Ellen Page debuted as fan-favorite mutant Kitty Pryde in X-Men: The Last Stand, but the lackluster X-Men trilogy finale didn’t exactly offer the character many chances to shine (beyond her showdown with The Juggernaut anyway). Page will reprise her superhero role onscreen next year in director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it would seem that Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and not Kitty, is the one who ends up time-traveling to attempt and prevent an apocalyptic future brought on by Trask Industries’ Sentinel program (unlike in Chris Claremont’s famous source comic book).
The Juno and Inception actress is moving up to comic book movie headliner status in the upcoming graphic novel adaptation Queen & Country, which could serve as the first installment in a new spy-action franchise. However, that does not mean that Page intends to leave her days of passing through walls and floors behind her, as the startlet has admitted that she’s game for a Kitty Pryde solo movie/spinoff – on the (currently slim) chance that it ever comes to fruition, that is.
For those not familiar, Queen & Country is an American comic book created and written by Greg Rucka, who credits the 1970s British TV Series The Sandbaggers – revolving around several male and female Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) agents during the Cold War – as his inspiration. Rucka’s comic storyline is centered on the Brit agent Tara Chace, a SIS operative who works in the Special Operations Section (whose members are known as the Minders). Variety has the scoop that Page will play Chace in the film adaptation, with the story based around Chace’s attempts to stop an international terrorist plot “after her identity is compromised and as her personal demons spiral out of control.”
Insiders are reporting that 20th Century Fox executives have long searched to find a franchise that Page can headline, since the actress has established a strong working relationship with the studio and its affiliate Fox Searchlight over the years (see: the X-Men movies, Juno, The East, etc.). Variety likens the situation to when Matt Damon boosted his career by starring in The Bourne Identity and launched the Bourne franchise, as Queen & Country is thought to have similar potential; that is, as a vehicle for Page to demonstrate her range as a lead actress in a tentpole film, seeing how the actresses best work to date has been on the indie circuit (see: Hard Candy, Super, To Rome with Love) and not in blockbuster fare.
Moving on: Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon has long spoken about his pipe dream of making a Kitty Pryde movie one day. When prompted during an interview with Vulture, Page made it clear that she would very much be interested in working alongside the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator (or any quality filmmaker for that matter) on such a superhero project:
“I have heard that, yeah! Well, I’m available! [Laughs.] I love that. Kitty Pryde’s awesome. I’m super grateful to be the actress who’s gotten to be her, and you only desperately hope that the true fans who have a right to demand what they want and who have been passionate about these stories for a really long time, that you can pull it off for them. I would be so thrilled to play Kitty Pryde again. I really would.”
Whedon’s run on the Astonishing X-Men comic book series heavily featured the Kitty Pryde character, but the filmmaker’s commitment as the architect for Marvel Studio’s shared cinematic universe – which includes him writing and directing Avengers: Age of Ultron for 2015 in addition to launching the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. later this month – means that a Kitty Pryde spinoff movie wouldn’t be in the cards for him even if there was any serious indication that Fox presently wants to make such an X-Men solo flick.
Fox’s Marvel Cinematic Universe consultant, Mark Millar, has promised that Kitty Pryde fans won’t be disappointed by her role in Days of Future Past (despite the story changes from printed page to the big screen); meaning, if Page as Kitty makes a strong impression in the film, coupled with Queen & Country becoming a success, that could make it slightly more – emphasis on slightly (sorry to say) – plausible that a Kitty Pryde solo movie might in fact happen somewhere down the line (sometime after X-Force ushers in the new era of X-Men movies following on the heels of Days of Future Past).
The sour note in all this? Queen & Country is reportedly being scripted by John Rogers, who co-created the TV series Leverage in addition to having co-written the screen story for the first Transformers movie and contributed to the screenplays for the Hiliary Swank critical dud sci-fi flick The Core and Halle Berry’s critical bomb Catwoman. [UPDATE: Other reports indicated that Rogers and Rucka actually worked together on an early script draft for the Queen & Country movie, while the credit for the most recent draft belongs to Ryan Condal (cowriter of the upcoming Hercules graphic novel adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson).]
We’ll keep you updated on Queen & Country as more information is made available.