After 20 years of X-Men movies focused on Wolverine, Xavier, and Magneto, the MCU will have to find new character dynamics for its X-Men reboot.
Despite the lack of announcements, an MCU X-Men movie reboot is bound to happen – and there is one character who can set the Marvel Studios X-Men films apart from the Fox ones right away. Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox in 2019, both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, plus all of its adjacent characters, can now be added to the Marvel Studios sandbox. A live-action MCU X-Men movie or TV show has yet to be announced, but with mutants already part of the franchise and with an almost full slate revealed for the Multiverse Saga, the X-Men are sure to be the future of Marvel Studios – which means the MCU reboot has to succeed in everything previous movies failed.
Taking many by surprise, the first appearance of an X-Men in the MCU was Charles Xavier played by long-time Professor X actor Patrick Stewart. One of the best parts about the previous X-Men films Patrick Stewart reprised his role as Professor X now in the MCU, except that it was not the same Xavier featured in the Fox movies. After Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ surprising Professor X cameo, Marvel Studios shocked audiences once again with the reveal that Ms. Marvel is a mutant in the MCU. Between Xavier in Doctor Strange 2 and the Ms. Marvel reveal, plus the X-Men ’97 revival, the mutants’ future in the MCU seems bright – but there are still challenges.
Compared to the Fantastic Four, rebooting the X-Men seems a lot more difficult. That is because, unlike the Fantastic Four, the X-Men were front and center in a movie franchise for 20 years. The Fox X-Men movies had ups and downs, but overall, the MCU needs to set its reboot apart from that era as much as possible to start something new. For that to happen, it would be important for the MCU X-Men reboot to feature Emma Frost in a prominent role, perhaps even as the X-Men leader. Emma Frost, a villain turned into a hero, has been one of the most important X-Men characters in the last two decades. An Omega Class telepath, Emma Frost has been as crucial to modern X-Men sagas as names like Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, and Professor X – and yet she was never given a chance in the Fox movies. Emma Frost was a henchman for the Hellfire Club in X-Men: First Class, and before that, a throwaway cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. By featuring Emma Frost in a central role, the MCU can fix that issue and set its X-Men movie reboot apart from the previous franchise.
Why Emma Frost Would Be The MCU’s X-Men Perfect Leader
After two decades of X-Men movies centered around Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique, the MCU will have to find new character dynamics for its X-Men reboot. That could be done by having Emma Frost as the leader of the X-Men in this new iteration, something that has already happened in the comics. Emma Frost represents a great contrast to Professor X, and therefore, her X-Men team would feel organically different from the Fox movies’ version. Granted, Cyclops as a leader is something the MCU can also improve on, but even so, Scott and Emma have also led the X-Men together in the comics.
There are many ways for Marvel Studios to make the MCU’s X-Men reboot different from the previous X-Men movies. However, in terms of characters who did not get a chance at the spotlight in the previous franchise, Emma Frost is by far the most interesting name to be featured in the MCU’s X-Men team. As such, it will be truly surprising if Emma Frost isn’t part of Marvel Studios’ first X-Men movie.