A week before Comic-Con we learned that Twentieth Century Fox had hired Kick-Ass 2 writer and director Jeff Wadlow to begin work on a script for a potential X-Force film, and the studio had even secured the related domain names leading us to believe X-Force is the next franchise installment after Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters next summer.
With Wadlow coming to Comic-Con to promote Kick-Ass 2 and Fox bringing the X-Men in force to the event as well, Wadlow had a lot of questions to answer from fans and media and we learned that he recently began writing the script even though he’s busy with his current film, and that he landed the job thanks to his pal Mark Millar. It doesn’t hurt that Matthew Vaughn handpicked the director to replace him with the Kick-Ass sequel and that Vaughn’s intimately involved with the X-Men and Fantastic Four at Fox either.
Chatting with Collider at the big event, Wadlow spoke about how he got involved with Fox and landed the gig of writing X-Force and how he believes the future of the X-Men franchise is about crafting and crossing over different teams of characters rather than going the route of solo spinoffs.
“Yeah I’m incredibly excited about it. I love the current run, I love the original run. I think it’s the best book right now for Marvel, I really enjoy it. Basically when they announced that Mark [Millar] was going to be overseeing the title for Fox … they were talking about all these different ideas for franchises they could build and characters, and I said, ‘X-Force. Gotta do an X-Force movie.’ And they originally said, ‘Maybe that’s a second step.’ And I said, ‘No, it’s about teams.’ That’s what, to me, the X-Universe is about. It’s not about doing movies with individual characters and then bringing them together in a team; that’s what Marvel already did with The Avengers. I think the next step is to have these teams and see how they bounce off of each other, that’s where you can have crossover potential. I said, ‘The first one’s gotta be X-Force and I want to do it. What’s it going to take?’ Mark was really supportive and he’s just been a tremendous ally of mine. I’m really grateful that he went to Fox and said, ‘This is the guy.'”
As for the timeline for when Wadlow got involved, recall that Mark Millar was only hired by Fox in September of last year and he was quick to enlist Wadlow, who first started talking about the project with Millar and Fox over the holidays but really didn’t get into writing it until recently, in June. How much creative control does Wadlow have?
“It’s 100% the version I wanted to do. I worked it out. This wasn’t some open assignment where they were like, ‘Who’s out there that wants to do this?’ When I heard Mark get that job, I said, ‘I want to do an X-Force movie and this is the way I would do it.’ I pitched to him and he gave me a few ideas and some notes, not as a studio mandate, just as a friend and a collaborator. Steve Asbell at Fox heard it, loved it, bought it and said, ‘Let’s do it!’ It’s the movie I wanted to make.”
As for what that means for what characters will be featured in the movie, Millar revealed during Comic-Con that there are five main characters on the X-Force film roster so when chatting with Wadlow over the weekend for Kick-Ass 2, our own Kofi Outlaw asked about what X-Force characters he personally is fond of.
“Look, I’m a huge Deadpool fan, who doesn’t love Wolverine – but obviously Cable is an iconic character we haven’t seen onscreen yet. I love Psylocke, Domino is an amazing character – it’s a long list of characters that have appeared in X-Force – Colossus is in the current lineup… There are a lot of really exciting characters that you can use in X-Force that have been in other movies, that haven’t shown up, or maybe there’s ways to re-imagine them, even though they might’ve shown up in other films.”
Since we now know the script – at this point – is entirely up to the creativity of Wadlow and Millar, and knowing who Wadlow favors, could we see Deadpool, Domino, Psylocke and Wolverine/Cable as four of the five? Wadlow’s choice words about being able to “re-imagine” existing cinematic characters could be a hint at our theory that Cable could end up being the Ultimate version of the character from Marvel Comics where he’s an aged version of Wolverine instead of being the son of X-Men leader Cyclops. The fact that it’s Wolverine who travels back in time in X-Men: Days of Future Past and seeing him with some grey hair in the Comic-Con footage lends credence to this possibility.
He could also be referring to Deadpool and Colossus, both of whom suffered from negative alterations from the books. Deadpool of course having his mouth sewn shut and becoming a mix of random mutant powers in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Colossus who somehow lost his Russian accent when introduced in X-Men 2.
Who would you like to see in an X-Force film? Warpath (introduced in Days of Future Past) is a must, right?
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore. James Marsden may be involved if witness reports are true.
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2014.
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