When news broke late last year that Disney would be hoovering up 20th Century Fox, it was assumed that this spelled the death-knell for Fox’s own corner of the Marvel universe, as the rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four would be returning to the Disney-owned Marvel Studios.
By the looks of things, though, Fox isn’t going out without a fight. The latest word has it that the studio could release three films apiece in both 2019 and 2020. Apparently, they’re “going 100 miles per hour” on their upcoming Marvel properties just in case the deal with the House of Mouse does fall through, as has been rumoured.
But what exactly are these Marvel movies that Fox has on the horizon? From the ones already packaged up and waiting to be released to those that are still in the early stages with only a director or writer attached, here’s your full guide to every X-Men and Fantastic Four-related movie that Fox has in the works.
Ready to begin?
Release Date: June 1st, 2018
Cast and Crew: Ryan Reynolds is back as the Merc with a Mouth for his third outing with the character. Due to creative differences with the star though, Tim Miller was replaced in the director’s chair by John Wick‘s David Leitch.
Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Leslie Uggums and Stefan Kapicic are all reprising their parts for the sequel, while Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz are joining the franchise as Cable and Domino, who should have major roles going forward.
Plot: Much of Deadpool 2 is still shrouded in secrecy, partly because the franchise’s unique tone has meant the trailers so far have been mostly made up of original comedic material instead of actual footage. It’s clear, though, that the X-Force team, a more militarized mutant hero squad, will begin to form in the movie. It’s also theorized that Mr. Sinister could potentially make his long-awaited appearance in this film, after being teased back in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: November 2nd, 2018
Cast and Crew: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and pretty much all of Apocalypse‘s main cast are back for this fourth entry in the rebooted mainline X-Men franchise. Jessica Chastain is stepping up to cover villain duties, as the alien shapeshifting Skrull empress, while longtime writer/producer Simon Kinberg is making his directorial debut.
Plot: As the title makes clear, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey will be the focal point of Dark Phoenix as she struggles to contain her immense powers, leading to the emergence of the apocalyptic Phoenix entity. The X-Men will be depicted as a proactive crime-fighting team for the first time while Magneto has retired to run a mutant community on the island of Genosha.
In keeping with the previous movies, the timeline will also be shifted forward a decade, being set in 1992. Oh, and we know that one of the four First Class characters who are still around will die.
The New Mutants
Release Date: February 22nd, 2019
Cast and Crew: Writer/director Josh Boone (Fault in our Stars) is helming the film, which stars a cast of some of the biggest upcoming young actors around – including Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Henry Zaga (Teen Wolf) and Blu Hunt (The Originals).
Plot: Drawing inspiration from the classic “Demon Bear” arc from the comics, The New Mutants follows five teenage mutants – Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Sunspot and Mirage – as they’re attacked by an evil entity while institutionalized in a psychiatric asylum.
Due to the success of the horror-themed teaser trailer, The New Mutants is currently undergoing extensive reshoots in order to make it “more frightening.” An unknown new character is also being added.
Release Date: June 7th, 2019
Cast and Crew: Channing Tatum has been attached to play the Ragin’ Cajun, taking over from X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s Taylor Kitsch, since 2014. In that time, three directors have boarded, and then departed, the project – namely, Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman and Gore Verbinksi. Lea Seydoux was also set to play Gambit’s love interest Bella Donna Bordreaux, but the current word is that Lizzy Caplan has eyes on the role.
Plot: Initially, Gambit was set to fill a Valentine’s Day slot, similar to Deadpool, but was pushed back by four months when Fox decided to rethink the direction they wanted the movie to go in. The latest report claims that Gambit will have a “heavily comedic tone” and employ the structure of a heist pic. It looks like the lighter-hearted efforts of the MCU will be a big influence here, then, as it’s being described as a “summer Marvel movie.”
Release Date: Unknown (2019?)
Cast and Crew: Director Drew Goddard looks to be finally getting his big superhero break (after almost making both Sinister Six and Venom for Sony) with X-Force. As it’ll springboard off of Deadpool 2, Ryan Reynolds will be back as the Merc with a Mouth, while Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz will also reprise their roles as Cable and Domino, respectively. Shatterstar is expected to make an appearance, too.
Plot: This is just speculation on our part but, given how secretive Fox is being about it, we can see X-Force tying in directly to Deadpool 2. Perhaps the threat of Mr. Sinister will spill over into this movie? We could also imagine Stryfe – Cable’s evil clone – making an appearance. Hopefully we’ll find out some details in the coming months, as production reportedly begins this fall. On the back of that, we’d imagine a release date of late 2019.
