Longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner pitched an all-female team-up movie years ago that never got made. 20th Century Fox has held control of the movie rights to all X-Men characters for the last several decades, and have made more than a handful of films in that time. The franchise spans two decades of a confusing timeline that saw a soft reboot come in 2011 with the highly praised X-Men: First Class.
Originally, the X-Men franchise was built on the backs of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), and Magneto (Ian McKellen). They were at the center of the first trilogy, along with major mutants like Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), and Rogue (Anna Paquin). Although the first two installments of this franchise were well received, the trilogy fizzled to a close with X-Men: The Last Stand and led to Wolverine spinoffs and the eventual reboot.
At some point in the process, it appears an X-Women movie was being talked about, led by a pitch from producer Lauren Shuler Donner. She revealed this bit of information during an interview with Decider at the Television Critics Association gathering. Her idea wasn't for an X-Men movie devoid of all male characters, but simply one that let some of the female characters take the lead. Here's what she said:
I frankly wanted to see an X-Women movie. I didn’t get it through. But I think that would be cool. I think — not to have no guys in it, you have to have guys in it — but to make instead of Charles and Magneto at the helm it’ll be whomever. Kitty Pryde and Illyana [Rasputin]. Something like that.
Although Donner doesn't specify when such a movie was being discussed, it easily could've been a continuation of the original trilogy. Since Wolverine got a spinoff of his own, an all-female X-Men team may have been the shot in the arm the franchise needed. It could've been led by Storm, Rogue, and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), and Donner's mention of Illyana Rasputin aka Magik could have been among the new additions. Unfortunately, the movie never made it past the pitch phase, and now Magik is going to get her live-action debut with Anya Taylor-Joy playing her in New Mutants instead.
Even though Donner's pitch never happened with Fox, the studio's pending acquisition by Disney will soon revert the X-Men movie rights back to Marvel Studios. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it's expected that Kevin Feige will reboot the characters and likely integrate them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He'll surely look to shake up how they're brought to life on the big screen, and giving the female characters a larger focus may be the solution.
Marvel Studios is just weeks away from releasing their first female-led movie with Captain Marvel, and then have Black Widow coming in the near future. Solo films for some of the female X-Men characters could come down the road or maybe Feige will use Donner's idea in the MCU. Feige used to be an intern for Donner after all and she has said she'd be happy to work with him again after the Disney-Fox deal closes. So, even though an X-Women movie hasn't happened yet, it doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020