Ok. So X-Men: Apocalypse was not the movie 20th Century Fox was hoping for. The third sequel in the First Class trilogy opened at number one and has since earned a respectable $154.2 million in the states with another $373.7 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $527.9 million. Not a bomb set against its $178 million budget. But its time in theaters is winding down this summer, and as it stands, it's now the 7th highest grossing movie in the X-Men franchise. Deadpool, which opened a few months earlier this past February, on the other hand ripped out of the gate like gangbusters and never slowed down, going on to become the highest grossing movie in the entire X-Men saga thus far. It took in a stellar $363 million here, another $418.5 million overseas, bringing its global total to $781. So should it come as any surprise that 20th Century Fox is most eager to jump back into this pool next? Pun intended!

Yesterday, we learned from Producer Simon Kindberg that the delayed X-Men spinoff Gambit will finally start shooting with star Channing Tatum in Spring 2017. Now we've learned that Deadpool 2 will shoot a little earlier than that. There were rumors that the second standalone adventure for Ryan Reynolds' Wade Wilson might shoot as soon as this fall. But it sounds like the production team is holding out for an early 2017 start date. And it will be the next movie in the X-Men franchise to get released after Wolverine 3. Speaking with The Hashtag Show, producer Simon Kinberg had this to say about how the whole X Universe is moving forward.

"The first thing up, we're shooting the Wolverine movie right now and we start shooting Deadpool 2 at the beginning of next year, then I sit down and start writing the next of the mainline X-Men movies."

We already know that Wolverine 3, which is shooting right now and believed to be titled Weapon X (though Fox hasn't confirmed that title), will hit theaters on March 3. Fox also has March 18, 2018 and June 29, 2018 staked out for two untitled Marvel movies. Following the producer's statements, we can pretty much guess that Deadpool 2 will arrive spring 2018, with Gambit taking that prime June real estate. Which makes perfect sense. We're not sure when X-Men 7 will hit, even with Kinberg hunkering down to write the movie soon. But we do know that Fox also has the spinoffs The New Mutants and X-Force in the works. It is believed that Cable will arrive first in Deadpool 2, helping to set up that next ensemble, with Wade Wilson later coming aboard for at least an X-Force cameo to give that lesser known title a boost at the box office.

There had been some recent rumors that Channing Tatum split from Fox to focus on an as yet revealed DC Comics movie. While Tatum may, perhaps, still be eyeballing a DC superhero adventure, Kinberg confirms that Gambit, which was originally supposed to be in theaters this October, is shooting in Spring of next year. Though, the footing still seems a bit off. He says this.

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"We have a great script on that and hope to shoot that movie at the beginning of spring of next year."

So, right now, we are looking at seeing Wolverine 3 next year, with Deadpool 2 and Gambit in theaters during the first half of 2018. We can only guess that means The New Mutants and X-Force will arrive in 2019. We know that Bryan Singer is taking a break from the X-Men universe to make 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea next. The speculation and rumor mill have him returning for X-Men 7, which could potentially be in theaters summer 2020. Though, with X-Men: Apocalypse's less than stellar reviews and fan reception, Fox may be considered keeping Singer in his producer duties while handing the reigns of the next X-Men trilogy off to a fresh director. What we know about X7 is that it takes place in the 1990s and will be set partially (perhaps entirely) in space. As for Deadpool 2 no plot details, other than the arrival of Cable, have been disclosed at this time.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange