Maybe just Wolverine and His Amazing Friends?
Marvel has been teasing us with the possibility of an X-Men reboot since the beginning of phase 4 when WandaVision cast Evan Peters not as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver, but as the wanna-be actor Ralph Bohner pretending be the speedster. Since then we’ve gotten a bunch of near-misses of mutants in the MCU, including Patrick Stewart playing a variant Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Now, according to a new report, the X-Men are on their way but their movie won’t be called X-Men this time; instead it will be titled The Mutants.
Last March, The Illuminerdi reported that their sources had told them Marvel Studios was developing an X-Men reboot called The Mutants. Now, over a year later and with San Diego Comic-Con beginning, The Illuminerdi says unnamed sources have confirmed The Mutants is on the way. The site doesn’t provide any more specifics about the feature, which leads to the question of why Marvel would choose such a course. When you have an intellectual property as popular as the X-Men, why not use their name in the title?
Some may speculate that this is some kind of social commentary; i.e. Marvel preemptively ducking any criticism that the name “X-Men” isn’t gender neutral. If The Illuminerdi’s report is accurate, however, then what may be much more likely is that the X-Men reboot won’t be called X-Men because it won’t feature the X-Men; or, at least, it won’t feature them as a team.
Assuming Marvel plans to introduce characters like Wolverine, Storm, Professor X, Magneto etc. into the MCU as adults with powers, they’ll also have to explain how these characters have existed in the narrative without anyone presumably knowing about them. So The Mutants may not be as much an X-Men reboot as it is a story of the characters before they become X-Men. What we may be getting is something along the lines of The Eternals, at least in terms of it possibly giving us a look at the history of mutants in the narrative.
This could be seen as the desirable way for Marvel to go especially if it’s planning on adapting The Dawn of X. The 2019-20 Marvel Comics event brought just about every mutant superhero and supervillain ever created in Marvel to the mutant-led island nation-state of Krakoa. The country becomes one of the world’s most influential nations almost instantly, with the collective mutant abilities on display in Krakoa giving rise to advanced technologies and pharmaceuticals almost overnight.
The Illuminerdi correctly mentions fans are expecting to learn more from SDCC from Marvel’s animation panel about the upcoming Disney+ series X-Men ’97 — a revival of the popular nineties cartoon X-Men: The Animated Series. While they don’t come right out and say it, they seem to suggest the possibility that the live-action X-Men reboot will ultimately be realized by somehow bringing the animated characters of X-Men ’97 into the live-action MCU. While all the Marvel Multiverse shenanigans certainly could make that a possibility, it seems like a strange prediction to make coupled with the report that the X-Men reboot will be called The Mutants. If the X-Men from the X-Men show with the name X-Men ’97 come into the MCU, why not call it X-Men?