Over the years there have been numerous X-Men movies, including spin-offs, solo films and special editions/alternate cuts. In fact, there have been so many productions that the X-Men movie series is pretty complicated, especially when you factor in the different timelines that crop up in the movies.

Today, I’m going to simplify things (and then complicate them) by presenting THE best order to watch the X-Men movies. This list will then be followed by a lengthy discussion about all of the various X-Men movie timelines – so please stick around.


What is the best order to watch the X-Men movies?

The best order to watch the X-Men movies is actually the production order. While the X-Men movie universe does jump around the timeline a lot, watching the movies in the order they were released makes the most sense.

The following list is the best viewing order for the X-Men movie universe (including spin-offs and TV shows):

  • Generation X (1996)*
  • X-Men (2000) or X-Men 1.5 (2003)
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) or X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut (2015)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Logan (2017) or Logan: Noir (2017)
  • Legion (2017 – present)*
  • The Gifted (2017 – present)*
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) or Deadpool 2: The Super Duper Cut (2018) or Once Upon a Deadpool (2018)
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)
  • The New Mutants (2021)

*This denotes a TV movie/TV series

If you stick to the above viewing order you will cover all of the movies and TV shows within the X-Men cinematic universe.

Got it?


And now for a lengthy guide to understanding the X-Men movie universe. This post contains a rundown of all of the movies/shows that make up the X-Men Cinematic Universe.


Understanding the X-Men movie timelines: A guide

To understand the X-Men movie series, you need to approach the films/shows as a series of different/alternate timelines. Some of the movies are directly linked, some are not.

With each entry I’ve summarised key points, then have explained which timeline they belong to.


Generation X (1996)

Image: ©FOX

Four years before the X-Men arrived on the big screen, FOX toyed with the idea of an X-Men-related TV series called Generation X. The series never materialised, but that’s because the pilot episode was not successful.

However, that pilot episode was released on video as a TV movie and is kind of the beginning of the X-Men Cinematic Universe – albeit a low budget start. Generation X introduces Jubilee, Banshee, White Queen, M, Mondo, Husk, Skin, Buff, Refrax and Russel Tresh and explores the concept of mutants.

Which timeline does Generation X belong to?

Generation X is a separate entity, not connected to any of the other X-Men films, and therefore exists in the Generation X Timeline (GT). There are no other entries in this timeline.



X-Men (2000)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men takes place in a different timeline to Generation X and introduces key characters Professor Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Iceman, Mystique, Toad, Sabretooth, Rogue and (blink and you’ll miss her) Kitty Pryde. X-Men also introduces the mutant tracking device, Cerebro which becomes an important part of the franchise.

Which timeline does X-Men belong to?

X-Men belongs in Timeline One (T1). This is a separate timeline to the Generation X Timeline (GT)

Technically X-Men should be first entry in T1, as it provides the starting point for the entire series, however the events of the movie take place a few years after X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth film in the series (see below), so chronologically it is the second entry in T1.



X-Men 1.5 (2003)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men 1.5 is an extended edition of X-Men, which was released on DVD in 2003 to maximise *cough* cash in *cough* on the franchise. The film is basically X-Men with a few (pretty pointless) deleted scenes shoehorned into the story. The only major difference in X-Men 1.5 is the fact the film name checks Jubilee, who appeared in Generation X and had previously appeared uncredited in X-Men.

Which timeline does X-Men 1.5 belong to?

In terms of the timeline, X-Men 1.5 is on equal footing with X-Men, as it is the same movie. The additional material doesn’t affect the timeline (or even the story for that matter).



X2: X-Men: United (2003)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X2: X-Men United (or X-Men 2 if you prefer) is the film which begins to explore Wolverine’s past. The movie introduces key characters William Stryker, Nightcrawler and Colossus, includes a nod to the Beast and properly reintroduces Jubilee (previously seen in Generation X).

Where does X2: X-Men United sit in the timeline?

X2: X-Men United is a direct sequel to X-Men, so chronologically is the third entry in T1 (if X-Men Origins: Wolverine is classed as the first entry).

It should be noted that X2: X-Men United includes a couple of (minor) inconsistencies with its predecessor, including a rather noticeable change in Storm’s accent. It is the first example of an X-Men film that could be argued to exist in a different timeline to X-Men (but let’s not complicate things at this stage).



