Twentieth Century Fox has always been kind of a mixed bag when it comes to Marvel superhero movies. We’ve gotten some absolutely brilliant X-Men movies, as well as some not so great ones, and sometimes, we get Fantastic Four. Recently though, Fox really seems to have been stepping up their game, especially when they figured out they could have financially successful R-rated superhero movies, which gave us Deadpool and Logan, two of the best superhero movies of all time. Now that they know it works, there’s no question that they’ll continue the trend in the future.
What’s up next for Fox, though? Recently, they announced six release dates for mysterious unnamed Marvel movies through 2021, in addition to their already planned releases of The New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. They own the rights to hundreds of Marvel characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, so their options are pretty open. The producers at Fox have name-dropped more than a few unique solo and team projects they’re interested in producing recently, and the stars just seem to be aligning right for others. That said, here are 15 films that we think might just be part of Fox’s mysterious superhero movie lineup!
Fox has been trying to get a Gambit movie into development for years now and Channing Tatum has drifted in and out of attachment to the project. Now that Fox has apparently stepped their production schedule into high gear, it could mean that Gambit’s time to shine has finally come.
Gambit has previously appeared on-screen played by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but much like Deadpool, there weren’t many fans of the movie’s portrayal of the character, so the plan has been to give the character a big screen reboot. It remains to be seen if Channing Tatum can do justice to the character, but as one of the most popular X-Men characters of the ’90s. A lot of people have been patiently waiting for their favorite mutant to get his solo debut.
14. DR. DOOM
Fox has had an infamous and ugly history with the Fantastic Four franchise, and they’re frankly becoming a valueless commodity. Marvel Studios is patiently awaiting their chance to take rights back, but don’t count Fox out yet. With Sony taking the route of villain-focused movies, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Fox to start doing the same thing. Lucky for them, they have the rights to the greatest Marvel villain of all time: Dr. Victor von Doom.
Dr. Doom has his own following apart from the Fantastic Four, and they’ve been more disappointed than anyone that every attempt to put Doom on-screen has been ridiculous, ill-advised and utterly ignorant of the comic book source material. If Fox wanted to take one final stab at the Fantastic Four license, this would be the thing to do.
13. THE HUMAN TORCH
Another path open to Fox for resurrecting their Fantastic Four failures is to put aside the team aspect of the franchise and just focus on one of the heroes. The obvious choice would be Johnny Storm, the human torch. Not only is he the character least tied to the team AND the one with the most visually explosive powers, but a different version of the Human Torch was actually Marvel Comics’ first superhero! So, the concept has already been proven as a solo success.
One of the few praised aspects of 2015’s Fantastic Four was Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Johnny Storm, so they even have the opportunity to bring in a familiar face to carry on the character, but it might be better to just start from scratch and ignore the rest of the Fantastic Four completely.
After the success of Logan, there have been a lot of questions about the future of Laura Kinney, X-23, the young Wolverine-like mutant introduced in the movie. Fox producer Simon Kinberg has expressed an interest in pursuing a future with the character, but didn’t state whether that would take the form of a solo movie or as part of a larger ensemble team movie.
Fox is going to be desperately looking to fill the gap left by Wolverine after Hugh Jackman’s retirement from the role, and X-23 could be a unique and interesting way to do it, especially because the young actress would be allowed to grow up with the role in much the way Marvel Studios is planning to do with Tom Holland as Spider-Man.
11. SILVER SURFER
One of the seldom used Marvel characters that Fox owns the rights to is the extremely popular Silver Surfer. They gave him his first outing in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007, which was panned by critics and audiences alike, and shut down the franchise for nearly a decade until the next failed Fantastic Four outing.
Silver Surfer was actually one of the better parts of the movie, which isn’t saying much, but he’s an extremely popular comic book character in his own right and really deserves his own film alongside a better take on Galactus. The main issue is that he would be a heavy CGI character, which means that the studio would want to be assured of financial success before investing heavily in a film like that, but it could be time to put their chips on the table.
Colossus has always been one of the more popular X-Men characters since his introduction in 1975, and with the character’s re-introduction as a supporting character in Deadpool, it seems they finally have a solid interpretation of the character on-screen, voiced with an authentic Russian accent by Stefan Kapicic, who’s 6’4 in real life, so he could take the non-CGI side of the character too.
With the announcement that Deadpool 2 will bring Colossus back in a larger role, they could be priming the character for his own solo film, and with the all-CGI nature of the character so far, they could easily go back in time to explore Colossus’s origin story in Russia, or explore what he’s doing after the events of Deadpool 2 with Negasonic Teenage Warhead and the X-Men.
9. FANTASTIC FOUR REBOOT
As much as NOBODY wants to think about it, we have to consider the possibility that Fox isn’t quite done with their attempts at a Fantastic Four movie. If they don’t put out a film at least once every ten years, then they’re forced to give the rights back to their rival Marvel Studios, which is the last thing they want to do with a potentially profitable property.
It would be a bold move to remake the Fantastic Four so quickly after the last one failed, but if they’ve been taking notice of what Marvel’s doing with Spider-Man, then they would co-sign rights over to Marvel in much the same way. Sony is getting 100% of the profits for Spider-Man: Homecoming, an opportunity that Fox would probably jump at given the chance.
