The final trailer for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse suggests that the movie might follow its comic book source material and move past the influence of Charles Xavier.
A brief exchange in the trailer reveals that Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) has kidnapped Xavier, leaving Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) to gather a new team of X-Men without him, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Watch the trailer here
In terms of the movie series that started with 2000’s X-Men, this is totally different — Xavier has been front-and-centre of the franchise, whether as Patrick Stewart’s aged mentor of the original trilogy or James McAvoy’s younger, more impetuous incarnation in the prequel trilogy launched with 2011’s X-Men: First Class.
Sidelining Xavier when it comes to the team, in that light, seems almost transgressive. In comic book lore, however, Xavier’s relationship with the X-Men is far more complicated than in the movies.
It’s not just that he doesn’t hold the same premiere position within the comic book franchise; it’s that the comic book X-Men franchise has a history of actively rejecting Xavier as a character and writing him out for long periods of time, allowing the property to explore different directions and story possibilities beyond the Xavier/Magneto relationship that dominates the movie storylines.
Since his 1963 debut, Xavier’s comic book incarnation has been killed off twice, sent into space to recover from a near death experience, and depowered on at least one occasion, with each of these events used to sever his relationship to the X-Men for a period of time.
While it’s unlikely that X-Men: Apocalypse is going to keep Xavier and the X-Men separated for too long, it will, hopefully, set the stage for future X-Men releases that allow Xavier to step onto the sidelines however temporarily and let other characters shine.
Perhaps the same can be done for the franchise’s overreliance on Wolverine too, since the trailer snuck in a quick tease of High Jackman’s mutant as well.
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