Explaining FOX's Confusing X-Men Movie Timeline (Revisited)
A Simple Timeline explaining where all of the FOX X-Men films fit into the timeline.
This article was originally written in 2017, I have now come back to this and updated it to include the entire FOX X-Men timeline.
The X-Men movie universe currently contains 13 films (the only problem is they are full of inconsistencies that seem to constantly contradict each other, most of this is due to poor writing and fact-checking the other films before submitting the finished product as well the order some of the films were released. This is shown by having an X-Men film every few years along with creating a Wolverine trilogy and the start of standalone films like Deadpool and New Mutants. Although this explanation won’t fix everything because there are that many timeline problems with these films it will at the very least give an overview of the important events. This includes problems such as there being two Deadpools, two Trasks and the fact that Prof X said he and Magneto met each other when they were 17.
The FOX X-Men films are X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Logan, Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix & New Mutants.
To put it simply there isn’t one overarching timeline for all 13 films, there’s several. The original timeline which results in the post-apocalyptic world where the X-Men lose the fight to the sentinels and the altered timeline which is the results of sending Wolverine to past in X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, seeing that the change in time happens in 1973 anything before this is assumed to be the same and will therefore be left out of the time, this includes X-Men: First Class. There’s also a third timeline created by the events of Deadpool 2 which is said to be canon.
It’s very difficult to get all the dates unquestionably correct as there are numerous inconsistencies through all the films. For example, in X-Men (2000) Xavier says its been 15 years since Logan lost his memory which as of now can’t be the case as X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes place around 1979-1981 and X-Men (2000) takes place in 2003.
Here is a simple timeline to show the original events: -
According to the director Josh Boone New Mutants does take place in the original timeline but the exact year is up for debate although it is presumed as being set in the present day.
So here is a simplistic timeline of events after Wolverine helps change the past: -
This alternate timeline is now the new canon, it completely removes the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Wolverine possibly as well as others although it hasn’t been confirmed.
Thanks to seeing Rogue with a white streak in her hair at the end of Days Of Future Past and references in Logan it would appear to confirm that the events of X-Men (2000) still occur in some form or another.
However, since the release of Deadpool 2, this alternate timeline has now also been erased to create a third one. But it is unknown as to what events occurred during this timeline except for what is shown in the film. This includes things like saving Cable’s family as they prevented Firefist from killing, saving the X-Force team and yes, it even includes the scene of Deadpool killing the version of himself in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as that who sequence has been confirmed to be canon.
So as explained before this won’t explain every inconsistency in the franchise but does give a simple and clear overview of the overall timeline.
Hopefully, these timelines have put in simple terms how the events of all the film happen but luckily Disney and by extension, Marvel now finally have the theatrical rights to the X-Men back and I doubt the films they end up making won't be anywhere near as confusing. Although, Deadpool 3 is confirmed so I guess I shouldn’t speak too soon...