (January Jones), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), and Riptide/Janos Quested. The CIA suspects them of playing both the American and Soviet sides of the Cold War. This leads to Charles putting together a team of mutants, his first class, which includes Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Alex Summers/Havok (Lucas Till), Armando Muñoz/Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Sean Cassidy/Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Angel Salvadore/Angel (Zoë Kravitz), and of course Raven Darkhölme/Mystique.

While the movie can be considered a prequel to X-Men, there are multiple elements that prevent it from being a true prequel. Magneto is said in the previous movies to have helped build Cerebro, but there is no evidence of this in First Class, nor in its sequels. Professor Xavier tells Wolverine in X-Men that Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey where his first students, but they are not in First Class. Next to that, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine Xavier is seen walking and using his telepathy, which contradicts First Class’s sequel X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Then we have a teenage Emma Frost (albeit only identified as such by the credits) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is set in the 80s, and an adult Emma Frost in the 60s. Taking these elements into account it is more plausible that X-Men: Days Of Future Past melts two existing timelines, than that X-Men: First Class is a prequel to X-Men.

Note: In the comics Nightcrawler is revealed to be the son of Azazel and Mystique. Azazel in First Class looks like and has the same ability as Nightcrawler in X-Men 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse. However, in the movies there is no evidence given of any sort of relationship between the three, except from looking alike.

7. X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Timeline: Original/Altered

Director Bryan Singer returned to the franchise for X-Men: Days Of Future Past. The movie stars the original X-Men cast as well as the First Class cast as their younger versions. The movie picks up years after the after credits scene of The Wolverine, in the dystopian future of 2023. Sentinels, human-built humanoid-looking robots that hunt mutants, have killed or imprisoned most of mutant kind. Only a small group of X-Men are left, consisting of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Colossus, Iceman, and newcomers Lucas Bishop, Clarice Ferguson/Blink, James Proudstar/Warpath, and Robert da Costa/Sunspot. With Kitty receiving the secondary mutation of placing someone’s present mind into that person’s body in the past, a plan is devised to alter the future in which they live. As the procedure requires a lot of the person on whom its performed on, Wolverine is chosen to go back, because of his healing factor.

While the future X-Men keep Sentinels at bay as long as they can, Wolverine goes back to 1973. Here he needs to bring young Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magento (Michael Fassbender) back together to prevent Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage in the, as of yet, final version of the character) of creating Sentinels.

Note: A so called ‘Rogue Cut’ of the movie was released on home media. This version presents a 17 minutes longer version of the movie, which, next to some other scenes, primarily reinserts the scenes involving Rogue.

Note: In the movie we are introduced to Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver. Yes, the same character as we saw in the unconnected Avengers: Age of Ultron but a different iteration. This is made possible because next to an X-Men character, Quicksilver is also a long time Avengers character, causing Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox to share the character rights, together with those of Quicksilver’s sister Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

Note: Talking about the Maximoffs, Quicksilver has a little sister in the movie, who is suspected to be the character Lorna Dane/Polaris, as that is another daughter of Magneto in the comics. In the commentary of the ‘Rogue Cut’, director Bryan Singer confirms that the ‘big sister’ Quicksilver’s little sister is told to go bug is Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

Note: In The Wolverine, Wolverine loses his adamantium claws; how he got them back after that is never explained.

Note: In the original Uncanny X-Men comic story arc, not Wolverine but Kitty Pryde is send back. Also, the dystopian world of the movie looks like a mash-up of the dystopian worlds presented in the comic story arcs ‘Days Of Future Past’ and ‘Age Of Apocalypse’.

Note: The movie has an after credits scene serving as a prelude to X-Men: Apocalypse.

Note: Talking about after credits scenes: a really weird thing happened with the unconnected Sony Pictures movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It didn’t have an after credits scene of its own, but had a promotional clip of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. This was done because director Marc Webb was originally contracted to do another film for 20th Century Fox’s sister studio Fox Searchlight, but as negotiations on what movie that would be stalled, Webb took on The Amazing Spider-Man franchise for Sony. This was allowed by Fox, but only if Sony would make some free publicity for their new X-Men movie, which resulted in this very confusing after credits scene.

Note: On April Fool’s Day 2013 director Bryan Singer announced that Lady Gaga would play Alison Blaire/Dazzler. A character that in the 1980s almost got the most fantastic movie of her own. For more on that see our article Marvel superhero movies that never got the greenlight.

