X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner appeared on a panel at the Television Critics Association for FX’s Legion where she provided a rather huge update on the fate of the X-Men following Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s Marvel characters and properties.
Disney will take full control of Fox’s Marvel characters later this year and it has left many wondering what the transition will look like and what will happen to a number of the X-Men based films Fox has been working on including the Channing Tatum Gambit film. There was even a rumored Doctor Doom film.
Shuler Donner told reporters that the fate of many of their films at various levels of development are in the hands of Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and Disney, “It’s all in Disney’s playground and they get to decide.” She did indicate that she trusts Feige and his vision for the X-Men, “Kevin (Feige) and I started the first movie, he worked for me, he has a great story sense when it comes to weaving each world together, I trust him and I trust where he will take it.”
Director Josh Boone’s New Mutants starring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has seen its release date moved around a number of times, and the most recent rumors indicate that the film might not actually get a theatrical release, but will instead be dumped on Hulu. The film is slated for an August 2, 2019 release.
Shuler Donner didn’t do anything to silence the rumors about a Hulu release. But as she mentioned before indicated the film will be in Disney’s hands and only indicated her hopes for the film to get a theatrical release.
“They worked hard on it. I want to see it released (theatrically), I’d hate to see it thrown at Hulu,” she said.
The Gambit film with Channing Tatum attached seems to be stuck in perpetual development. The film has seen a number of directors come and go, but nothing concrete has seen development progress.
Lauren Shuler Donner made it clear that the development of the Gambit film and whether or not they continue to pursue one will be subject to Disney.
“That is up to Disney. That really is up to Disney. I hope so, but that’s up to them.”
She would go on to warn about having too many superhero franchises.
“The problem is you can’t have too many Marvel, X-Men superhero movies out there because we will cancel each other out. Each one has to be distinctive and yet you’ve got The Avengers to follow through. You’ve got so many distinctive story canons to follow through and yet we want new ones, but I don’t think you can have more than four. Four is a lot because people are going to get sick of them so we have to be careful. He has to be careful.”
That doesn’t sound very hopeful for Gambit to ever make it out of development.
The producer did reveal that Wolverine will find a home at Marvel Studios and Disney, but she doesn’t exactly know what the plan will be.
“Yes, I don’t know what Kevin’s thinking honestly. I don’t even think Kevin knows. I think Kevin’s still dealing with this wealth of characters and trying to make sense of them.”
However, given Hugh Jackman’s statements that he will not be returning to the character following Logan, she indicated Marvel will more than likely look for a new actor. But she did leave the door open for Jackman to return as an “older Wolverine.”
“Yes, because Hugh, just the physicality of it all, just to bulk up. This man worked so hard to bulk up, would get up at four in the morning to bulk and eat protein meals every two hours because his natural state, they used to call him Worm when he was a kid. So his natural state is a very skinny guy. Once you reach a certain age, the body just won’t go anymore. I think he was wise to say, ‘I’m at that point. I can’t do it.’ Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as older Wolverine. You never know. Future Wolverine, you never know.”
Deadpool 2 hinted at the possibility of an X-Force spin-off, but like many of the other Fox properties Shuler-Donner indicated that it would be up to Disney to decide whether or not they will pursue the film.
Same as everything. This is all now in Disney’s playground and they get to decide. At least we know it’s in good hands. Everybody’s worked really hard up to now on the Fox side but now it’s going to be Disney’s call.
Disney CEO Bob Iger did indicate on a phone call with shareholders that there is a possibility for an R-Rated Marvel brand that could house Deadpool and its spin-offs at Marvel Studios.
“It [Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
Do you hope Feige and Marvel Studios continue to develop Gambit and the potential X-Force film? Do you want New Mutants to see a theatrical release? What kind of plans do you think Feige and Marvel Studios have for Wolverine?