8. DEADPOOL 3
One thing that’s virtually guaranteed to be on Fox’s movie schedule is the third installment of their wildly successful Deadpool franchise. Even if the second one, set to release in 2018, doesn’t live up to the expectations set by the first, it’s still pretty much guaranteed to be a money-making machine, as is the third installment of the trilogy.
There seems to be an unwritten rule these days that blockbuster superhero movies have to be trilogies (at least), and it’s highly likely that Fox will continue making Deadpool films long beyond number three. Ryan Reynolds is a massive fan of the character and the way Fox is handling it, so we’re probably guaranteed a new installment every couple years for as long as they remain profitable.
7. X-MEN 8
Since X-Men is Fox’s most profitable superhero franchise, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see the end of X-Men films any time in the near future, even if they have to do a dozen more weird timeline reboots to keep it going. We know that X-Men: Dark Phoenix is next in line in 2018, but they have over 50 years of comic book storylines to draw from and literally hundreds of characters they could bring in, so there’s no shortage of source material for them to milk dry.
Other than X-Men: Apocalypse, Fox is even on a pretty good winning streak for X-Men films, with First Class and Days of Future Past being some of the best instalment of the series. We’re almost guaranteed to get another X-Men film before the end of 2021.
6. ALPHA FLIGHT
Just before the release of Logan, Fox producer Simon Kinberg gave an interview detailing Fox’s future plans for the X-Men franchise after Hugh Jackman’s departure from the role of Wolverine. One of the intriguing nuggets of information was their interest in “other characters like X-Flight…” There’s no superhero team called “X-Flight” in Marvel’s history, but there is an X-Men-adjacent team called “Alpha Flight.”
Odds are that Kinberg isn’t just mistakenly throwing X’s onto every comic book cover he looks at, but that Fox is actually carefully eyeing Alpha Flight for its own big screen adaptation, retooling the title as X-Flight so general audiences know what they’re getting into. Alpha Flight is essentially a Canadian version of the X-Men that initially counted Wolverine as part of the roster before he went off the join the X-Men.
The other interesting name drop from that interview with Kinberg was “Exiles,” that consists of characters from different dimensions and realities that have been removed from time and space in order to put right the problems in various alternate worlds and divergent timelines.
This would be an interesting film franchise to take on because it would open up the doors to play with different takes on Fox’s other X-Men characters and other timelines that have been abandoned at large. This also might be an interesting way to bring Wolverine back into the universe with an alternate world version that doesn’t look like Hugh Jackman, but even without relying on the crutch of Wolverine, Exiles has enough storylines and possibilities to at least get a successful trilogy out of, if not more.
With Hugh Jackman out as Wolverine, Fox is going to be looking for another character to take center stage. Looking at the past several years of X-Men movies, it looks like they’ve been grooming Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique for that role, which is an off choice, considering that eventually she’s supposed to become a villain.
With soon to be four films as the character under her belt and recently taking a role as hero and leader of the X-Men, Fox might be playing the long game of raising her up to be a hero in the X-universe, only to have a sudden shift and be the X-Men’s greatest villain yet. With her ability to shapeshift, an action trilogy headlined by Mystique could go places just as interesting and brutal as any Wolverine movie with the added intrigue of her ever-looming dark side.
Cable is set to be introduced in Deadpool 2, with renowned actor Josh Brolin taking it on. This is an interesting move for several reasons. Josh Brolin will presumably be leaving his longtime role as Thanos in the MCU after Avengers 4, which means he’ll be available to spend a long time in a single role somewhere else. Cable is one of the X-Men’s most interesting and popular characters, and with a talented actor like Brolin in the role, this could be the trick for replacing Wolverine in the X-universe.
Cable’s time-travelling abilities put him in a unique position to interact with past and future versions of the current X-lineup, which means he could be the key to bringing far future characters (like X-23) or distant past characters (like McAvoy’s X-team) into the present day with Deadpool and Colossus, solidifying Fox’s wonky timeline once and for all.
2. WOLVERINE REBOOT
Let’s be honest. Hugh Jackman may have retired from the role, but that doesn’t mean Wolverine is gone. Batman was recast five times after Adam West, Spider-Man was recast twice after Tobey Maguire, Superman was recast twice just in live-action films. So rest assured, eventually, Wolverine will be recast as well.
As Fox’s main attraction for almost 20 years, they could be looking to replace Hugh Jackman sooner rather than later, and the time-hopping antics of the X-Men franchise could mean that we have a young Wolverine film to look forward to in the next few years to introduce a new actor in the iconic role. Fans will be quick to complain (as they always are) when a role is recast, but eventually, people will grow to accept it. If Fox really wants to get it right though, they have to introduce the character’s iconic costume.
An X-Force movie is a solid guarantee at this point. While it remains to be seen what they’ll do about filling Wolverine’s role as a longtime member of the team, X-Force has been talked about since the success of Deadpool, who was a member of the roster during writer Rick Remender and artist Jerome Opena’s Uncanny X-Force.
X-Force is the X-Men team that exists to do the dirty work, the ugly, violent work that the regular X-Men team can’t be seen doing in the face of public scrutiny. Now that Fox has realized they can be successful with R-rated superhero movies, this is the perfect time to bring in the X-Force to be extra bloody. Deadpool is the only guaranteed member at this time, but there’s potential to bring in Cable, Psylocke and even X-23.
Which superhero movies do YOU hope Fox will drop in its upcoming lineup? Let us know in the comments!
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