X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: The Last Stand is the movie with two plots: The mutant cure, and the slightly muddled attempt to introduce the iconic Dark Phoenix Saga into the movie franchise. X-Men: The Last Stand introduces key characters Angel, Psylocke, Moira MacTaggert, Bolivar Trask, the Beast (properly this time) and the Sentinels (sort of) and includes three significant deaths: Professor Xavier, Cyclops & Jean Grey.

X-Men: The Last Stand also establishes three key facts:

  • Charles Xavier and Magneto recruited the X-Men together
  • Jean Grey was their first recruit
  • The Beast was a member of the team prior to the events of X-Men

One of these facts is disputed in X-Men: First Class.

Where does X-Men: The Last Stand sit in the timeline?

X-Men: The Last Stand follows on from the events of X-Men and X2: X-Men United. Chronologically (taking into account X-Men Origins: WolverineX-Men: The Last Stand is the fourth film in T1.



X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the film which details Wolverine’s backstory, including his encounter with William Stryker, and his transformation into Weapon X. X-Men Origins: Wolverine introduces key characters Wade Wilson (Deadpool), Emma Frost (previously seen in Generation X as the White Queen), the Blob, Silver Fox and Gambit, and includes appearances by Professor Xavier, Cyclops, William Stryker, Jason Stryker and Sabretooth (Victor).

Where does X-Men Origins: Wolverine sit in the timeline?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a prequel to X-MenX2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand and takes place prior to the events of X-Men. As X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a prequel, chronologically it is the first film in T1.

Although I am placing X-Men Origins: Wolverine firmly in T1, it could be argued that the film sits in a different timeline to the previous three X-Men films. Victor is clearly a very different character to Sabretooth (as seen in X-Men), plus the backstory that is hinted at in X2: X-Men United seems a touch darker than what is actually depicted in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, all that said, I am of the opinion that this film is clearly a prequel to X-Men.



X-Men: First Class (2011)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: First Class is the X-Men film set during the 1960s. The movie details the first encounter between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and is set around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

X-Men: First Class introduces Sebastian Shaw and Havok, re-introduces Banshee (previously seen in Generation X), as well as Beast, Moira MacTaggert, Emma Frost and Mystique.

Which timeline does X-Men: First Class belong to?

On first appearance, X-Men: First Class seems to be a prequel to X-Men, set before the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and for all intents and purposes it is, but the film contains a number of inconsistencies with the previous films (far too many to discount) which suggest it takes place in an alternate timeline.

For example, in X2: X-Men United it is established that Professor Xavier and Magneto built Cerebro. X-Men: First Class has Hank McCoy (Beast) as the creator of Cerebro.

Likewise, in X-Men: The Last Stand, Jean Grey is the first mutant to be recruited into the X-Men, but not according to X-Men: First Class. In fact, Jean is not even part of the initial team.

Due to the above discrepancies (and a few more) X-Men: First Class belongs in a separate timeline to the one established in X-Men. I am calling this Timeline Two (T2).

Where does X-Men: First Class sit in the timeline?

X-Men: First Class is the first entry in T2. The film re-establishes the X-Men at an earlier point in time and creates an alternative series of events for the franchise.



The Wolverine (2013)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

The Wolverine is the second solo-Wolverine movie and is largely set in Japan. The movie introduces the Silver Samurai and Yukio and includes appearances from Professor Xavier, Magneto and Jean Grey. The film also includes a nod to Trask Industries, a company which plays a significant role in X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Gifted (see below).

It should also be noted that Wolverine loses his Adamantium claws in The Wolverine. This will become important when I discuss the numerous timelines in X-Men: Days of Future Past (see next entry).

Which timeline does The Wolverine belong to?

This is where things start to get a little more complex.

The Wolverine returns the X-Men movie franchise to T1, effectively ignoring anything that has happened in X-Men: First Class (T2). However, the film also includes the brief appearance of Professor Xavier, which contradicts his death in X-Men: The Last Stand.

As there is no explanation for the Professor’s resurrection, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to argue that the movie largely takes place in T1, but also introduces a third timeline (T3) into the franchise – a timeline where Professor Xavier has been saved, possibly due to the time travel element which is introduced in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Where does The Wolverine sit in the timeline?

As the film touches upon the death of Jean Grey, The Wolverine is clearly a direct sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand and therefore becomes the fifth entry in T1, behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men, X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand.


However, due to the reasons stated above, I also must conclude that at some point in the film the timeline is altered (just a touch) to allow for the return of Professor Xavier. I’m speculating here, using the next film as guidance, but it is possible Xavier’s resurrection is caused off screen by a future version of Wolverine, from later in the T1 timeline. I believe that at some point in T1, Wolverine goes back in time to prevent Xavier from dying, thus creating a third timeline.

