In January, X-Men fans were surprised to learn that Fox was in the early stages of development for a Kitty Pryde movie; Deadpool director Tim Miller was signed up for the film. The announcement was particularly unexpected given Disney finalized a proposal to purchase the bulk of Fox's movie empire back in December. Still, with that purchase now going before the regulators, it's business as usual for both Disney and Fox. Fox currently has no less than 13 X-Men movies in some stage of development.
According to the trades, Fox has hired legendary comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis (who funny enough, just left Marvel to join DC Comics) to work on a script for a film that will be directed by Miller. The studio apparently attempted to keep details under wraps, but Deadline was able to confirm that the project has a title: "143." That's a dead giveaway to any X-Men fan. Uncanny X-Men #143 was one of the most important Kitty Pryde stories in her early X-Men history. It was something of a horror issue, with the young Kitty home alone in the X-Mansion - and hunted by a demonic N'Garai.
Bendis is no stranger to the character of Kitty Pryde. He was lead writer in the X-Men franchise from 2012 through to 2015, and it didn't take Kitty long to become a major character in his All-New X-Men series. That saw Kitty step up as a mentor to the time-displaced original X-Men. Bendis clearly enjoyed writing Kitty's character, and soon wrote her into a romance with Star-Lord. She made the jump over into Bendis's Guardians of the Galaxy series, although the romance didn't exactly go well.
Meanwhile, the reference "143" certainly seems to hint that the script will draw on Uncanny X-Men #143 to some extent. Bendis is particularly strong when it comes to writing young female characters, and he'd be an ideal writer for a movie starring the young Kitty Pryde. It's possible that this film will actually tap into the original comic's script; in that case, this is surely going to be another X-Men horror film. The last two years have seen Fox expand the range of their X-Men movies. They've diversified away from the traditional tentpole superhero films. Next year's New Mutants will be Fox's first superhero horror, but it's possible it won't be their last. That certainly seems appropriate for Kitty, who inspired Joss Whedon to create Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Kitty Pryde announcement may have been a surprising one, but this news is welcome. It really does suggest that Fox is committed to this film, and that they're assembling a top team. Fans will be waiting for more news with real interest.
- 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
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020