Oh, my…I think this will be far and above better than X-Men: Apocalypse…in theaters June 7, 2019.
It appears that director Gore Verbinski has quit the Gambit starring Channing Tatum. The split is amicable however – Verbinski just had too many scheduling conflicts. The movie will now look for yet another director – Doug Liman (Edge Of Tomorrow) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) were previously attached.
With the need to find a new director, Fox has already pushed back the movie on the planned release schedule, moving to June 7th, 2019 from February 14th.
You may have heard about this tiny little deal in the entertainment world…Disney has agreed to purchase assets from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Studios, in a deal worth over $54 billion! Disney gets all of the film and television assets except the broadcast network (they already own ABC), sports and news divisions, which will be retained by Fox. Although this doesn’t include the broadcast network, it seems to leave the network without a TV production studio as a sibling, which the other major networks have.
Disney will also get the rights to all the upcoming Avatar movies, which isn’t surprising since the Mouse House has already incorporated the franchise into its Animal Kingdom theme park.
But one of the biggest ramifications everyone has been talking about is what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fox has owned the rights to the X-Men for some time, which as a result has left the X-Men out of the MCU, even for cameos. In fact, we ended up with two different versions of Quicksilver. In fact, both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch where at the center of a battle between the two studios – Fox claimed they were part of the X-Men universe, while Disney wanted to use them in the Avengers. The studios came to an agreement to allow both to use the characters, so long as neither mentioned the other in either way. Fox never used Scarlet Witch, but Quicksilver first appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and then in his MCU version in Avengers: Age of Ultron alongside Scarlet Witch.
Now with the acquisition, that line gets blurred and the X-Men could easily be included in the MCU going forward, if so desired. In fact, Hugh Jackman, who said he was retiring from playing Wolverine after Logan, left the door open if he could appear in an Avengers movie. So maybe Wolverine isn’t quite done yet.
Another Marvel rights property related to the acquisition is the Fantastic Four, but the rights issues are a little murkier. Fox did not own them outright but rather were in a partnership with the original optioner, Constantin Films. The rights and productions have an interesting history on its own, but rather than regurgitate it here Screen Rant has an excellent write-up. So the status of that property is perhaps less clear, although Disney mentioned them in their press release:
Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
So Disney at least believes they are back in the fold.
Oh, and what of Deadpool, the R-rated superhero? Disney isn’t known for going after the R-rated audience, but Deadpool broke all the rules and was a massive success. Well, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned that specifically while addressing shareholders: “[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
So there you have it. It might be a while before we see the rewards on screen, but I think I can hear the gears of MCU master Kevin Feige’s brain turning now…
It’s pilot season, and Fox is stacking its superhero deck…the network has ordered with a put commitment an unnamed pilot from 20th TV and Marvel TV for an X-Men-based series that will run in the same universe as sister channel FX’s Legion, which premieres next month. Franchise leader Bryan Singer will executive produce, while Burn Notice‘s Matt Nix will write the script.
The show will follow a family of human parents with mutant children, on the run from a mutant-hostile government. Casting is expected to take place quickly with the pilot order.
Logan’s seems to finally be aging in the latest standalone Wolverine movie, Logan…but he hasn’t lost his stuff…opens March 3rd, 2017
So many trailers out from Comic Con…here is just a dump of a bunch of them…
Star Trek Discovery
(I’m not yet digging the new ship design…)
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Fox already has a Marvel/X-Men-based TV series in production for it’s FX cable network in the form of Legion, but they aren’t standing pat, with comic book series starting to take over the airwaves of broadcast nets…Fox has ordered up a put pilot for another show, untitled at the moment, that will focus on two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.
The same production team for Legion and the X-Men franchise of Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, and Simon Kinberg will executive produce, along with the Daredevil/Jessica Jones team of Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. Matt Nix (Burn Notice) is the writer/creator and will also executive produce.
Fox wants to take the X-Men franchise to the small screen, and they’ve found the man to lead them there. Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crowley on Downton Abbey, will take on the title role in the pilot for Legion, based on The X-Men spinoff comic of the same name.
Stevens will play David Haller, the son of Professor Xavier, who has struggled since he was a teen with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.
Rachel Keller (Fargo) will play Syd, self-sufficient and street-smart who uses her sharp and prickly demeanor to protect her soft core, because even though it makes her a sucker and puts her at risk, she still believes in happily ever after.
Also cast are Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenny, David’s friend, who despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is gonna turn around, which gives Lenny the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor; and Jean Smart (Fargo) as Melanie, a nurturing, demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods.
Fargo co-creator Noah Hawley wrote the pilot and will executive produce along with X-Men stewards Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg, plus Jeph Loeb for Marvel TV, Jim Chory and John Cameron
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
X-Men: Apocalypse is in theaters May 27th, 2016
Marvel and Fox (who holds the movie and TV rights to Marvel’s X-Men franchise) are working together on a pair of TV projects based on X-Men characters for two of Fox’s networks.
Legion, based on the character of the same name, has a pilot order from FX. Fargo creator Noah Hawley will write and exec produce. Legion is David Haller, who is in fact the son of Professor Xavier, and has suffered from multiple personality disorder for all his life. But his splintered personalities eventually manifest different mutant abilities.
Hellfire (the working title) is still in development at Fox, and follows a Special Agent that discovers that a woman with uncanny powers is working with a secret society of rich people called the “Hellfire Club” in a plot to take over the world – the same group led by Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class. The show was created by Evan Katz (the 24 franchise), Manny Coto (the 24 franchise), Patrick McKay (Star Trek 3) and JD Payne (Star Trek 3).
The X-Men movie heads Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg will executive produce both series along with Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory from Marvel TV.
Interestingly, neither series will bear the X-Men label, but will be set within the same universe as the movie franchise.