Based on this theory, this means the post credit scene of The Wolverine, which is set two years after the main events of the movie, exists in T3.

An alternative view could suggest that the Professor Xavier who appears in The Wolverine is really the Professor Xavier of T2 – a timeline where Xavier did not die. However, this Xavier seems to have knowledge of the future, which suggests he has gone back in time to find Wolverine.

If this is the case, then this version of Professor Xavier has changed the course of history by time travelling, which still results in the creation of a third timeline.

See, I told you it would get confusing!

And it is about to get worse. You had best pour yourself a large cup of coffee.



X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the X-Men film which is set in both the 1970s and the far-flung future. Using the concept of time travel, X-Men: Days of Future Past attempts to explain away many of the past continuity errors by connecting up the timelines.

While the film does manage to paper over the cracks, it doesn’t quite eradicate the errors and instead it creates new (confusing) timelines. Still, it’s an awesome film and arguably the best X-Men movie so far.

X-Men: Days of Future Past introduces Bishop, Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, Quicksilver and Apocalypse (sort of) and re-introduces Kitty Pryde, Storm, Colossus, Cyclops, Toad, Rogue, Jean Grey, Iceman, William Stryker, Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels (properly this time).

Which timeline does X-Men: Days of Future Past belong to?

Oh Jeez, this is where the confusion really sets in.

  • The opening of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which takes place in the not too distant future, is set in Timeline Four (T4) – a timeline where Xavier is still alive. This is a different timeline than the one introduced at the end of The Wolverine (see explanation below).
  • The main section of the movie, which is set during the 1970s, takes place in T2 – the timeline established by X-Men: First Class.
  • The final act, once again set in the future, takes place in a different future to the one seen in the opening act. This scene takes place in another new timeline, Timeline Five (T5).

Where does X-Men: Days of Future Past sit in the timeline?

The opening sequence takes place in an undetermined point in time in T4. These events take place after the final moments of The Wolverine, but they don’t exist in the third timeline which was created after the re-introduction of Xavier.

And here’s why.


The Wolverine that is depicted in this timeline quite clearly has his Adamantium claws back, which contradicts the events that took place in The Wolverine (Logan loses his Adamantium claws). It’s possible that at some point between the films Wolverine got the Admantium back, but it’s also possible this is an entirely new timeline.

To back this up even further, at the beginning of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Xavier explains time travel to the group, including Wolverine. If it was Wolverine who went back in time to save Xavier (see previous entry) then he’d already know about the rules of time travel.

Even if it wasn’t Wolverine who saved Xavier, surely the first question he would have posed to the newly revived Professor would have been, “Hey bub, how the f#@! are you still alive?” Presumably, Xavier would have explained this to him in full detail… including the rules of time travel.


As Wolverine was not quite aware of the full details of time travel, I can only conclude this is a different version of Wolverine than the one seen in The Wolverine – a Wolverine from T4.

As for the rest of the film:

  • The majority of the scenes set in the 1970s take place in T2, a decade after the events of X-Men: First Class.
  • The scenes set in the 1970s, after Mystique saves President Nixon from Magneto, take place in the newly created timeline, T5. T5 is a timeline created by averting the Sentinel-controlled future.
  • The future scenes that take place in Xavier’s mansion at the end of the movie, also take place in T5; although this is still a future in flux.
  • The post credit scene featuring a young Apocalypse takes place in T2, but could really take place in any timeline, as there’s no real indication where this scene takes place. I’ll leave this one undecided.

See, I said it would get even more complicated.

And now time for two anomalies.

Anomaly one: X-Men: Days of Future Past suggests other timelines exist outside of the three we’ve highlighted.

At the beginning of the movie, Kitty Pryde sends Bishop back in time to save her team from a Sentinel attack. Kitty explains that she has done this before. As I can’t determine how many times Kitty has sent Bishop back in time, I don’t know how many additional timelines exist; I can only note that they do.

Anomaly two: Wolverine’s encounter with Stryker causes a blip in continuity.

At the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, an unconscious Wolverine is lifted out of the river and handed over to Stryker – only it’s not really Stryker, it’s Mystique in disguise. However, in X-Men: Apocalypse, Stryker has Wolverine locked up at Alkali Lake, contradicting the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Now I could argue that this means a new timeline exists between X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, but on this occasion I’m going to overlook the anomaly and chalk it up to bad writing.