8. X-Men: Apocalypse

Timeline: Altered

The end of X-Men: Days Of Future Past left the franchise with an alternative timeline for director Bryan Singer to play with. All the events in the previous movies where erased from the timeline, with the exception of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past. X-Men: Apocalypse jumps ahead another 10 years, to 1983. But first we are taken to 3600 BC’s ancient Egypt. Here we are introduced to the antagonist of the movie, the mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who is put in a time capsule of sorts. Back in 1983 we are introduced to a fully operating Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, via new arrival Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). Here he meets Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Jubilation Lee/Jubilee (Lana Condor).

When CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) accidently reawakens Apocalypse in modern Egypt, he starts recruiting his Four Horsemen, Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), whose real name or backstory is never given, so this might not be Warren Worthington III; Psylocke (Olivia Munn) whose character wildly differs from the comics, and finally Magento. With his Horsemen gathered, Apocalypse now starts with his plan to cleanse the world of the weak.

Note: This movie reveals that Alex and Scott Summers are brothers, even though there is a massive age gap between them.

Note: The movie has an after credits scene hinting at an upcoming villain.

9. Legion

Timeline: Undetermined

The TV show Legion tells the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens). A man who is staying at Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital, where he is treated for schizophrenia. After an event at the hospital connected to him, David leaves and is eventually captured by an government outfit called Division 3, who want to use David for his potential powers. Eventually David is broken out by a group of mutants who take him to their safe haven called Summerland, where they together with David will try to find out what his gifts actually are.

In the comics David Haller/Legion is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. There are heavy hints at Professor Xavier being David’s Father, but they don’t yet clearly say he is. It is however unclear if there is a clear connection to the movies at this point. As of yet there have been no clear X-Men characters introduced next to David Haller/Legion himself and his main antagonist. The producers of the show also have not helped in making things clear, with one saying it would not be connected to the movies, to another saying it would be, and then switching to that the show might not be connected yet, but might be in the future, and they have to “earn” the connection.

The TV show by Noah Hawley is placed here because it gives conflicted information on when it takes place. We see modern technology like MRI scanners, flat screen TVs, and tablet computers, then we see fashion of the 1970s, and then we hear characters mention things that previously happened in their lives making it hard for the series to be set in the 1960s. There is also talk about a war between humans and mutants, but in X-Men: Apocalypse,mutants are even accepted to a degree. However, the events of that movie could have caused a turn in that respect. Anyway, showrunner Noah Hawley said he wrote the show as being set in the present, but it’s given the aesthetic as being timeless and from David’s perception.

Note: While 20th Century Fox holds the live action movie rights for the X-Men, they had to negotiate with Marvel to make TV shows around the characters. This eventually turned out in some kind of cooperation of which we still don’t know the full details of.

Note: Sit through the credits of the last episode of the first season, as it has an after credits scene.

Note: On March 15 2017 originally broadcaster FX announced that they had picked up Legion for a second season to air somewhere in 2018.

Note: When Patrick Stewart and Dan Stevens where both guests at NBC’s The Late Late Show with James Corden, the parentage of David Haller came up. While it could be a joke as Stewart announced before that Logan would be his last time as Professor Xavier, Stewart wasn’t dismissive on showing up on the show as David’s Father.

Note: In July 2016 ran an International Comic-Con San Diego article about all the characters coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This named Legion in a list that included movies like Doctor Strange and TV shows like Luke Cage. It would be very surprising if this turned out to be true, which it probably is not.

10. Deadpool

Timeline: Altered

With Deadpool throwing everything we were told about Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine out of the window, we got this very well received and first (theatrical) R rated movie in the X-Men franchise from debuting director Tim Miller. Production for Deadpool was greenlit by 20th Century Fox after CGI test footage for it was leaked by someone (maybe Ryan Reynolds himself) to the internet, which got a lot of positive feedback.

Ryan Reynolds returns as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a mercenary who finally found love and happiness with his girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) (in the comics she is known as the mutant Copycat, but she doesn’t present any powers here) when he gets diagnosed with cancer. A shady organisation presents him with an opportunity for a cure, but he actually gets drafted into a clandestine experiment in which his dormant mutation is kick-started. Being left with a completely scarred body, Wilson takes on the alias of Deadpool and tracks down those who have wronged him, most notably a man called Ajax (Ed Skrein).

Note: To the surprise of many a decommissioned helicarrier, a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, showed up in the movie. Why this was done and if there is an reason for it at all, we don’t know at the moment.

