All signs indicate that 20th Century Fox’s in-development X-Men film currently referred to as “143” from Deadpool director Tim Miller and superstar comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis is none other than the Kitty Pryde solo movie Fox aims to bring to life.
It’s speculated this super-secret project will be a take inspiration at least partly from the classic Uncanny X-Men #143 comic by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, which tells the story of a teenage Kitty (aka Shadowcat) being stalked by a N’Garai demon from the Limbo dimension, as she spends what she thinks will be a peaceful Christmas in the X-Mansion. The thing is, seeing as how that story was clearly heavily influenced by Ridley Scott’s Alien, rather than using the N’Garai monster, Fox has the opportunity here to really flip the X-Men universe on its head and actually deploy Scott’s Xenomorph creature to haunt Kitty.
It may seem far-fetched, but just hear us out. First off, this move would allow Fox to continue in the vein of New Mutants in terms of adding to its catalog of superhero horror stories. Josh Boone’s movie is, after all, set to deal with teenage mutants fending off the Demon Bear in a mental facility, and from what we’ve seen in trailers so far, it’s actually more of a psychological horror than a supernatural thriller. This paves the way for yet another all-out horror piece with the phase-shifting Kitty battling the Xenomorph, basically placed in the role of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s protagonist in the 1979 film). In other words, we’d get a superhero/sci-fi mash-up similar to Scott’s original flick, and something to well and truly keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Without knowing what type of intra-studio gymnastics would have to make it happen, the crossover is at the very least possible because 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the Xenomorph. And who doesn’t want to see more of these rabid aliens in action? Fans were upset when the studio failed to bring them back with any sort of impact in Prometheus, but amends were made when they were unleashed to greater effect in Alien: Covenant. These aliens are some of the most beloved in the history of sci-fi and utilizing one of them would add a lot of clout to Kitty’s movie — especially as she isn’t the most obvious X-Man to carry a solo film compared to say, Wolverine or Deadpool.
Call it absurd or outlandish, but apart from having the power to make this happen, Fox has proven time and time again that it’s not afraid to subvert the source material of its properties. The studio has seen success with this approach (as per X-Men: First Class), but there’s also a chance you’ll end up with flops like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Nonetheless, using the Xenomorph as predator, no pun intended, with Kitty as its prey is a fun (and yes, fan-fiction-y) risk to take.
With that in mind, it’s possible the studio could skip the N’Garai demon (which may run too close in narrative to Boone’s movie), bypass the Brood (just like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did), and then retcon bits and pieces of the cosmic events surrounding X-Men: Dark Phoenix in order to have a Xenomorph make its way to the X-Mansion.
At the end of the day, both stories have so much common ground. They start out as cat-and-mouse stories of a heroine being hunted by a monster, before the protagonist eventually turns into the hunter. Heck, both end up killing their enemy in almost similar fashion: Ripley used her spaceship’s engines to burn the alien out in space, while Kitty did the same using the engines of one of the X-Men’s jets. If ever there was a sign, right?
Ultimately, whatever slant “143” takes on as a Kitty Pryde story, if that is indeed where Miller and Bendis are going, splicing in elements from the Alien franchise would be one of the most audacious — and frankly, surprising — moves ever in the realm of superhero cinema. More so, it would become all the more unlikely once Disney completes its acquisition of Fox’s entertainment properties, so to the studio execs: what have you got to lose? In the age of pop culture mash-ups like Ready Player One, if you’re doing a Shadowcat story and looking to make it highly enjoyable, you might as well give her an iconic villain.
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