Fox has taken steps to expand its own comic book movie franchise: the X-Men universe. According to Deadline, the company has reached a deal with Josh Boone, director of the 2014 romance film The Fault in Our Stars, to direct and co-write a new X-men film, entitled The New Mutants.
This film will be added to an X-Men lineup consisting of X-Men: Apocalypse, Gambit, and Deadpool, as well as the third and purportedly final Wolverine film. It appears that Fox is legitimately joining the shared universe club, and ironically doing it with Marvel’s own properties.
There is more than enough X-men backlog for a film universe, so Fox has quite a bit of leeway moving forward. This announcement also makes a deal between Fox and Marvel to incorporate characters like Wolverine (who is both an X-man and an Avenger) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike Sony’s situation with Spider-Man, as long as Fox makes the money that it wants off of these films, they have no reason to deal.
The original New Mutants from the comics were a group of young students at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, new recruits who brought a variety of talents and ethnic diversity to the world of X-Men. The series brought about well-known characters such as Cannonball, Sunspot, Magik, and Domino. This team would eventually become the wet work squad X-Force under the time-traveler Cable. If Fox is ever looking to really turn up the grit on these films, then X-Force is the way they’ll go.
Boone is a relatively new on the scene as a director, but rumor has it that a lot of studios have had their eyes on him. He managed to take a film with a $12 million budget and produce a $307 million worldwide gross (though this was due in part to the popularity of the book). This film will most likely be a departure from The Fault in Our Stars, but I am cautiously optimistic for this up and coming director to run with this. He’s got a lot of beloved characters in his hands now, and I’m interested to see what he’ll accomplish.
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