The X-Men film franchise is something of a standard-bearer among Marvel adaptations, in that for most of its run, the movies have been adapting, or at least overtly referencing, specific stories from the property's decades-long comic book history.
This isn't completely unheard-of; The Dark Knight Rises and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice both drew heavily from popular comcis storylines, and both Captain America sequels have taken both the title and basic plot of a popular, recent story from the Marvel Comics Universe.
Still, it remains mostly the exception rather than the rule; the Iron Man franchise, for instance, and the Avengers movies both take only a loose concept or a villain and build on that from scratch. Same with Sony's Spider-Man franchise.
Starting with X-Men: First Class, the trend of adapting a specific story came into even more glaring relief, with the X-movies tackling fan-favorites like Old Man Logan and Days of Future Past -- and now The Dark Phoenix Saga.
So...what are some other major comics stories that would seem to translate perfectly to film?
Well, read on...!
The Mutant Massacre is not one of the X-Men's greatest victories: instead, it's a parable for oppressed groups within oppressed groups, with the Morlocks being a group of mutants even more loathed than "mainstream" mutants.
In the story, the X-Men travel into the sewers beneath Manhattan to save the Morlocks from being murdered en masse -- and only kind of succeed.
In a political climate where groups who have previously felt relatively safe are now questioning whether they can afford to stay in the United States, Mutant Massacre could be a profound, moving metaphor -- something that the X-Men franchise is good at, although the movies haven't been all that great about handling it recently.
From an X-Men creative team that includes Louise Simonson, one of the most criminally underrated comics writers of her generation, Mutant Massacre feels a bit dated in places...but it's all stuff that was culturally and artistically relevant at the time, and could be gain with a bit of updating.
The Marauders - professional mutant assassins, employed by a mysterious evil, with the job of wiping out the entire Morlock community living beneath the streets of Manhattan. And the only hope of salvation the Morlocks have rests in the hands of the X-Men! But can they stop this deadly onslaught? And what do they stand to lose if it should succeed?
Omega Red could be a great, scary, badass-looking villain in live action...and he's not even the big bad in this story, which was the first big tale of the '90s X-Men relaunch.
The movies, of course, have an obsession with Magneto, which makes this potentially a great story becuase it gives Magneto a lot to do, but also puts him in a status quo where quietly ushering him offstage for a while after it's over would make a ton of sense.
The fact that it's one of the best superhero comics ever sold, and would allow the movies to take on some of the most recognizable concepts and looks for the X-Men, is almost a bonus...!
The Master of Magnetism embarks on a holy crusade to rescue his fellow mutants from the coming genetic conflagration with humanity... regardless of the cost to either side. The newly formed Acolytes, Magneto's disciples, see him as their greatest salvation.
When Magneto proclaims Asteroid M a haven for mutants everywhere, inciting a state of war between himself and the world's great powers, all that stands in the way of absolute chaos are the mutant heroes known as the X-Men.
HOUSE OF M
House of M was a 2005 storyline consisting of a core eight-issue comic book limited series written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Olivier Coipel, and a number of crossover tie-in books. Its first issue debuted in June 2005 as a follow-up to the events of the Planet X and Avengers Disassembled storylines, in which the Scarlet Witch suffered a mental breakdown and tried to alter the fabric of reality to recreate her lost children.
Scarlet Witch's father, Magneto, and her twin brother, Quicksilver, played major roles in the series. Like "Age of Apocalypse," "House of M" replaced the Earth-616 as the main reality for a brief time until Scarlet Witch reverts to normal.
Dealing with alternate realities isn't alwys easy to follow, but the X-movies have had some success with it...and they certainly have the rights to Scarlet Witch, even if they haven't used her yet. A story where Wanda and Pietro are heavily featured would be great considering that Quicksilver has, up to now, been a huge asset to the movies he's appeared in...
...and of course, the ultimate resolution, that Scarlet Witch slashes the number of mutants on Earth and prevents new ones being made with her chaos magic, is something that would be worth exploring.
If nothing else, the idea of a smaller number of mutants would mean the X-Men themselves even more under scutiny and attack than ever before.
THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE
X-Men: Days of Future Past managed to become one of the best-loved and highest-grossing installments of the franchise in spite of a chaotic, elaborate time-travel plot.
That's great news for fans from the '90s, who remember The Age of Apocalypse, one of the most elaborate, chaotic time travel stories of all time...and a huge hit.
The story centered on Legion, the son of Professor X, traveling back in time and killing Charles before he founded the X-Men.
There wouldn't be enough time in a single feature film to deal with all of the differences between the Age of Apocalypse and the traditional X-Men film universe, so one of the advantages here would be hand-picking who is significant for the purposes of the film and avoiding having to tell the stories of any characters where the actor doesn't have availability, the studio doesn't have the rights, or other similar conflicts.
And, yes, it's again one of the best-selling X-stories of all time.
X-MEN VS. THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Yes, there was a miniseries, and then there was a rumor that there would be a movie.
At the time, the idea was to bring the nascent Fantastic Four franchise into the more lucrative X-Men universe...but now it seems like a Captain America: Civil War-style soft reboot to bring the characters back to the big screen.
As the stewards of both franchises, it makes sense for Fox.0comments
"The idea of potentially having a crossover movie is very appealing but we'd have to figure it out, because there's an inherent challenge to combining Fantastic Four and X-Men in the movie universe because they sort of exist in different planes or dimensions even," X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg said. "In the Fantastic Four world, it's a contemporary world, there's no mention of mutants because otherwise they wouldn't be that 'fantastic.' And in the X-Men world, as we've seen, there aren't famous, celebrity-superhero Fantastic Four."
“Those ideas are in play,” executive producer Bryan Singer said. “That would be a natural match-up because they’re both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it.”