The X-Men film franchise is largely credited for giving birth to the current slew of comics-based films that audiences are now enjoying from 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, and Warner Bros. While the eponymous mutants first created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby have appeared on television in animation multiple times, they haven’t appeared in live-action on television since the made-for-TV movie Generation X aired on Fox in 1996. Now, though, the X-Men could be returning to Fox i a new, dedicated live-action series.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden says that the network hopes to “announce something soon” in regards to an X-Men series, likely for next year. At the Television Critics’ Association press tour, Walden is on record saying,
[For] X-Men, we’re in negotiations with Marvel. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to announce something soon. We’re not closed on a deal yet but it’s something we’re definitely pursuing.
Writers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, who are co-writing next year’s Star Trek Beyond with Simon Pegg, are said to be writing the teleplay for the first episode of the proposed series, and will share “created by” credit with developers Manny Coto (“Star Trek: Enterprise”) and Evan Katz (“24”). The deal is said to be complicated by the various entities that own rights to the X-Men franchise. While Fox’s cinematic counterpart 20th Century Fox owns the film rights for the X-Men, the comics and all their characters are owned by Marvel Comics, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company. Marvel still needs to sign off on the proposed deal before work on the series can begin in earnest toward active production.
20th Century Fox has three X-Men related films releasing next year. February’s Deadpool (which recently released a trailer), May’s X-Men: Apocalypse directed by Bryan Singer, and October’s Gambit starring Channing Tatum. The franchise, which is distinctly separate from the Marvel Studios films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, along with ABC shows like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” will also extend their exclusivity to the small screen. Walden added,
The characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature side so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney. This will be exclusively the franchise as it has existed at Fox.
While Marvel has seemed to show a more militant attitude in recent years towards properties not under their purview in other media — like the Fantastic Four — it seems likely that this deal will be made. That will also make Fox the home of both a DC Comics-based show and a Marvel-based one, since they’re already home to the Batman prequel series “Gotham” starring Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue. For more on this as it take shape, keep a tab open to GeekNation!
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