Big, shared universes are all the rage, all the cool movie studios are doing it after all. The Marvel Cinematic Universe being produced over at Disney/Marvel Studios is a good example of the system working well, but keep in mind that they don’t have access to the film rights for all the Marvel Comics characters. This is where Twentieth Century Fox comes in. They have the film rights for the Fantastic Four and all the X-Men related characters, and one man has been involved in the production of both film franchises: Simon Kinberg. While at Wonder Con a couple of weekends ago, Kinberg was asked about how Fox is going to capitalize on it’s Marvel properties now and in the future.
To begin with Kinberg says that Fox is very eager to start branching out with all their various, potential X-Men movies (obviously), it’s just a question of how and when:
Yeah, they definitely understand what they have now in a way that—having worked on the X-Men Fox movies since 2003, [it was a] different regime, really different culture inside the studio [back then], but outside the studio like you say, the juggernauts, the big movies of every summer are [now] superhero movies. We’re gonna have three big superhero movies in the span of like a month and a half between Cap 2, Spider-Man, and us. So Fox does understand that they are sitting on this massive universe with the X-Men, also with Fantastic Four obviously. But they definitely have a sense of it and there’s a real interest and appetite for how to explore and expand that world into other movies, into spinoffs, into different time periods, the whole gamut.
Like we said at the top, all the cool movie studios are franchising their properties like this, even Sony Pictures with its Spider-Man spin-offs like Venom and The Sinister Six. The key difference is that the X-Men comic series have been spinning themselves off into different teams and with solo adventures for characters for years, where as Spider-Man typically spins off into other Spider-Man comics. So Fox has got that going for them.
Speaking of spin-offs, there’s been one X-Men film that’s been long in the works since even before the character in question first appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so Kinberg was asked about the status of Deadpool. The fans want it, Ryan Reynolds wants it, but does Fox…?
Yeah, it makes sense to me. Genuinely it’s early phases, early days, but if you’re gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with.
And to wrap up, Kinberg is not ruling out X-Men properties on TV, a mutant version of what Marvel’s doing with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The last time a live-action X-Men property was on TV it was the TV-movie version Generation X in 1996. Can Kinberg do better?
We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV. Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story.
I think what [Fox is] seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that doesn’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.”\
If you’re interested in anything else related to X-Men movies, the full video interview with Kinberg can be found below.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is in theaters everywhere on May 23.