X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut (2015)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is a direct-to-Blu-ray release, which inserts new scenes into the theatrical cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, including additional footage of Rogue. Unlike X-Men 1.5, X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is a director’s cut of the film. It is also the definitive version of X-Men: Days of Future Past, so watch it!

Which timeline does X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut belong to?

As X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut follows pretty much the same story as X-Men: Days of Future Past, the film fits into the same timelines as its counterpart. As the film has slight variations (Rogue replaces Kitty, Iceman is killed in the X-Mansion etc), it could be argued that this film exists in another timeline, perhaps one of those timelines created by Kitty & Bishop? Either way, for ease I’m going to class this film the same way I classed X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Where does X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut sit in the timeline?

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut sits in the same timeframes as X-Men: Days of Future Past.



Deadpool (2016)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Deadpool details Deadpool’s origin. The film reintroduces Wade Wilson (Deadpool) & Colossus and introduces Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Blind Al, Vanessa, Weasel and Dopinder.

Which timeline does Deadpool belong to?

Hmm… now that’s a very good question.

Deadpool doesn’t exist in any of the timelines mentioned above, instead, Deadpool exists in its own separate meta timeline – a timeline in which Wade Wilson is aware of everything that has ever happened in the X-Men movie universe. I’m going to refer to this as the Deadpool Timeline (DT 1).

Where does Deadpool sit in the timeline?

Deadpool exists in a non-specific time period, but a time period where two different versions of Professor Xavier exist (McAvoy and Stewart).

Deadpool doesn’t sit within a ‘movie’ timeline, it sits within the ‘real-world’ timeline, so it is the 9th film in the franchise if we’re including Generation X, the 10th if we’re including X-Men 1.5 and the 11th if we’re including X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut.



X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: Apocalypse is the X-Men movie set in the 1980s. The film details the formation of a new X-Men team, introduces Caliban and reintroduces Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Angel (Archangel), Psylocke, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, Moira MacTaggert, the Blob and Apocalypse (properly this time). The film also includes a reference to Mister Sinister.

Where does X-Men: Apocalypse sit in the timeline?

After all the time travelling shenanigans of X-Men: Days of Future Past, I’m pleased to say X-Men: Apocalypse is a little less confusing. That said, the movie still straddles two timelines and includes an anomaly.

Let’s deal with the timelines first.

The opening sequence of X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in the year 3600 BC. It is never confirmed which version of 3600 BC it is, but I’m going to plump for the 3600 BC that exists in T2.

The remainder of the film takes place in T5; the timeline created at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past.

And now for the anomaly.

In Generation XX-Men and X2: X-Men United, Jubilee is a teenager, while Cyclops, Jean and Storm are adults. In X-Men: Apocalypse, Jubilee, Cyclops, Jean and Storm are all the same age.

Work that one out.

Yeah, it simply doesn’t make any sense however way you cut it.



Logan (2017)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Logan is the third Wolverine solo movie and the final X-Men film to feature Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan. The film includes Charles Xavier, reintroduces Caliban, introduces X-23, X-24, Rictor, Zander Rice and the Reavers and makes reference to Sauron (via an X-Men comic).

The movie also establishes two important details:

  • The X-Men are known to the public
  • Professor Xavier accidentally killed a number of his students

What timeline does Logan belong to?

Logan contains references to T1: The Statue of Liberty (X-Men), Alkali (X2) and the Adamantium bullet (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) but belongs to T5.

How do we know the movie takes place in Timeline 5?

Well, although the film does contain references to the original timeline, as mentioned above, Logan can’t take place in T1 as Professor Xavier is still alive. The film also can’t take place in timelines 2 to 4 as the Sentinels are no longer a threat.

It could be argued that Logan takes place in a new timeline, as the X-Men are now the subjects of comic books and toys, and Caliban is clearly a different version of the character seen in X-Men: Apocalypse, but I’m going to chalk that last one up to another X-Men anomaly (aka further bad writing/research). I believe that Logan exists in T5.

Where does Logan sit in the timeline?

Logan takes place in 2029, a few years after the events depicted in X-Men: Days of Future Past (and X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut).



Logan: Noir (2017)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

This is the version of Logan which is exactly the same as the standard version of Logan, with just one exception – it has been converted into black and white. Logan: Noir was released on home video as an accompaniment to the Logan Blu-ray.

Is a black and white version of Logan necessary? Probably not, but the truth is Logan: Noir is actually much cooler and grittier than the theatrical version, so it’s worth a watch.

