20th Century Fox is expanding its X-Men franchise even further, with a secret project called 143. While no plot details have been given, there is already quite a bit of talent lined up behind the camera, with Deadpool director Tim Miller set to take the helm, working from a script that is currently being developed by comic book legend Brian Michael Bendis. The studio hasn't set a production schedule or a release date at this time, but this report did confirm that the project is set within the X-Men universe.
With no clues given as to the 143 title, its possible this title could refer to a specific X-Men comic book issue. The original X-Men comics from the 1960s ended its run of original issues at #66, although Marvel later reprinted older comic book stories as issues #67-93. The Uncanny X-Men comics by iconic writer Chris Claremont helped breathe new life into the comic book franchise in the early 1980s, which included the Dark Phoenix story that is being adapted into the X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie, and Days of Future Past, which was turned into the 2014 movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. There was an Uncanny X-Men Issue #143, and, when coupled with a report from January, could mean that this project is actually a Kitty Pryde movie.
We reported in January that director Tim Miller was developing a Kitty Pryde movie, although no further details were given. While Kitty Pryde, a mutant who has the ability to become intangible and pass her body through physical objects, debuted in X-Men #129, she was the main character in X-Men #143, which was published in March 1981. The story followed Kitty Pryde who was alone in the X-Mansion over Christmas, as she is forced to deal with the N'Garai Demon, a creature which made its X-Men comics debut in that issue. While there is no confirmation that this project could be an adaptation of X-Men #143, it certainly is interesting, considering this news coupled with the rumor from last month.
20th Century Fox was originally set to release three X-Men movies this year, but the studio gave The New Mutants a new 2019 release date, pushing it almost an entire year, from April 13, 2018 to February 22, 2019. The studio also moved up Deadpool 2 a few weeks from June 1 to May 18, although X-Men: Dark Phoenix will stay put in its November 2, 2018 date. Gambit was also pushed from February 14, 2019 to June 7, 2019. It's possible the studio could slot this project into a late 2019 date, although there isn't any indication as to when this project could be ready to start production.
Tim Miller is currently in pre-production on the latest Terminator movie for Paramount Pictures, which original Terminator director James Cameron is shepherding. The filmmaker will get the rights back to the entire Terminator franchise in 2019, 35 years after his groundbreaking 1984 film The Terminator. Brian Michael Bendis is best known for creating iconic Marvel characters like Miles Morales and Jessica Jones, and while he recently switched to DC Comics, this mystery movie will mark his return to the Marvel fray. Deadline broke the news about this mystery project earlier today.