In an unexpected development, 2oth Century Fox is moving forward with a Multiple Man solo movie starring James Franco. The one-two punch of last year’s Deadpool and this spring’s Logan seems to have reinvigorated Fox’s larger X-Men cinematic universe. Case in point: over the next two years alone, Fox will release the X-Men franchise installments New Mutants, Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Gambit in theaters. Nevertheless, this Multiple Man news is something of a curveball.
Created by the late Len Wien Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4, Multiple Man aka. Jamie Madrox debuted in 1975. A subset of mutants dubbed changelings, Madrox’s powers allow him to create untold duplicates of himself, down to the clothes he’s wearing. The character has appeared in a number of animated shows and video games over the years since then, and even made a brief appearance during the live-action film X-Men: The Last Stand. Now, however, he’s getting the spotlight all to himself.
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Deadline is reporting that Fox is developing a Multiple Man movie as a starring vehicle for Franco. Alongside the XCU architect Simon Kinberg, Franco will produce Multiple Man through his Ramona Films – the same company behind the actor/filmmaker’s highly-anticipated December release, The Disaster Artist.
There’s no word yet on a director, but the Multiple Man movie will be scripted by Allan Heinberg. The writer is best known for co-writing the screenplay for Wonder Woman, making this quite the get for Fox. He’s also written for two different Marvel video games, while his TV credits include episodes of The O.C., Sex & the City, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Franco and Kinberg already have a working relationship, as the two are currently helping to develop The Hardy Men. That movie will see James Franco and his brother Dave star as adult versions of the famous boy detectives. It seems that the two creatives hit it off and Kinberg was able to land the highly-sought-after Franco for his second superhero film after playing Harry Osborn/Goblin in the original Spider-Man trilogy.
Though Madrox is typically a hero, he’s operated in a gray areas. He’s also a character known for his humor, which he accents using his powers. Given that, Franco is actually a fairly perfect match for Multiple Man and should bring some Deadpool-level irreverence to the Fox universe. Multiple Man may not be a household name, but it’s clear that the right star and tone can make any superhero film a hit. When it comes to a Multiple Man movie, Franco’s involvement is certainly encouraging, for that very reason.
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