The future of the X-Men franchise is very much in doubt right now. Disney and Fox have concluded a deal that will see the House of Mouse purchase the bulk of 21st Century Fox, leading to the X-Men entering the MCU in the near future.
For all that's the case though, the deal will take about 18 months to get past the regulators, and who knows how much longer for the production schedules to line up. As a result, Fox is continuing to develop and release X-Men films. This year, viewers will see three new X-Men movies hit the big screen, but there's continuing development on a wide-range of projects.
The last two years have seen Fox adjust their strategy when it comes to the X-Men franchise. No longer is the studio focused simply on the tentpole X-Men films. Instead, they're exploring a wide range of spinoffs and solo outings, some of which are fairly surprising for such a high-profile series. It's too soon to say whether or not all of these movies will still be made if the Disney purchase goes ahead, but Fox seem determined to keep the wheels in motion for now.
X-Men Films That Are Definitely Coming Out (This Page)
New Mutants (And Two Planned Sequels)
Josh Boone's New Mutants was originally set for release on April 13 this year, but has been moved to February 2019. It's a supernatural thriller unlike any superhero film to date, starring a bunch of teenage mutants trapped inside a "haunted house." The story is inspired by the classic "Demon Bear Saga," by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, and features an all-star cast, including Anya-Taylor Joy as Magik, Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot, and Blu Hunt as Mirage.
Boone has planned this to be the start of a New Mutants trilogy, but even under Fox, it's likely future films will only be signed off after seeing how the first performs at the box office. Of course, it's certainly too soon to say whether or not the trilogy would continue after the Disney purchase.
Deadpool 2 (And Possibly One More Sequel)
One of the most eagerly-anticipated films of the year, Deadpool 2 is due for release on May 18th. The first film's irreverent humor and comic-book-accurate style saw it become an unexpected smash hit, and the sequel is only going to expanded the X-Men franchise even further; it will introduce Josh Brolin's Cable and Zazie Beetz's Domino. Although Fox never wanted to make it, the Merc with a Mouth has become a key part of the franchise; there's already been some discussion of Deadpool 3.
Disney has already indicated that they intend to continue this particular franchise. Disney CEO Bob Iger has reassured fans that he's open to creating more Deadpool sequels. He's even suggested there may be an opportunity to create an R-rated Marvel brand. The Deadpool films will likely continue, relatively undisturbed by the Disney purchase.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
The next film in the tentpole X-Men franchise, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will carry on from 2016's Apocalypse. Set in the '90s, the film will see Sophie Turner's Jean Grey tap into the power of the Phoenix Force, although quite what that means is unclear given that Fox seems to have taken great liberties with the original comics (which were previously adapted in 2006's The Last Stand). Indeed, there are strong rumors the Shi'ar - a key part of The Dark Phoenix Saga - have been replaced by the shape-shifting aliens known as the Skrulls. Meanwhile, Magneto seems to play a key role as a cultist leader who rules the mutant nation of Genosha.
In a strange comment, Olivia Munn suggested that this film was "like a two-parter." There's been no official confirmation, but it's possible the next tentpole film was intended to follow on from Dark Phoenix. Of course, these plans may well be in limbo; Disney will probably reboot the tentpole X-Men films should the purchase go ahead.
The last of the X-Men films to officially be assigned a release date, Gambit is now scheduled for June 7th, 2019. Not much is known about the movie at this stage, and anything we do know has likely changed; the Channing Tatum-starring film has been on-and-off the cards for years. Casting calls have suggested the film is an origin story for the Ragin' Cajun, and will explore the war between the Thieves and Assassins Guilds.
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020