Lauren Shuler Donner On The Future Of The X-MEN In The MCU; The Status Of GAMBIT, WOLVERINE & More

During last night's TCA winter press tour for Legion, producer Lauren Shuler Donner was asked to address the future of the X-Men franchise under the Disney banner, and gave some very interesting responses.

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Later this year, Disney will officially take control of 20th Century Fox's assets, and that means the first steps towards bringing The X-Men and The Fantastic Four home to Marvel Studios will have been taken.

There has been some confusion as to where that leaves the "FoxMen" projects that either haven't hit theaters yet or are still in the very early stages of development, but now long-time X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner has shed some more light on the situation.

Below, you'll find everything Shuler Donner had to say when quizzed about the status of The X-Men franchise during last night's Television Critics Association winter press tour.

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Dark Phoenix & New Mutants Will Be The Last X-Men Movies Released By Fox

We already figured this to be the case, of course, but Shuler Donner has now 100% confirmed that after Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, Disney will be in charge of the X-Men and Kevin Feige will have complete control of the franchise.

“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. I don’t know what Kevin is thinking, I think he’s still dealing with the wealth of characters and trying to make sense of it all."

A New Wolverine

When asked about the status of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Shuler Donner made it very clear that the actor has hung up the claws - but does suggest that the door will still be open for him to reprise the role in some capacity down the line.

For now, though, the producer believes that Feige and co. will soon begin the search for a younger actor to take up the mantle of the iconic Marvel mutant.

“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.”

Gambit, Deadpool And X-Force

And what of the X-Men spin-offs that are currently in various stages of development such as Gambit and X-Force? Basically, it's all in Disney's hands at the end of the day - but it doesn't sound like any decisions have been made just yet... at least as far as Shuler Donner is aware.

“That is up to Disney," she revealed. "That really is up to Disney. I hope [they will see the light of day], 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.”

It Sounds Like There Is A Chance New Mutants Won't Get A Theatrical Release

When asked about the recent rumor that Josh Boone's New Mutants movie could wind up on a streaming service such as Hulu, Shuler Donner said she remains "hopeful" that the film will stick to its current scheduled release date of August 2nd, but didn't shoot down the possibility.

“They worked hard on it,” said Shuler Donner about the film’s production team, “I want to see it released (theatrically), I’d hate to see it thrown at Hulu.”
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