As it turns out, after New Mutants rolls out in theaters early next year, 20th Century Fox is planning three more X-Men films in both 2019 and 2020. Since news broke that Disney was in active talks with Fox to buy their film and TV division, Marvel fans have been wondering how the two separate superhero franchises from Marvel Studios and Fox could come together. And while the deal still isn't official, many expected that Fox will slowly decrease their Marvel output. But between the existing film slate and FX's Legion's world-building, it's as if it hasn't sunk in yet that all their Marvel-related content couldn't go anywhere once the historic buyout gets the DOJ's approval.
While there are only four films (Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, New Mutants and Gambit) on the docket for the Fox/Marvel side of things, there are a few other announced projects that are in various stages of development. The slate includes the long-delayed Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum, a Doctor Doom standalone announced during last year's San Diego Comic-Con, a Kitty Pryde solo adventure from Brian Michael Bendis and Tim Miller, a Multiple Man film and, apparently, a Silver Surfer movie written by Brian K. Vaughan. That's on top of the X-Force spin-off starting production this October, an X-23 spin-off and another installment from the main X-Men saga. That's a good number of films to cover the currently unknown six slots for 2019 and 2020.
In a report from THR, it's still business as usual for Fox despite the looming sale. In fact, it seems like they're even upping their Marvel film turnout per year from one to two flicks annually to three. "We actually have way more in development and production in Marvel IP than at any point in the history of the studio," a Fox insider shared, adding: "There's been zero slowdown on that front given Disney."
Needless to say, this doesn't mean that things won't change. If the Disney buyout pushes through, Fox won't have any choice but to abide by whatever Marvel Studios wants for these characters. This makes continuing developing movies past the current slate they have risky considering that all six of the aforementioned films could possibly be scrapped. Then again, since the final verdict of the sale is expected to be out by the end of the year, the movies won't be too far along in pre-production or production. Perhaps, whatever concept they have come up with could be absorbed by Feige in the MCU.
Whatever happens to the current X-Men franchise largely hinges on what Feige and his team are cooking up for their own franchise. And considering that he's been very vocal about wanting to reclaim all the rights to the divided Marvel character catalog, we're pretty sure that even though the Disney/Fox sale isn't official yet, he's already looking for ways to add the X-Men to the MCU. That said, the producer has reiterated that the possibility of the X-Men or the Fantastic Four popping in the MCU is still years ahead. There are a few ways that they can go about introducing the mutants into their existing canon. Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Doctor Strange in the MCU) recently hinted at the introduction of the multiverse - one route that Marvel can go about incorporating the existing X-Men roster to the MCU. Otherwise, it could just be a total reboot.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020