Note: The movie might give us the first hint at what is in store for future X-Men movies, as we are introduced to Ellie Phimister/Teenage Negasonic Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who is wearing a New Mutants-like uniform, and a new and very comic accurate version of Peter Rasputin/Colossus.

Note: Teenage Negasonic Warhead was introduced in the comic New X-Men, in which she died almost immediately. In the comic her power is primarily precognition, which is completely different from her detonation power in the movie. Currently she has somehow been revived during the X-Men comics event Necrosha and has currently a role in the comic Deadpool & The Mercs For Money, where she has an appearance close to that of the movie.

Note: Deadpool marks the first cameo of Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee in a 20th Century Fox produced Marvel movie since 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer and the first X-Men movie cameo since 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.

11. Deadpool: No Good Deed

Timeline: Altered

Deadpool: No Good Deed is a short movie from director David Leitch, who will also direct Deadpool 2. The short movie was played in front of Logan in US cinemas, and spoofs DC Comics character Superman changing in a phone booth.

Note: An extended version of the short movie can be found on YouTube.

Note: The short movie has multiple background hints towards Logan, Firefly (possibly because of Morena Baccarin, who plays Deadpool’s girlfriend) and X-Men characters like Wolverine, Nathan Summers/Cable, and Hope Summers.

Note: The short movie ends with Deadpool’s essay of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea. Why? Wolverine is seen reading the book in an issue of the comic Uncanny X-Force, maybe it has something to do with that? Anyway, send Fox a mail or Twitter Ryan Reynolds , maybe you will win a prize. Who knows?

12. Logan

Timeline: Altered/Undetermined

The most recent addition to the X-Men franchise is the movie Logan. Again directed by James Mangold, and very loosely based upon the comic stories ‘Old Man Logan’ and the 2005 comic X-23. Set in 2029, seemingly after the future ending of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, mutantkind has taken a turn for the worse, with the species on the brink of extinction. Logan has left his alias of Wolverine and is now a limousine driver in Texas. He has aged a lot since we last saw him, and his healing factor isn’t as good as it was, leaving him with scars. Next to a chauffeur Logan is a caregiver to Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is now in his nineties and is suffering from dementia which causes him to sometimes dangerously loose grip of his telepathic ability. When Logan and Professor Xavier come across a little girl called Laura, whom seems very similar to Logan, they go on a road trip to uncover her origin.

After 17 years Logan most likely marks the last time we will see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, as he has expressed the desire to retire from the role after this movie. The same probably goes for Patrick Stewart in the role of Professor Charles Xavier, who since the movie premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival has also expressed his desire to retire from his role. However, multiple talk show appearances have made Stewart say his retirement from the role might not be as permanent as first stated. An example of this is that he might turn up as Professor Charles Xavier in the TV show Legion.

Logan is, for the moment, the last movie in the series chronologically. However, that doesn’t mean that placing it is easy. While it is said that the movie takes place five years after the future shown in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, there are inconsistencies. It is said that there no new mutants are born for the past 25 years, which makes it impossible to have children running around at Xavier’s school. Next to that, some events of the original timeline are alluded to in the movie. It is possible those events took place in a similar but different form. Only time will tell how exactly it fits in with the rest of the series, if at all.

Note: The X-Men comics that are shown in the movie are not real X-Men comics you can read. They are specially made for the movie, with artwork from Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, who used Chris Claremont’s classic run on The Uncanny X-Men in the 1980s as his inspiration. In universe the comics are not published by Marvel, but by the X-Men Comics Group.

It’s actually not that weird that comics are shown in a comic book based movie, as in the Marvel comics Marvel exists as a publisher and makes comics based upon superheroes.

Note: We already saw the character of Caliban in X-Men: Apocalypse, and while he is played by a different actor in Logan he doesn’t seem to have aged 46 years. Apparently someone at Fox needs to make a spreadsheet of which characters are in use and for what project, as James Mangold said the teams behind the movies did not know they were both using Caliban.

Note: In the first version of the script Liev Schreiber would return as Victor Creed, but later drafts excluded the character.

Note: Hugh Jackman said that if there had been an opportunity to play Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he would not yet have retired from the role.

And with Logan we have reached the current entries of the X-Men Cinematic Universe. 20th Century Fox has big plans for the X-Men on both the big and small screen. Legion season 2 has just been ordered by FX, and Fox will soon premiere another X-Men TV show called Gifted, starring characters like Polaris and Blink. Meanwhile, we will see Deadpool 2X-Men: New Mutants and X-Men: Dark Phoenix all in cinemas in 2018, with Gambit and X-Force films also in development.

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