First things first: The X-Men film franchise as a whole is not going to grind to a halt anytime soon.
That is, of course, unless it stops making money, but with the last two entries alone -- 2013's The Wolverine and last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past -- raking in nearly $1.2 billion combined worldwide, that doesn't seem very likely at the moment.
There could, however, be major changes coming to the cinematic X-Verse. Former Latino Review scooper Umberto "El Mayimbe" Gonzalez posted on Twitter that he hears that the current configuration of the X-Men films -- the series started way back in 2000 with director Bryan Singer's original X-Men -- could be coming to a close with the next two films: 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse and 2017's Wolverine 3 (not the official title).
What does that mean, exactly? Well, no one's really sure. With most of Singer's original actors, like Ian McKellen (Magneto), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Halle Berry (Storm), Famke Janssen (Jean Grey) and James Marsden (Cyclops) taking curtain calls in Days of Future Past, it certainly seems as if the franchise is closing the book on that era.
Add to that the fact that the series linchpin, Hugh Jackman, has been hinting that he might finally hang up Wolverine's claws after Wolverine 3, and then you've got a real changing of the guard happening (there's also a rumor that Stewart might make one final appearance in that film as well).
After that, however, things get even more interesting. Jennifer Lawrence is done with Mystique after X-Men: Apocalypse; it's possible that Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy will fulfill their contracts as young Magneto and Professor X, respectively, with that film as well. Younger versions of Cyclops, Jean and Nightcrawler are making their debuts in X-Men: Apocalypse, so the stage is being set for a new generation of actors to fill those roles. Will they carry the franchise forward, either with Fassbender and McAvoy or not, and with a recast Wolverine?
The beauty of the X-Men canon, of course, is that you can move backward and forward in time, recast, add and subtract characters and keep the thing fresh if you do it right (don't forget, there are also Gambit and Deadpool movies on the way as well). But audiences like seeing familiar faces, so in some ways it's hard to imagine these movies without Jackman or some of the other veterans.
Where do you stand? Should X-Men: Apocalypse and Wolverine 3 wipe the slate clean? Should Logan be immediately recast, or should the character take a break so that folks like Gambit, Deadpool and perhaps the new Cyclops take center stage for a while? Lots to think about ...
(via The Playlist)