X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner expresses excitement to work alongside Kevin Feige once again by bringing the mutant superhero team into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She and her husband and Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner both own The Donner Company, under which she has developed and produced every installment in 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise - including the TV shows Legion and The Gifted - since Bryan Singer's 2000 X-Men film. And now, she'll be bringing her expertise to the MCU.
In December 2017, The Walt Disney Company made a bid to acquire 21st Century Fox's movie and TV assets, namely 20th Century Fox, which will include the film rights to both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. While the deal is still being worked on, plans are already underway to eventually incorporate the mutants as well as Marvel's First Family into the continuously expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. If and when that happens (which, presumably, won't be for another year or two), Donner will reunite with Feige behind the scenes for the first time since Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand, which both Donner and Feige executive produced, hit theaters in 2006. After all, it wasn't long after X-Men 3 released that Feige left to command Marvel Studios' MCU.
Related: X-Men Producer is Game to Join MCU
In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes after FOX's Winter TCA 2018 presentation for The Gifted, Lauren Shuler Donner briefly discussed her excitement for working alongside her former intern and current Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
“Look, it’s 18 months [away], so who knows. For me, I think Bob Iger is one of the smartest men in the country. Alan Horn’s an old friend. Kevin Feige was my intern and assistant and then my associate producer on the first X-Men. Kevin and I started the X-Men together, so for me, if we work with Kevin, I’m happy.”
The Mouse House has up to 18 months to complete its purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and TV assets for $54.2 billion. If the sale doesn't go through or if federal regulators block the deal, Disney has agreed to pay Fox a $2.5 billion breakup fee. If the sale is finalized in 18 months, though, then Donner will find herself working alongside Feige once again. She will also be working with Disney CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Studios chairman (and former Warner Bros. Pictures president) Alan Horn, who currently oversees development on all live-action Disney films, including those from both Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios.
While the Disney/Fox deal may put the current X-Men universe in jeopardy, there are apparently no plans to cancel or retool Fox's current slate of Marvel Comics-based films, such as Drew Goddard's X-Force. Plus, it seems Marvel Studios is at least somewhat open to the idea of having R-rated comic book movies in the future, so Deadpool fans needn't worry too much.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
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- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018