X-Men star Nicholas Hoult says there's "a lot more to explore" with blue-furred mutant Beast in a Marvel Studios reboot. Hoult played the brainy Hank McCoy across four X-Men movies — X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix, with a cameo in Deadpool 2 — appearing as a teacher at the institute founded by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and a founding member of Xavier's freedom-fighting X-Men. Beast was last seen taking over from Xavier as headmaster of his mutant school — renamed Jean Grey's School for Gifted Youngsters after the apparent demise of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) — in the 1990s-set Dark Phoenix.
"That was a fun evolution and that's something that I'm always looking for is how a character changes. And I think there's a lot more to explore with that character," Hoult told Variety while promoting Hulu series The Great. "So I'd be interested to know where they see it going next."
Writer-director Simon Kinberg, a longtime producer on the then Fox-owned X-Men franchise, previously told ComicBook.com that Dark Phoenix was envisioned as the end of the almost 20-year-old franchise — even before Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019 — saying the movie felt like "the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies."
"And for me, and for most of the fans ... Dark Phoenix is the ultimate and most iconic storyline in the X-Men universe," Kinberg said. "And so I didn't know how we would top Dark Phoenix within this cycle. This felt like we had to earn our way back to Dark Phoenix. And I feel like we did hopefully, and beyond that felt like we'd want to sort of create an ending and the possibility of a new beginning. And that's what we do on this film."
Disney has inherited and will release long-delayed X-Men spinoff The New Mutants, produced under Fox and currently scheduled to open in theaters August 28. Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige is expected to wholly reboot the X-Men franchise when the team, including fan-favorite characters like Wolverine, eventually make their debut in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"It'll be a while. It's all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set," Feige told io9 about X-Men plans in April 2019, shortly after Disney's purchase brought the X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four screen rights from Fox to Disney. "So really it's much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they're home. That they're all back. But it will be a very long time."