With Hugh Jackman retiring as Wolverine after 2017's "Logan," director problems plaguing "Deadpool 2" and "Gambit" and the leads of the most recent trilogy of "X-Men" films no longer under contract, Fox is faced with a dilemma when it comes to it's 16-year old X-Men film franchise. Since its launch in 2000 with the Bryan Singer-directed "X-Men," the nine films of the franchise have grossed over $4 billion. But this year's "X-Men: Apocalypse's" worldwide earnings ($544 million) were down from the previous installment "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which earned $748 million. That drop hasn't sat well with Fox, and the studio is reportedly looking to shake things up to keep their major franchise afloat.
As The Hollywood Reporter has learned from unnamed sources, talks are beginning to reboot the franchise, with mainstay X-producer Simon Kinberg overseeing the new launch and working on a new script. Four-time X-director Bryan Singer, the report says, is out. And while Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult have all reached the end of their three-picture contracts, Kinberg is writing the script with the three of them in mind.
Fox is also eyeing to make a franchise out of the surprise hit "Deadpool." They're already planning a "Deadpool 3," a film that unnamed sources say will introduce Cable's team X-Force. It's already known that Cable and Domino, two X-Force mainstays, will debut in "Deadpool 2." It's not known what that means for the "X-Force" film that's been in development for the past few years. Following departure of director Tim Miller from "Deadpool 2" over creative differences, "John Wick" director David Leitch is in negotiations to take over the film.
Channing Tatum's "Gambit," which would see the star play the X-Men's Ragin' Cajun, failed to start production this year as was planned due to the departure of director Doug Liman. But that film should get back into active development soon, as soon as a new director is found.
And there's another X-Men team film coming up -- Josh Boone's "New Mutants." According to THR, the film will have "some overlap with the flagship 'X-Men'" films and may even go into production in spring 2017.
There are still some good signs for Fox's X-franchise. While Hugh Jackman may be retiring as Wolverine following 2017's James Mangold-directed "Logan," that film seems to be off to a strong start. THR notes that insiders say "Logan's" trailer was the most watched in the history of the franchise.
The next feature film in Fox's X-Men franchise is "Logan," which arrives in theaters on March 3, 2017.