Disney's acquisition of Fox will leave some exciting films canceled. The purchase is expected to close on January 1st, 2019, with the Mouse House is reportedly planning to release all completed Fox Films, but this leaves a whole slate of franchise films with uncertain futures. Equal parts anticipated by some for the promise of Marvel getting the X-Men back, and feared by others, with accusations of monopolization, we still have a lot to learn about the reality of post-acquisition Fox, but there will certainly be change.
The tragedy of the conglomerate takeover is that with many films’ futures resting on a knife-edge, should they fail to go into production - or continue production - thousands of jobs could be lost. In addition, a bevy of healthy franchises could find themselves dead in the water under the control of Disney.
Fox has a number of films on the docket that have built-in fanbases and general audiences who’d be willing to shell out the cash to see them on the big screen. Using the January 1st deal date as a guideline, and considering the reports that Disney will only release the films that are completed, how many movies will be lost in the corporate shuffle?
- This Page: X-Men Movies That Won't Be Made
- Page 2: Other Fox Movies That Could Be Canceled
The solo Gambit movie has been in development hell since 2014. Channing Tatum has been attached as the lead for some time, but as the revolving door of directors keeps on swinging and Fox prepares to hand the keys to the X-kingdom back to Marvel Studios, Remy LeBeau's chances of seeing the light of day seem slimmer than ever (in spite of producer Simon Kinberg continuing to talk about the movie as if its still happening).
Once the Disney/Fox merger goes through in the new year, the likelihood is that finished films - Dark Phoenix and New Mutants - will be released, but everything else shelved as Kevin Feige & co. over at Marvel Studios decide how to best integrate the characters into the MCU. When this does happen - and it likely won't be for a number of years, as Phase 4 has already been planned out for the MCU - its a fair assumption that Gambit would be pretty low on the list of characters to focus.
While the character has a small but loyal following, and Channing Tatum is a big draw to the project, there are other more popular characters (like the one with the funny hair and the claws) who would be higher priorities for Marvel Studios to debut. That said, given that he's not been used by the Fox series, Channing Tatum's take on Gambit could still appear as part of a bigger X-Men team in the MCU.
The only character who might survive this transaction and continue to immediately anchor his own solo films is Deadpool, as his box office receipts speak for themselves - and the character already stands apart from the rest of X-Men continuity, as a meta-textual satire. That, however, doesn't bode well for...
With Fox's proposed X-Force film - spinning out of Deadpool 2 - featuring so many X-characters, its unlikely that Kevin Feige and the folks over at Marvel Studios will continue this line of thinking alongside Deadpool.
X-Force has yet to really pick up any steam with its pre-production, as writer/director Drew Goddard was awaiting the release of his current feature Bad Times at the El Royale before turning his attention to the black ops X-Men tale. It's a shame that production hadn't moved further along a bit faster, as now the movie definitely doesn't come under Disney's mandate to release all films that have been completed.
The concept of the team has always been a great one, as a selection of X-characters who are willing to go the extra mile and do the dirty deeds that the X-Men can't in order to keep mutantkind safe. Several characters were smartly introduced in Deadpool 2, only to be hilariously and violently killed off one-by-one at the outset of their first mission. The expectation was for the surviving set to star, but that hinged on the wider X-Men universe surviving to be riffed on.
It's far more likely that Marvel Studios will simply scupper the plans while they figure out to do with their Merry Mutants' return home.