If early reviews are anything to go by, Fox may not have too much to look forward to with the Fantastic Four franchise, but the opposite is true for their other key Marvel Comics license that may crossover with it: X-Men.
Not only are early reactions to the Deadpool spinoff trailers overwhelmingly positive, but Fox also has X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit releasing alongside it in 2016, with several more related films (Wolverine 3, The New Mutants, etc.) in the works for the years following. There’s even an in-development X-Men TV series that we just learned is one step closer to becoming a reality.
It was the X-Men animated series on Fox TV networks in the early ’90s that helped grow the fan base the property enjoys today so it’s fitting that the success of the X-Men film franchise would help put the property back on the small screen. And according to Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden, Fox is in negotiations with Marvel to finally greenlight production on a live-action X-Men television series. Walden told THR during the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour that they hope to have an announcement soon.
Fox of course, owns the film rights to the X-Men property and its library of characters, but on the TV side they need to have Marvel Entertainment sign off on it.
“The characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature side so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney. This will be exclusively the franchise as it has existed at Fox.”
In 2014, X-Men franchise producer and writer Simon Kinberg – the overseer of sorts for Fox’s own Marvel Cinematic Universe – spoke about bringing the X-Men to the small screen, explaining that the comic book format lends itself better to serialized television and that Marvel has found similar success with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC and Daredevil on Netflix. Months later, rumors pointed towards the X-Men series potentially basing itself on Peter David’s X-Factor investigations comic and that it could tie-in with the films (and even include Quicksilver (Evan Peters)).
If the new X-Men TV series live-action and Kinberg has any say, it’s obvious that it will connect or at least share the same space of the films. Why wouldn’t it? The only question is whether or not Marvel HQ would want to let rival studio Fox use characters that they cannot use themselves in the films.
Expect more news in the near future either way. What we do know is that the plan is for this X-Men show to be a long-running series that’s being written by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne (who worked together on the initial script draft for Star Trek Beyond), co-created by showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto (who worked together on 24).
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015, followed by Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Logo art by Richard Manship.