Release Date: Unknown (2019/2020?)
Cast and Crew: James Franco has signed up to play Jamie Madrox, the mutant who can create copies of himself – the character was previously played by Eric Dane in X-Men: The Last Stand. Franco will produce alongside Simon Kinberg, while Wonder Woman‘s Allan Heinberg is set to provide the script.
Plot: Franco’s Multiple Man movie will most likely derive from Peter David’s X-Factor and Madrox comics, in which Jamie Madrox ditches his X-Men code name and starts his own private investigation agency, known as X-Factor Investigations. Following on from Fox’s other X-Men spinoffs that mash superhero movie tropes with another genre – e.g. the Western-infused Logan – this will probably be a Marvel neo-noir detective drama.
Release Date: Unknown (2019/2020?)
Cast and Crew: Deadpool‘s Tim Miller is sticking with the X-Men franchise as he’s set to helm this solo movie for Kitty Pryde. What’s more, Marvel comics legend Brian Michael Bendis has signed on to write the script. It’s too early to say who will star in the pic, but Ellen Page – who played the role in both The Last Stand and Days of Future Past – has said she would love to do more with the fan favorite.
Plot: Seeing as Kitty is a hugely beloved character, she’s had a long and storied history in the comics – so it’s difficult to say exactly what storyline Miller and Bendis will be most inspired by. Kitty has traditionally worked best as part of the X-Men team as well, which means we’re unsure just how she’s going to lead her own movie. We’re not even certain if it will feature her dragon sidekick Lockheed, as that character is set to appear in The New Mutants.
Release Date: Unknown (2020?)
Cast and Crew: As this one is hot of the presses, the only name attached to this Silver Surfer solo flick so far is comics writer Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Runaways), who’s working on the script. Doug Jones provided the physical form while Laurence Fishburne lent his voice to the character back in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. As they did a good job with Norrin Radd, we’d be fine with them returning.
Plot: Again, it’s too early to say for sure, but there are definitely things that a SS film will have to include. One of those is Galactus, the world-eating giant who employed the Silver Surfer as his herald until Radd went rogue and helped Earth defeat him. We hope Fox has learned from the last time they attempted to portray the villain though and don’t depict him as a cloud again.
Release Date: Unknown (2020?)
Cast and Crew: Noah Hawley revealed at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con that his job as showrunner of Legion had got him the opportunity to make a standalone movie for iconic Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom. Dan Stevens is reportedly involved in some capacity, though there’s no word on whether he’ll play Victor Von Doom, while Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn have also put their names into the hat to portray the Latverian ruler.
Plot: Seeing as Fox have adapted Doom twice before and have royally screwed it up both times, we imagine – we hope – that Hawley plans to skew a little closer to the comics with his version. Having said that, you only have to look at his work on Fargo and Legion to see that he’s an auteur who likes to leave his own distinct mark on his projects. At last count, Hawley is apparently still waiting for the go-ahead from Fox on this one.
Release Date: Unknown (2020?)
Cast and Crew: Seeing as her performance as Laura was met with such widespread acclaim in Logan, it seems a safe bet to assume that Dafne Keen will reprise her role as Wolverine’s young clone/daughter in this spinoff. James Mangold has confirmed that he’s developing a script with Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok), too, but other than that, details are scarce.
Plot: Given that Logan proved to be such a success, and that Mangold is again involved, it’s likely that an X-23 movie would follow along similar lines to its stripped-back, gritty forebear. After all, there were definitely plot threads left dangling in Logan that X-23 could pick up, including the full nature of Alkali-Transigen’s plans, the extinction of mutantkind and exactly what happened next to Laura and her friends after Logan’s death.
New Mutants 2&3
Release Date: Unknown (unlikely to hit before 2020)
Cast and Crew: Josh Boone says that he pitched The New Mutants to Fox as the beginning of a trilogy of linked but distinct movies, so presumably he’d like to write and direct all three. Similarly, the main cast of the first film – Taylor-Joy, Williams, Heaton, etc. – would probably return, too.
Plot: Boone has only hinted at his plans for a second and third movie so far, but has promised the intriguing premise that each of the New Mutants installments will play with the tropes of a different kind of horror movie. The first one, for instance, is effectively a haunted house story. Fans might want to temper their anticipation of these sequels, however. Given that the first film is still undergoing reshoots, it’s unlikely they’ll be out before 2020. Which means they may be for the chop if/when Disney takes over Fox.
But will the House of Mouse simply hit the big ol’ reset button and fold the X-Men universe into the MCU? It’s difficult to tell at present, but if that does happen, at least – going by all these movies in the works – the franchise will go out with a bang.