What Is Coming Next In The X-Men Universe?
By Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
The X-Men universe has been on and off our screens for the last 17 years or so. Logan has just wrapped up the Hugh Jackman Wolverine era, and with the advent of younger versions of favorites like Magneto and Professor Xavier, the world of X-Men is evolving. The Deadpool extension of the universe has taken an extremely different direction, so we have to wonder… What’s coming next in the X-Men universe?
With the introduction of the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool has opened up other avenues for the mutant world. Back in July 2013 Jeff Wadlow was announced as writer and director of an X-Force film. In December 2013, Deadpool creator Rob Liefield said that Deadpool and Cable would be in the movie. There was even talk that an X-Force movie might be out as early as 2017.
That was 4 years ago. 2017 is here, and it’s highly unlikely we will see an X-Force film in theaters this year. However, in November 2016, Simon Kinberg, a screenwriter and producer (best known for his work with the X-Men franchise) told Hollywood Reporter that the movie is still on the production schedule, so don’t give up hope! In fact, in February of this year, it was announced that Ryan Reynolds is co-writing the script for the (hopefully R-rated) film, alongside Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Grey), who is also set to direct. The X-Men spinoff would be “like the black ops of the X-Men,” said Kinberg, and it has been confirmed that Deadpool and Cable will still be a part of the project (although the scope of the characters’ involvement is yet unknown).
There is no release date set for an X-Force movie, as it is still in development. Kinberg noted that they are focusing on movies like Gambit and Deadpool 2. But the odds are in our favor that we’ll be seeing an X-Force film within a few years.
Speaking of Gambit, we’ve all been wondering what is happening there! It feels like Channing Tatum was cast in the lead role forever ago! Once upon a time, Gambit had a release date and a director and casting had begun. Then the director left the project. The film picked up new director Doug Liman, but it has been rumored that he may also no longer be directing as he headed off to do Justice League Dark. Now, movie has been “delayed” so many times, we’ve been wondering if it’s really going to happen. (Who knows? If Liman left, he might be back on the scene before the movie finds its feet and actually happens!)
In August 2016, Simon Kinberg said that the film was still happening, but was pushed back to try to ensure the movie has the right tone. He explained, “The character has such a specific voice in the comic, in the same way that ‘Deadpool’ has… we want to make sure we capture that voice on the page.” Lauren Shuler Donner, the producer who helped Fox grab the rights to X-Men more than 20 years ago and has been involved in production of many of the films since then has recently confirmed that Gambit will find its way onto movie screens. She also confirmed that even after all this time, Channing Tatum is still attached to the project. (Maybe he should call up Ryan Reynolds about waiting forever and a day to play a dream comic book character role.) Gambit has been rumored to start shooting this spring, but no one has confirmed if this is the case, and there is no release date for Gambit currently.
If you haven’t been getting enough of the X-Men in the theaters, they’ll soon be coming into your home on Fox. Already ordered to series, Fox will be presenting us with a television series as a direct spin-off from the X-Men movie universe.
With showrunner Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and executive producers Lauren Shuler Donner, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory, Bryan Singer, and Simon Kinberg, the show will tell the story of parents who discover their child is a mutant. To avoid government persecution, they join an “underground” with other mutants and families fleeing and hiding. Currently titled Gifted (which may change, according to Donner), the show will take a more intimate look at the X-Men universe and maybe look at the world less through mutant eyes and more through human ones.
It is rumored that the show will begin filming this month and that production is set to start in Dallas, TX. The real secret to finding out when and where filming will begin will be to track Bryan Singer, as he will be directing the pilot episode of the series.
A recent “cast” photo at a table reading posted by producer Donner has provided us with a glimpse of who is involved with the project, and we do know a little bit about the cast. The mutant child will be Lauren, played by Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham). Stephen Moyer (True Blood) will fill the role of Reed, the attorney who is the human father to Lauren. Reed’s estranged wife, Caitlin, will be played by Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest). We will also see Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time, Sucker Punch) as Blink, Blair Redford (Switched at Birth) as Thunderbird, Emma Dumont (Pretty Little Liars) as Polaris, Percy Hynes White (Defiance) as Andy, and Coby Bell (Burn Notice) as Jace.
Part of the X-Men universe, but often off doing his own thing, we find Deadpool. And after the incredible success of the first film released in February 2016, it is no surprise that a sequel has become a priority! In fact, it looks like Deadpool 2 has a tentative release date of March 2, 2018. (That’s less than a year away, folks!)
Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool, withdrew from the sequel project after reported differences with Ryan Reynolds about the movie’s direction. David Leitch (John Wick) picked up the project, and if anyone knows how to kill people on screen and make it look good, it’s Leitch. While the director’s chair has been taken by a new face, Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are back, putting pen to paper for Deadpool 2 (along with consultant Drew Goddard).
Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool. As long as we live, there will never be anyone to replace him. (Seriously, follow him on Twitter… Every bone in that man’s body is infused with sarcasm and sass.) But the much-anticipated Cable is yet uncast. Deadpool himself threw out some ideas for casting, during the post-credits scene of the first movie, including Keira Knightley. But with Cable set to be in Deadpool 2 and possibly in a future X-Force movie, it seems like time is being taken to find the right fit for the role. While one new face is yet to be discovered in Cable, Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) will be playing Domino. In the comics, she is an assassin for hire and a founding member of X-Force. (I’m starting to feel the foundations being laid here for an X-Force movie… how about you?)
Meanwhile, it looks like we will see Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) again, at least for a small part. While no official announcements have been made, at SXSW this week, Hildebrand commented to Screenrant writers on the concept art and wardrobe for her character. In addition, we should plan on seeing Colossus again. Writer Rhett Reese told Collider, “I think we can say, yeah, they’ll be in the sequel.” His writing partner Paul Wernick supported the statement, adding, “Yeah, they’ll at least make an appearance.”
If the marketing for Deadpool 2 is anything like the first, be prepared to see a lot of Reynolds in the Deadpool suit during the next year. In fact, we’ve already been lucky enough to have a short released, starring the Merc with the Mouth, titled No Good Deed. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out!
Finally, the X-Men universe will see another addition as another movie is planned. It’s not called Supernova, as Simon Kinberg recently told SlashFilm. It’s just a working title for now. (Truth be told, Kinberg also admitted that the film already has a new working title. There’s rumors that it might be Teen Spirit, but we don’t know for sure.)
Kinberg has hinted that the story might deal with the Dark Phoenix storyline, which many believe was seriously flubbed in X-Men: The Last Stand. At this year’s BAFTA red carpet, Sophie Turner (the actress playing Jean Grey) confirmed, with Hey U Guys, that she will soon be filming a new X-Men movie. So expect another X-Men movie sometime after Deadpool 2 next year.
So there you have it! Marvel comic book characters are really taking over, not just in the Avengers. The X-Men universe continues to grow and entertain us, even if Hugh Jackman is finished. (Let’s all agree to shed a collective tear for a great run.) Stay tuned for more information about these projects!