The last two X-Men movies under 20th Century Fox have had roller coaster paths through development and beyond. Both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants had significant reshoots and release date changes. Lauren Shuler Donner has produced the X-Men movies since the first one in 2000, but she admits she has not been involved in recent films.

“I gotta tell you, I stepped back after Deadpool, before Apocalypse, and I haven’t really been hands-on in terms of Apocalypse, New Mutants and Dark Phoenix.”

As such, she hasn’t been directly involved in these troubled productions, but she still retains an executive producer credit. The latest rumor is that New Mutants might even go straight to Hulu. Shuler Donner says they’re still pushing for theatrical, and she would know. She’s still in the inner circle of X-Men.

“I’m being told, yes,” Shuler Donner said. “As I say, I took a step back so that was under Simon [Kinberg]’s purview. I hope so. They worked on it hard. I do like the idea that it started off as more of a teen movie and the decision came to make it more of a horror film. I think it’s a good idea. I want to see it be released. I’m hopeful that it will. I’d hate to see it thrown to Hulu.”

She said she also watched some of the cuts of New Mutants, though not the most recent or final cut.

“A long time ago, yes, I did,” she said. “Not the new [one], I saw one of the cuts.”

So, has the hands-off executive producer seen Dark Phoenix yet? “I can’t say,” she teased.

It may be a coincidence that the X-Men films faltered when Shuler Donner took a backseat. All films are difficult productions, and previous X-Men movies faced directors leaving and piracy leaks. But they all met their release dates under Shuler Donner. That’s speculation, but it might be worthwhile for Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige to think about reinstating Shuler Donner after Disney acquires Fox. She leaves it in his court.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t think so. Certainly [I’ll be listed] in name credit only. It’s up to Kevin. I love the characters. They are so complicated and sympathetic and loathesome at the same time. I trust Kevin. I know Kevin will do the right thing, if I’m involved or I’m not involved. He’s going to do the right thing. You know it.”

A major voice in launching the X-Men franchise was Bryan Singer, who directed the first two films and came back for Days of Future Past and Apocalypse. He directed the pilot of The Gifted, but both Legion and The Gifted removed Singer’s EP credit last year. This year The Atlantic published a new detailed report on Singer’s sexual abuse allegations. /Film tried to ask Shuler Donner if it was safe to say Singer would not be involved in any future X-Men projects, but she couldn’t say.

“I have no idea,” Shuler Donner said. “I’m really here to talk about Legion, not Bryan Singer.”

We’ll have more on Legion from TCA winter press tour here on /Film very soon.

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