If you're picking up what "X-Men: Apocalypse" director Bryan Singer has been putting down on social media, then your takeaway is the same as mine: Singer's next "X-Men" movie is going to be a crowd pleaser for fans of the 1990s "X-Men" animated series.
Need further proof? Take one look at this:
Doesn't Lana Condor look like the spitting image of Jubilee from the '90s cartoon?
It's not exact, but it's pretty darn close, and it's pretty flipping fantastic. Singer looks more interested than ever in some of the brighter colors and tones that "X-Men" fans know and love outside of the movies. In fact, if he's looking for inspiration, there are a lot of awesome aspects from the '90s cartoon to consider, beyond visual cues. Here's some of the ways we'd love to see the cartoon impact Singer's "Apocalypse":
The Real Scott SummersMarvel
No disrespect toward James Marsden intended, but we haven't seen Cyclops in live-action. Not really. He's always played second fiddle to other characters in the movies; blame it on Wolverine, if you want. Cyclops probably would. But Cartoon Cyke would never stand for second position. He's the X-Men's field leader, and he's front and center in the story as often as possible. Let Tye Sheridan's Cyclops enjoy a similar treatment in "Apocalypse," please.
Ororo Stormborn Of House MunroeMarvel
Before there was Daenerys Stormborn, there was straight-up Storm. Before there was the Mother of Dragons, there was the Mistress of the Elements. Storm was the Khaleesi of Saturday morning cartoons, strutting her stuff with enough confidence to say things like "I summon the full power of Storm!" with a straight face. Maybe let's not go that far, but "Apocalypse" ought to give new Storm actor Alexandra Shipp a similar amount of bravado.
Big Love And Bad Break-UpsMarvel
While the "X-Men" animated series was the king of the ring as far as star-studded superhero and supervillain action goes, it dabbled just as heavily in epic romance. Scott Summers and Jean Grey's relationship was a major factor in the series, with Wolverine's jealousy threading in and out all throughout. Rogue and Gambit couldn't make out without risking the Cajun's life. And the various crushes on guest stars like Warren Worthington who popped in and out of the series? Forget it! Point is, the cartoon's hormone game was on point, and that's yet another way to inspire Singer's new "X-Men" movie, and the sequels beyond: Give these characters ridiculous amounts of romantic strife and heartfelt victories, and leave us to bask in the results.
The Beast Behind The BarsMarvel
So, you know how Nicholas Hoult said "Apocalypse" is the last "X-Men" movie he's signed on for? There's a fix for that! Hank McCoy spent basically the entire first season of "X-Men" locked away in prison, offering his fellow mutants guidance from behind bars, and becoming a key figure in mankind's anti-mutant agenda. It's an interesting use of Beast that doesn't require him to have a massive on-screen presence. Perhaps "Apocalypse" could throw the book at Beast, requiring Hoult to only appear a handful of times in future movies — or not at all, if there's a time-jump, and we can get Kelsey Grammer back in the mix.
Shape-Shifters Gone BadMarvel
Like Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence says her time as Mystique is at an end after "Apocalypse." It doesn't feel like a battle we can win, so why not let Mystique go out on a high note — or, at least, a crazy note? One of the cartoon's recurring villains was Morph, a shape-shifting ex-X-Man driven mad after he was left for dead by his friends. Morph's mania and subsequent road to recovery was the most gripping storyline in the entire series, and a version of that story could be a hell of a way to send Mystique off into the night.
The Apocalypse SucksMarvel
Seriously, Apocalypse is just a big, maniacal jerk, what with his big, maniacal plans and his big, maniacal laugh. Oscar Isaac will play the titular villain, and we wouldn't question whatever methods of madness he plans to apply to the character, but he should take a look at the cartoon's Apocalypse, if only for a laugh.
Partying Partying YeahMarvel
One of the best scenes in "X-Men: First Class" involved all of Xavier and Magneto's students partying together and getting to know one another. That social aspect was missing from "Days of Future Past," by necessity of the world-ending story. But with "Apocalypse" set to introduce so many mutants, it's time to get them all in the same room together for some downtime. The "X-Men" cartoon pulled these kinds of shenanigans off with ease, with several scenes of mutant merriment. If "Apocalypse" can't host a full-scale holiday party, the movie can at least channel the animated series as the team shoots the breeze while Chuck pokes around on Cerebro.
Across The UniverseMarvel
Given everything happening in "Apocalypse," it's a tall order to ask the newest "X-Men" movie to leave Earth behind for the far reaches of the universe. But is it such a tall order for the next movie once "Apocalypse" wraps? Some of the best "X-Men" stories, both in the comics and in the cartoons, involved Cyclops, Jean and the rest going toe-to-toe against the Shi'ar Empire, as both friends and foes. Frankly, given "Guardians of the Galaxy," it's flat-out shocking that a "Starjammers" movie isn't already on the docket.
Keep The Whole Squad Looking FreshMarvel
Refer back to Condor's Jubilee. She looks fantastic in the set picture Singer posted, a closer replica of her cartoon and comic book counterpart than many fans would ever count on, given the dark costumes of the "X-Men" film franchise. Not only should Singer keep this new, closer-to-the-cartoon aesthetic alive for "Apocalypse," he should also look at how the show maintained a consistent core lineup of X-Men throughout the entire run. Yes, guest stars popped in and out with each passing episode, but the main crew remained solid: Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, Gambit, Rogue, Jubilee, Beast, Xavier. Not that we need the regular ensemble to be that big, but we need a regular ensemble moving forward — a team as consistent as the Enterprise crew in "Star Trek," or even the six core members of "The Avengers." Make them look and feel familiar, both in design, and in their solid place as the new stars of the series.
"Wolverine! Fall Back!"Marvel
Morph's famous at-the-time-final words to Logan, before getting ripped to pieces by a Sentinel blast to the chest, ring true here. Hugh Jackman is supposedly hanging up his claws for good after his third solo "Wolverine" film. No need to rush into recasting the fast-healing mutant, Fox. Keep Wolverine on the back burner and focus on Cyclops, Jean, Storm, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, and whoever else becomes part of the X-Men in "Apocalypse." The world can handle a few "X-Men" movies without claw-popping trash-talk.
Above All Else...Marvel
Be awesome. That's the biggest lesson the "X-Men" films, or any film for that matter, should take away from the "X-Men" cartoons.