X-Men Movie Producer Talks Franchise Challenges & Bold Future

You talked about the tone of these films allow them explore, become any sort of genre – there’s no reason this should ever end, because you can do anything. But what I also like about the X-Men films in particular is how lately you guys have been playing with different time periods. Obviously Logan is a little bit in the future. Days of Future Past was in the future and we have Apocalypse is in the ‘80s, Deadpool in modern day – is that the plan going forward as well, not just different tones but to keep playing with these different time periods?

HUTCH PARKER: A bit. A bit. I think we’re liked the progression that was really started with First Class and that allowed us to tackle these different decades and see how the X-Men have evolved. How they’ve changed. I think there’s certainly an opportunity at some point for an intersection of certain of these story lines. I think, like you said in Days of Future Past, you’ve got time travel and you’ve got other mechanisms for moving the characters into different bandwidths of time – all of which are available. We haven’t necessarily committed to any of those yet but it’s just to speak to that openness of landscape. The real challenge, implicitly and otherwise, is I think the bar has been raised on these movies and again, not just on comic book movies, but I think the audience in general is being more aggressively discerning and demanding better filmmaking and better story telling. I think that’s the real challenge. There’s an incredible wealth of quality material from which to draw. The challenge is, we have to continually do a better and more imaginative and inventive job of telling those stories cinematically. That’s probably the thing, or one of the things, we talk about the most and where the filmmakers that are behind these films become so essential.

Speaking of that, everyone is very excited about Cable and Josh Brolin coming into the franchise. He’s been a fan favorite character for decades and of course, he has ties to all of these things: New Mutants, X-Force, Deadpool, and the main X-Men. What does introducing a character like that who can time travel let you guys do creatively going forward?

HUTCH PARKER: Well as you know, it’s kind of implicit in your question, it just opens a whole series of doors. I think that was part of what was so exciting of adding him to the mix is, not only what he brings as a character – and I think what I think Brolin will bring to the part, which I think was just brilliant casting – but it expands the landscape again and gives us more flexibility and opportunity which is one of the ways we can keep this franchise feeling vibrant and exciting and fresh - by introducing elements that are exciting and dynamic and different.

X-Men Phoenix Force Comic

You’re working on Dark Phoenix next and we saw a major glimpse of Phoenix in the last movie, Apocalypse. And of course we saw a different version of Phoenix back in X-Men: The Last Stand. What are you guys hoping to do differently with [the character in] the next movie?

HUTCH PARKER: Quite a bit. Again, I can’t really speak to anything specifically but I think the challenge as offered by all the films we’ve mentioned is very - we’re very aware of the challenge that those movies pose and what it sort of demands of us as storytellers mining, again, one of the great comic runs in The Dark Phoenix Saga. Our hope and expectation is to try and do something that feels different, that takes the audience into a different tone and a different sense of cinematic style that is appropriately suited to the story we’re telling. So I’m trying to answer your question without giving anything away.

[Laughs] I got you.

HUTCH PARKER: But we are committed to that and know that it’s not as simple as picking up where we left off in anyway. We actually have to be more bold [sic] and more inventive than that.

You mentioned Guardians. Hutch, are you ready to get cosmic with this stuff?

HUTCH PARKER: [Laughs] That is certainly a possibility. That is certainly a possibility. Yes.

More: Every Wolverine Easter Egg & X-Men Connection in Logan

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

James Mangold directs Logan from a screenplay by Michael Green and Scott Frank & James Mangold and a story by David James Kelly and James Mangold. Logan is produced by: Hutch Parker, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, and Stephen Merchant.

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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