x-men avengers

The last X-Men films to be released by 20th Century Fox will be Dark Phoenix and New Mutants. After that, the X-Men franchise will be under Disney, along with all of Fox’s properties. That means the X-Men will be part of Marvel Studios under Kevin Feige. Lauren Shuler Donner, who has produced all the films since 2000’s X-Men, was on a Television Critics Association panel for Legion. After the panel, she spoke with reporters further, and /Film asked if she’s met with Feige about the merger yet. 

X-Men in the MCU

Shuler Donner confirmed that all future X-Men decisions would be up to Disney and Feige.

“That would be between Fox and Disney,” Shuler Donner said. “Obviously, Kevin and I started the first one. He worked for me. He’s got a great story sense. He’s got a great ability to weave each world and weave those worlds together. I trust him and I trust that he will take care of the X-Men.”

This suggests something a little different than the Spider-Man: Homecoming merger. Sony made a deal to include Spider-Man in the MCU and have Feige involved in their films. With the X-Men, Disney owns it out right now, so they have a controlling stake as it were. They have the entire stake. 

Wolverine

Looking For Logan

The next two films also focus on younger casts, as Hugh Jackman made Logan his last outing as Wolverine. Shuler Donner indicated that Feige would look for a new Wolverine as he inherits the X-Men.

“Yes,” she said. “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.”

She acknowledged that now is the time to pass the torch, or the claws as it were, from Jackman to a younger actor.

“Yes, because Hugh, just the physicality of it all, just to bulk up,” she said. “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.”

X-Men Dark Phoenix

The X-Men Spinoffs In Flux

The success of Wolverine movies and Deadpool put lots of X-Men spinoffs in various stages of development. The longest influx has been Gambit, which now will definitely not get made unless Disney wants to.

“That is up to Disney,” Shuler Donner said about Gambit. “That really is up to Disney. I hope so, but that’s up to them. 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.”

Deadpool 2 suggested an X-Force spinoff movie could be on the way, but that falls under Disney’s purview now too.

“Same as everything,” Shuler Donne said. “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.”

Honestly, given the rocky development of each, it seems Disney has a better chance of getting them made. If Feige wants X-Force and Gambit to exist, they shall be so. 

We’ll have a report on the Legion panel out of TCA coming soon.

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