X-Men, X2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer's fast-approaching X-Men: Apocalypse is the finale to the X-film trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class in 2011. However, the X-Men film franchise is far from being done, what with solo X-Men film sequels Wolverine 3 and Deadpool 2, as well as spinoffs Gambit and New Mutants, all being in various stages of development.
Filmmaker Josh Boone, who made his name as a director with the 2014 John Green movie adaptation The Fault in Our Stars, is once again working in young adult (YA) territory with New Mutants. Boone and his co-writer Knate Lee have been making progress on the New Mutants screenplay of late, enough so to suggest that filming on the comic book adaptation could get started as soon as next year.
X-Men franchise producer Simon Kinberg (who also wrote both Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) confirmed that this is the plan during an interview with Collider, at the press day for Apocalypse. Boone has alluded to the potential New Mutants film character roster via images posted to his Instagram account, but Kinbeg has confirmed at least one mutant who is lined up to appear in the movie:
“Right now, as the movie exists, Professor X would be a part of a New Mutants movie.”
Kinberg's comment lends greater credibility to an earlier report on New Mutants that indicated James McAvoy will be reprising his First Class trilogy role as Charlies Xavier/Professor X in the film. Other New Mutants players that were mentioned in that earlier report include Alexandra Shipp’s Ororo Munroe/Storm from Apocalypse, suggesting that the latter will step into her traditional role as an X-Men teacher and team member during Boone's film.
Meanwhile, Patrick Stewart as the older Professor X is slated to play a key role in the now-filming Wolverine 3 - an X-Men movie that is set in "the future," whereas New Mutants looks to take place in the past (more on that shortly).
Among the X-Men film franchise newcomers rumored to make the jump from the printed page to the big screen in the New Mutants comic book adaptation are Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane and Illya Rasputin/Magik, as portrayed by such young rising stars as Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), respectively. Kinberg in the past has said that "it's likely you will see familiar faces" in New Mutants, so Xavier and Storm might be joined by fellow Apocalypse characters like the young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) in Boone's film.
Beyond that, Kinberg said New Mutants is specifically targeting an early 2017 production start date. If so, that not only suggests that the plan is for New Mutants to take the July 2018 date currently being reserved by 20th Century Fox for an X-Men feature, but that Boone's film will be the next non-spinoff installment in the franchise. Thus, it could be the X-Men film set in the 1990s that Kinberg also mentioned (but did not specify) during the Apocalypse press day event.
Of course, Singer has also indicated that he may not be done with the X-Men franchise after Apocalypse hits theaters and has expressed an interest in taking the X-Men into space in a future movie, so perhaps that was the movie that Kinberg was referring to. Or maybe the X-Men will "go cosmic" in another film that jumps ahead a decade from New Mutants to the 2000s?
X-Men: Apocalypse will open in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018 (possibly The New Mutants).