Where does Logan: Noir sit in the timeline?

As Logan: Noir is the same movie as Logan, all of the info about Logan applies (see above).



Deadpool 2 (2018)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Deadpool 2 is the sequel to Deadpool and sees Wade Wilson team up with a group of mutants and non-mutants to change the future. The film introduces Domino, Cable, the Vanisher, Russell Collins, Black Tom Cassidy, Shatterstar, Bedlam, Zeitgeist, Peter and Hope; reintroduces Yukio and the Juggernaut; includes all of the principal characters from Deadpool, including Blind Al, Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Vanessa, Weasel and Dopinder; and includes cameos from Professor Xavier, Beast, Quicksilver and Storm.

Oh and there is also a nod to Mister Sinister (again), a reference to Mojo, and an Alpha Flight in-joke.

Which timeline does Deadpool 2 belong to?

As with DeadpoolDeadpool 2 exists within DT 1 – the meta timeline that sits outside of any of the previous X-Men timelines. Wade Wilson is aware of everything that has happened in the X-Men movie series to date, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and his actions with time travel do not affect the outcomes of the various X-Men timelines that exist.

Where does Deadpool 2 sit in the timeline?

As with DeadpoolDeadpool 2 exists in a non-specific time period in the ‘real-world’ timeline, which is why young versions of the X-Men can appear in the movie and why the death of Logan can be referenced even though these two events are set years apart from each other.


In terms of its place in DT 1, Deadpool 2 takes place shortly after Deadpool.

So, this one’s simple to follow, right?

Well yes, but Deadpool 2 does create further timelines!

Pretty much all of the events of Deadpool 2 (including Cable’s future) take place in DT 1. However, towards the end of the movie, Deadpool changes Russell’s destiny, thus creating a new timeline – DT2.

Upon creating this new timeline, Deadpool dies. Cable then goes back in time to prevent Deadpool from dying, creating a third timeline – DT3.


During the end credits, Deadpool uses Cable’s time travel device to go back in time to save Vanessa, creating a fourth timeline – DT4. He then time-hops again to save Peter, creating a fifth timeline – DT5.

In addition, Deadpool goes back in time to stop Ryan Reynolds from signing up for Green Lantern (2011) and he goes back in time to 2009, to kill off the version of Deadpool that appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As these events are ‘meta’ references they do not affect any of the Deadpool timelines (D1 – D5).

You could argue that killing off Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine would change the X-Men timelines once again, but as X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn’t exist in the Deadpool timelines, this is more a knowing wink to the audience than anything else. Therefore, I’ll call the Ryan Reynolds/Green Lantern time-hop Meta Timeline 1 (MT1) and the X-Men Origins: Wolverine time-hop Meta Timeline 2 (MT2).

Yes, this is now beyond confusing!



Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut (2018)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Let’s keep this simple. Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut is simply an extended cut of Deadpool 2.


Once Upon a Deadpool (2018)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Once Upon a Deadpool is yet another cut of Deadpool 2, only this time reworked to remove some of the R-rated content. This cut includes scenes with actor Fred Savage.



Legion (2017 – 2019)

Image: ©20th Century Fox

Legion is the first full X-Men TV series to air in Fox’s X-Men Universe. The show revolves around David Haller – the son of Professor Charles Xavier. The series introduces Haller and the Shadow King, as well as the government agency known as Division 3.

Which timeline does Legion belong to?

At present, it is unclear which particular X-Men timeline Legion belongs to – if it belongs to any of the previous timelines at all.

Where does Legion sit in the timeline?

As Haller is Professor Xavier’s son, Legion would be set at some point prior to the events of the original X-Men movie. However, as mentioned above there’s no clear indication when the series takes place and it is entirely possible that Legion sits in a new, alternate timeline separate to anything that has come before.

For the reasons stated above, Legion is to be placed in its own timeline – Alternate X-Men Timeline 1 (AXT 1).



The Gifted (2017 – 2019

Image: ©20th Century Fox

The Gifted is the second X-Men TV series to air in Fox’s convoluted X-Men Universe. The show revolves around the Mutant Underground – a group of mutant refugees. The series introduces Polaris, Eclipse, Thunderbird, the Stepford Cuckoos, the Strucker family, Fenris, Dreamer, Shatter, Sage, Reeva Payge and Roderick Campbell; and reintroduces the Sentinels and Blink.

Which timeline does The Gifted belong to?

