The X-Men franchise is in a bit of a transitional phase over at Fox. On one hand, Deadpool totally crushed and opened a totally new door for the studio to explore, but those adventures, at least for now, appear to be taking place pretty far away from the main X-Men series. Logan is also looking like it will be a big hit, with early buzz on the movie very positive. But that is also going to mark Hugh Jackman's final turn as Wolverine, which will be closing the door on the most reliable fixture of the X-Men movies to date. Still, X-Men 7 is reportedly being worked on and now it looks like we may know who is being eyed to direct it; Simon Kinberg.
According to Collider, the longtime producer and writer for the X-Men franchise is actually looking to make his directorial debut with X-Men 7, which is rumored to be, at least tentatively titled X-Men: Supernova. The movie will reportedly be tackling the Dark Phoenix storyline, which is something that was originally teased in X2 and very poorly and loosely adapted in X-Men: The Last Stand. Here is what Collider's Steve Weintraub had to say about it.
"After talking to multiple sources, I can report that writer/producer Simon Kinberg is looking to make his directorial debut with the next X-Men movie and he's already written the screenplay. From what I hear, it does focus on the Dark Phoenix storyline and it's now up to the studio if they'll use his script and if he'll get to direct it."
X-Men: Apocalypse disappointed many fans but still managed to bring in a respectable $543 million at the box office. The movie did succeed by bringing in a new, younger generation of classic mutants with Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, who recently said she would be shooting a new X-Men movie this summer. We know that director Josh Boone is supposed to be shooting his long-in-development New Mutants movie this summer as well, so it is unclear if she is going to have a role in that movie or if she meant the X-Men: Supernova was coming together. Since Jean Grey is the most important character in the Dark Phoenix Saga, she would need to be there. For those who may not know, the story centers on Jean Grey being overtaken by her own powers and transforming into a super powerful mutant known as the Dark Phoenix; a hostile being that ultimately leads to Grey's downfall.
As for Simon Kinberg, even though he hasn't ever directed a movie, he is probably the most connected person to the X-Men universe. Save for Bryan Singer, who directed the original X-Men and several other subsequent installments in the franchise. Simon Kinberg has written and/or produced on X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, Logan, The New Mutants and even the new FX series Legion. While he may not have any actual experience as a director, his resume certainly seems to paint him as a very qualified person for the job. Not to mention that, prior to Deadpool, Tim Miller had never directed a movie either and that worked out pretty well. If there is one knock against Kinberg, it is that he is credited as a producer and writer on the disastrous Fantastic Four reboot, but it wouldn't be fair to put that failure entirely on his shoulders.
Collider made it clear in their report that Fox has not made any decisions and that this is how things stand at this very moment. These things could change quickly and the studio could decide to go with another, more experienced director. The ball is in their court, though, so it is possible that we could be hearing an official announcement soon that Simon Kinberg will be directing the next X-Men movie. We will be sure to keep you posted as more details become available.