When X-Men: Days of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg stepped in for director Bryan Singer at last weekend's WonderCon in Anaheim, he wasn't shy about Fox's future outlook for everyone's favorite Mutants. He didn't divulge any outright plans, but he did discuss the possibility of an X-Men TV series and an R-rated Deadpool movie.
Most of the major movie studios own a piece of the Marvel pie, and after the enormous success of Marvel's The Avengers and all of its tie-in solo movies, Sony and Fox are looking to expand their franchises as well, as is Warner Bros. with their catalogue of DC Comics titles. Sony is currently in the process of turning The Amazing Spider-Man into a powerhouse of villainy with Venom and The Sinister Six spin-offs. Warner Bros. is building Man of Steel into Justice League, and Fox has X-Men: Apocalypse and Wolverine 3 on its slate, not to mention a Fantastic Four reboot now in production.
Fox also has other Mutant related titles that fall under the X-Men banner, with Deadpool, New Mutants and X-Force all rumored to be getting their own movies sometime soon. But what is Fox going to do with all these titles? Will they huddle them altogether for a Marvel's The Avengers-like ensemble? Simon Kinberg talks about working towards that.
"Yeah, they definitely understand what they have now in a way that, having worked on the X-Men Fox movies since 2003, [it was a] different regime, really different culture inside the studio [back then], but outside the studio like you say, the juggernauts, the big movies of every summer are [now] superhero movies. We're gonna have three big superhero movies in the span of like a month and a half between Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and us. So Fox does understand that they are sitting on this massive universe with the X-Men, also with The Fantastic Four obviously. But they definitely have a sense of it and there's a real interest and appetite for how to explore and expand that world into other movies, into spin-offs, into different time periods, the whole gamut."
At this time, Marvel is working to bring four titles to Netflix in the form of television dramas, with Daredevil kicking off things in 2015 followed by Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones. This will culminate in an epic The Defenders miniseries. They also have Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. currently airing on ABC (though it hasn't yet been renewed for season 2) and are planning to launch Marvel's Agent Carter this winter. While Sony doesn't currently have any plans for a Spider-Man TV series that we know of, DC and Warner Bros. are finding great success with Arrow on The CW, and it will soon be followed by The Flash. They also have Constantine at NBC and the Batman inspired Gotham at Fox. What about 20th Century Fox and X-Men, though? Are there plans for a mutant TV series?
"We're still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there's just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV. Because that's it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it's the same characters, different story. I think what [Fox is] seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there's a way to make these stories that doesn't cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie."
Mutants have invaded TV before. Avi Arad produced Mutant X, which followed a group of 'new mutants' for three seasons in syndication from 2001 to 2004. But it wasn't based on characters from the X-Men comics, and actually spurned a lawsuit between Marvel and 20th Century Fox. In 2003, the two parties resolved their differences in a confidential settlement. There was also the 1996 Fox TV movie Generation X, which was a spin-off of the X-Men and portrayed some of the members we've seen in the more recent movies.
Finally, Simon Kinberg commented on the prospects of an R-rated Deadpool movie, something that has long been discussed and continues on in development. It sounds like we'll see it at some point, but who knows when?
"Yeah, it makes sense to me. Genuinely it's early phases, early days, but if you're gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you've gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with."