Why Fox's X-Men Universe Keeps Growing Despite Disney's Purchase

Production of X-Men films aren't slowing down over at Fox, despite the Disney purchase. It was recently revealed that Tim Miller is working on a Kitty Pryde solo outing for the studio. The Deadpool director is currently developing a movie based on the phasing mutant, with the option to direct should it come to pass. Now, this isn't necessarily something to immediately get excited about - projects like this move in and out of development all the time - but it does indicate that very little is changing for the foreseeable future with regards to the X-Men franchise over on the Fox lot.

There's over a dozen X-Men movies still in development, ranging from main series extensions to out-there spinoffs, with constant movement suggesting things are continuing business as usual. How can this happen when one of the biggest deals in film history is taking place? Well, it's a bit more complicated you think.

The Disney Deal Isn't Finished Yet (This Page)

The Disney Deal Isn't Finished Yet (And Fox Are Onto A Winner)

20th Century Fox owned by Disney

Like any deal of this magnitude, ironing out the finer details will take time (it still needs to pass congress). There's a lot of spinning plates and different angles to think about and square off before anyone comes in and reboots or cans or makes any bold decisions for any properties. For most franchises, any changes will come over the course of years, rather than months, including Fox's X-Men films. The slate of actually active movies may be relatively short, but among them are an ever-widening ensemble of characters and actors with multi-picture deals to play them, not to mention talented directors like Miller eager to nail something down to work on. A lot of not insignificant people are tied to the X-franchise, several of whom were instrumental in the studio finally starting to make X-movies people really loved.

Related: Every Movie Franchise Disney Has Bought From Fox

It's hard to understate how much 2016's Deadpool and last year's Logan did for not only the idea of R-rated comic book movies, but for Fox's whole perspective on the X-Men. Until Deadpool only a couple of films released within the series really stood the test of time. Then two years on the trot came top-to-bottom blockbusters, each boasting a distinct narrative centered on one of Marvel comics' most beloved characters. Both did huge numbers financially and, more importantly, were very-well reviewed by fans and critics alike. Fox are so confident in Logan, they believe it deserves Oscar attention.

Fox stumbled on a formula for distinct pictures that'd stand-out against Marvel's constant schedule. And from that, we've got Josh Boone's New Mutants, a horror story featuring mutants locked in an asylum. There's an X-Force project that's been doing the rounds for years that's looking very plausible on the back Deadpool 2 featuring Cable and filming on Gambit is apparently set to start this Spring. And those are in addition to X-Men: Dark Phoenix, a second run at committing the legendary Dark Phoenix comic storyline to the big screen after the disastrous X-Men: The Last Stand. The latter probably won't revolutionize the genre as has been touted by Sophie Turner, but the Simon Kinberg-directed effort is likely to be at least better than X3. As far as X-Men and associated names and groups that Fox own therein, they're on a roll now that they'd be foolish to slow down or work against just on the basis of a somewhat unknown future. There's no precedent for what Disney might do here really and there's a lot of money and cool movies to be made in the meantime.

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Key Release Dates
  • New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
  • 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
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