As with Legion, at present it is unclear which particular X-Men timeline the show belongs to – if it belongs to any of the previous timelines. It is also unclear if The Gifted sits in the same timeline as Legion.

Where does The Gifted sit in the timeline?

The Gifted takes place in an unspecified time period, but one in which both the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants have disappeared. A younger version of Blink appears, suggesting the series is set before the future events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but there’s no clear indication of which timeline she is in.

The series also takes place in a time period where Trask Industries exists, but the Sentinels are not giant robots, suggesting this series takes place in an alternate timeline to what has come before.

As there is no clear indication of when The Gifted is set or if it is connected to Legion, I am going to place The Gifted in Alternate X-Men Timeline 2 (AXT 2).



X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse and sees the team become superheroes who are known to the general public – an idea that was referenced in Logan. The movie introduces Dazzler, Vuk (a member of the D’Bari), and reintroduces Jean Grey’s dark side.

Which timeline does X-Men: Dark Phoenix belong to?

This one is very simple. X-Men: Dark Phoenix takes place in T5 – the same timeline as X-Men Apocalypse.

Now I know what you’re thinking, how can this be T5 if Jean dies? If she’s dead then she can’t appear in the future we see in T5.

Yes, but you’re presuming she is dead. I don’t believe she is – the Phoenix’s appearance at the end of the movie suggests she has merely evolved – not died.

Where does X-Men: Dark Phoenix sit in the timeline?

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set in 1975 and 1992 (before and after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse).



And finally…

The New Mutants (2021)

The New Mutants is horror movie, which introduces a new collection of mutants into the X-Men universe. The movie introduces Dr. Cecillia Reyes, Dani Moonstar, Cannonball, Illyana Rasputin, and Rayne Sinclair, reintroduces Sunspot, and makes references to Mister Sinister.

Which timeline does The New Mutants belong to?

It isn’t completely clear which timeline The New Mutants belongs to, but it is implied it is the same as Apocalypse, Logan and Dark Phoenix, aka T5. Sunspot features in the movie, which is a slight anomaly (he appeared in Days of Future Past) but this doesn’t mess up the timeline(s).

Where does The New Mutants sit in the timeline?

No specific year is given for The New Mutants, but it is clear the movie takes place after the events of Dark Phoenix. In The New Mutants, the X-Men are heroes (something established in Dark Phoenix) and the movie includes footage of the fourth season of TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which aired between 1999 and 2000.



OK, here’s a quick summary.

The X-Men timelines at a glance:

  • Generation X Timeline (GT): Generation X
  • Timeline One (T1): X-Men/X-Men 1.5, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine
  • Timeline Two (T2): X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut, X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Timeline Three (T3): The Wolverine
  • Timeline Four (T4): X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut
  • Timeline Five (T5): X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Logan, The New Mutants
  • Deadpool Timeline 1 (DT 1): Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Deadpool Timeline 2 (DT 2): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Deadpool Timeline 3 (DT 2): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Deadpool Timeline 4 (DT 2): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Deadpool Timeline 5 (DT 2): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Meta Timeline 1 (MT 1): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Meta Timeline 2 (MT 2): Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2: The Super Dooper Cut, Once Upon a Deadpool
  • Alternate X-Men Timeline 1 (AXT 1): Legion
  • Alternate X-Men Timeline 2 (AXT 2): The Gifted

As mentioned at the very start of this (very long) post, the above timelines are presented as a guide; you don’t have to buy into them or even acknowledge they exist – except the prequel/sequel timelines. If you would much prefer to ignore the idea of multiple timelines and you just want to enjoy the X-Men films for what they are, then go ahead, who am I to judge?

And if I’ve not exhausted you enough with all of the movie timelines, don’t forget there is so much more X-Men content to explore if you’re a fan, including one of my favourite versions – X-Men: The Animated Series. Why X-Men: The Animated Series has not been released on Blu-ray is beyond me, but it is available digitally.


X-Men: The Animated Series is available to buy digitally on Amazon in a standard definition format. All five seasons are available, covering fan favourite episodes such as The Phoenix Saga, Beyond Good and Evil and Night of the Sentinels.

If you want to read more about X-Men: The Animated Series (and who doesn’t), then I suggest you take a look at my run of posts, titled: It’s Saturday morning – Do you know what your children are?.

Over the course of 12 posts I re-watched and discussed all 76 episodes.

I detailed the highs and the lows of this progressive series, so be sure to check it out.

Until next time – take care.


Read more:


Disclaimer: I earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.