At this point it’s hard to remember a time before X-Men films. Hugh Jackman and the lads have been with us since the resurgence of comic book movies in the year 2000, and have produced some of the best outings the genre has ever seen. But where do we go from here? Let’s wildly speculate, as we pick the 7 thinks Fox need to do next with the future of the X-Men franchise.

Just a heads up, some of these spin off from ideas set up in X-Men: Apocalypse, so beware of SPOILERS for that film below.

1. Mr Sinister

future of the X-Men franchise

Remember those Apocalypse spoilers we were talking about? Yep, this is them. The post credit scene in that film hints at the involvement of the mysterious Essex Corporation. This is of course referring to Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mr Sinister.

In the comics his drive to create a better mutant has him become fascinated with Jean and Cyclops, as well as Wolverine (whose blood he now has a hold of in the film).

It’s his desire to use Scott and Jean to advance his research that leads to the creation of Cable, who we know is confirmed for Deadpool 2 – let Ron Perlman play him, please – but could the introduction of Sinister be the start of a wider X-Men universe on the big screen?

2. The Dark Phoenix Saga

future of the X-Men franchise

Often considered one of the most iconic storylines in not just X-Men, but Marvel’s history, this is something that we’ve seen an exceedingly watered down version of in the past (X-Men: The Last Stand) but is now being hinted at again thanks to Sophie Turner’s take as Jean Grey.

In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean is slowly corrupted into embracing her darker side by the sinister Hellfire Club, which results in her unleashing the full power of The Phoenix onto the world.

To add more mayhem to the film series, this would also act as an excellent jumping on point for the characters of the Imperial Guard – the enforcers of the alien Shi’ar Empire.

If they were looking to give the X-Men Universe a massive expansion, this is where they should start.

3. “No More Mutants”

future of the X-Men franchise

House of M was one of those epic Marvel crossover stories that occured in an alternative reality; this means the gloves are off. Luckily for us, because the X-Men are an island all of their own in the movies, this tale could be reworked to great effects.

Revolving around Scarlet Witch, the alternative timeline that she creates herself sees Magneto and his family reigning over a world where mutants are the dominant race. But when other mutants (and even the Avengers) begin rejecting this “perfect world”, it leads to bloodshed, and a distraught Wanda speaks three simple words: “No more mutants.”

The terrifying fallout that followed saw everyone return to the reality of the world we know, but with one major change: all of the mutants found themselves completely without their powers.

This could be a terrifying introduction to Fox’s take on an all-powerful Scarlet Witch. After all, they’ve already nailed Quicksilver in a way that Marvel didn’t match.

4. Onslaught

future of the X-Men franchise

What happens when you take the darkest qualities of Magneto and merge them with the power of Charles Xavier’s subconscious? The answer is Onslaught. Forged together out of the consciousness of both mutants, this is a being potentially more destructive than anyone the X-Men have ever faced.

5. Reform The Brotherhood

future of the X-Men franchise

Finding the balance between too few members (the original X-Men) and far too many (The Last Stand) in Magneto’s Brotherhood is a tricky thing to get right, but it would be nice to see them try it again.

In the next X-outing, take Magneto back to being more of a villain (the moral grey area thing has gone on too long now) and have him assemble his own team, one that rivals Xavier’s. To save on the setup have the Brotherhood already established at the start of the next film, with classic members like Toad, Blob, Pyro and Avalanche, but you could introduce a few new recruits as the film goes on. It could also be a personal conflict for Quicksilver about whether or not to stick with the X-Men or help his father.

And take Mystique back to being less of a focus; she works far better that way.

6. Give us our god damn motherf***ing Deadpool crossover right now!

future of the X-Men franchise

Come on Fox, give the people what they want.

After Deadpool made crazy money at the box office, it seems only right that Mr Pool will get to hang out with even more X-Men in his sequel (but please bring back Negasonic Teenage Warhead).

And while the Wolverine cameo in Apocalypse was pretty good, imagine the next one having the massive surprise of having Deadpool in it, even for just one scene. We need that to happen.

7. Give it back to Marvel

future of the X-Men franchise

Just stop delaying the inevitable, Fox. You’ve had a good run. Apocalypse was enjoyable, so end on a high note, and give the X-rights back to Marvel so they can be included in the MCU. And while you’re at it, you really messed up Fantastic Four as well, so hand that over too.