I’m just going to come right out and say it. What the hell are Disney and Marvel waiting for? Sure, we’ve just gotten a new Wolverine movie and FOX‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past should blow all our minds with that incredible cast, but the burning question on my noggin is: Where the Frak is my X-Men television show?
Green Arrow has a show, Agent Phil Coulson has a show, freakin’ Commissioner Gordon is getting a show, why not some of my favorite Marvel mutants? I just want to grab some random Disney/Marvel or FOX business suit executive and shake them roughly by the shoulders. There are tons of fantastic X-Men stories just waiting to be told on the small screen. Forget about the big characters, most likely Hugh Jackman isn’t going to commit to a lead in a TV show, but you don’t really need those headliner X-Men to do an X-Men television show.
Let’s start with an easy one: Xavier’s Academy. Think about it, a school for mutants to learn to use their powers. You don’t even need to bring the established characters, these are New Mutants with new powers.
You mix up the story of young mutants learning to use their powers with learning the why/when of using their powers and you have some gripping television.
Throw in the Hellions as the anti-X-Men group that is also looking for and training new mutants and there’s your conflict. It almost writes itself, I just can’t figure out why this is not already on the CW.
Right about now someone is furiously writing in the comments section about Generation X.
The year was 1996, and yes, Generation X sucked balls, hairy 90’s balls, but television has changed immensely since then. Today’s X-Men television show would not be just another Generation X trying to be the superhero version of Dawson’s Creek. So get that Generation X crap out of your system, let it out. It’ll all be better this time around. Mainly because the Generation X bar is so low.
Number Two: X-Factor.
The government enlists mutants to help with the growing mutant issues facing the country. Each week the team travels the country helping mutants, it’s just like Highway to Heaven, except there are mutants instead of angels. How easy a pitch is that? Throw in some dark secret Government agency or plot to use X-Factor for their nefarious purposes and you’ve got edge of your seat TV.
How about: The Weapon X Program. OK, right now you’re saying, “Wait, you can’t have Weapon X without Wolverine,” but think about it, there are plenty of other stories to be told and plenty of other Weapon numbers to be explored. Perhaps you could even convince Jackman to do a one time appearance to break out in the pilot. Then you tell the story of what happens after.
There’s three easy-peasy shows that would work well on television. What do you think? Am I off track, throwing pennies into the Hollywood fountain in vain? What X-Men related television show would you pitch to FOX?
The biggest barrier is who owns the rights? FOX owns the Movie rights and Disney owns the rest of the rights, which include television. That’s why all the animated series have tons of cross over characters. Now we all know Marvel/Disney would love to get back the rights to X-Men (and Spider-Man for that matter), but we also know that no one is giving up any rights as long as those franchises makes truckloads of cash. So Marvel/Disney won’t want to piss off FOX any more than they have to so that someday, those rights might come back.
What I don’t get is that we all know FOX is going to do anything they can to keep those movie rights and won’t give them up, or sell them at a reasonable rate for that matter. So why doesn’t Marvel/Disney just say, “Screw it,” and make an X-Men TV show? If FOX won’t give up the rights why wait?
Now we come to Image rights. FOX would still own the Image rights to the X-Men characters, so the roles would have to be recast as well as changed in some significant way. Apparently you legally can’t just slap the current movie costume of Spider-Man into a television show.
That’s why Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, although they can appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, can’t be called mutants, mention Magneto or the X-Men. Those characters have not been seen on the big screen so the Image rights didn’t come into play, but who cares if the roles are re-cast? Wouldn’t the television roles most likely be recast anyways?
Sure we want to see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but would it kill anyone if someone else took over the TV role? I could live with it, how about you?
How about it Marvel/Disney, get off the bench and into the game!