Looks like 20th Century Fox won’t be getting out of the Marvel movie business anytime soon, not that we’d ever expected otherwise.
The studio, who own the big screen rights to the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ franchises, already have a big year lined up for them in 2018, with ‘X-Men: The New Mutants’ (opening in UK cinemas 13 April), ‘Deadpool 2’ (due 1 June), and ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ (due 2 November).
And this is just the beginning, as Exhibitor Relations revealed on Twitter that the studio have six more Marvel movies lined up between 2019 and 2021.
So, we know that Fox intend to release Marvel movies on 7 June 2019, 22 November 2019, 13 March 2020, 26 June 2020, 2 October 2020, and 5 March 2021 – but we don’t know what any of the films in question are, at present.
First off, it seems safe to assume that at least one of these films will be another instalment in the main ‘X-Men’ series, following on from 2018’s ‘Dark Phoenix.’ It seems most likely that this will be one of the three 2020 releases, as the films tend tend to be spaced two years apart: last X-movie ‘Apocalypse’ was in 2016, the one before that was ‘Days of Future Past’ in 2014.
It also seems safe to assume that one of these will be a third ‘Deadpool,’ given that the ground-breaking 2016 R-rated superhero movie became the biggest box office success to have come from the ‘X-Men’ movie universe yet, and hopes are high that next year’s sequel will be a similar success.
We can also say with a degree of confidence that one of the unnamed six will be ‘X-Force,’ the long in-development big screen take on the hard-edged ‘X-Men’ spin-off comic, which will likely see the return of several characters being introduced in ‘Deadpool 2,’ among them Josh Brolin’s Cable.
Joe Carnahan (‘The A-Team,’ ‘The Grey’) is believed to be attached as writer-director on ‘X-Force’ – and he recently walked away from the director’s chair on the third ‘Bad Boys’ movie, possibly over scheduling conflicts. As such, ‘X-Force’ might be happening sooner than we thought – in 2019, perhaps?
So assuming our (educated) guesses are correct, what of the remaining three vacant spots? Well, it’s likely one of these could be ‘Gambit,’ the troubled ‘X-Men’ offshoot set to see Channing Tatum take over the role of the card-throwing Cajun mutant. This film had initially been lined up for 2016, but has had major behind-the-scenes issues, and lost two directors in Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman.
Beyond that, it seems inconceivable that one of the remaining two slots is not intended for a ‘Fantastic Four’ movie. Given how badly Fox has fared with that particular property in the past, it’s hard to see there being too much fan demand for yet another one – but it’s also hard to imagine the studio being willing to let their hold on the character rights revert to Marvel.
A sequel to 2015’s disastrous ‘Fantastic Four’ seems very unlikely indeed, so the studio will have little choice but to reboot a second time; and recent rumours have pointed to a very different, primarily child-oriented take on the property.
That just leaves one spot we haven’t made a guess for. Could it be an ‘X-23’ movie, with ‘Logan’ scene-stealer Dafne Keen reprising her role as the young, feral clone of Wolverine? Maybe a ‘New Mutants’ sequel, or a solo movie for another ‘X-Men’ character; such as Dazzler, recently confirmed to be appearing in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix?’
Or might Fox even attempt a ‘Silver Surfer’ movie, a fresh take on the fan favourite character that most would agree was not used to his full potential in 2007’s ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer?’
If there are any other Marvel characters Fox own which might be worthy of their own film, feel free to sound off in the comments section below.