10 Good (And Bad) Ideas Fox Had For The X-MEN Franchise Before The Rights Reverted To Marvel Studios

10 Good (And Bad) Ideas Fox Had For The X-MEN Franchise Before The Rights Reverted To Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios regained the X-Men rights when Disney merged with Fox, and all is now right in the MCU. However, Fox did have some good (& not so good) ideas for the franchise before that finally happened!

As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has made clear in recent days, there are big plans for the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They might not come to fruition for several years, but we have to believe these mutants are in better hands now than they were when Fox was in charge.

That's thanks to the Disney/Fox merger, but the studio had a lot of big plans before Disney passed over the reigns to Feige. Some were good, most were terrible, but all were noteworthy.

From solo outings for characters Fox dropped the ball on in the main X-Men franchise to the debut of other superhero teams, and even a massive crossover event, these now defunct projects could have made for fun viewing! They might have also driven fans nuts, but one thing's for sure, the fate of these heroes and villains once looked vastly different...
 

10. A Mystery Kitty Pryde Project

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Described only as "Movie 143" when it was first announced, insiders soon worked out that Deadpool director Tim Miller and comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man) were developing a Kitty Pryde project. 

Elliot Page was expected to be replaced as the fan-favorite mutant, and it was hard not to be excited about the creative team working on this one. At first glance, Shadowcat seems an unlikely candidate for her own film, but it would be foolish to say she's not worthy of one. 

Miller committing to Terminator: Dark Fate postponed the start of production, and by the time he was ready to begin, the Disney/Fox merger had happened.

The plug was pulled on the project, and is unlikely to be given new life at Marvel Studios.
 

9. Alpha Flight

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Who knows how many films Fox was working on we never heard about, but in early 2017, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg revealed two projects the studio had in the works: "X-Flight" and "Exiles."

The latter is a team of mutants who travel between different dimensions on a variety of missions, and it was surprising to even the most hardcore fans that they were being given their own solo outing.

As for "X-Flight," Kinberg was more than likely referring to Alpha Flight, a Canadian team of mutants who work for Department H in the Great White North. It's not overly surprise that Kinberg got the team's name wrong, especially when he's never really been one for paying attention to the comics.

That aside, we'd have liked to see what form this might have taken.
 

8. James Franco's Multiple Man Film

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First mentioned in late 2017, Multiple Man attached an A-List star in James Franco.

He was set to play the lead and produce the film, and while Multiple Man isn't exactly a character in desperate need of a solo outing, the prospect of Franco playing countless versions of the mutant was an exciting one (especially if he embraced the wackier side of the hero). 

Rumor has it Multiple Man was going to be R-Rated - no great surprise given Franco's past work.

It would have also likely been a comedy, though there were conflicting reports about how close to the character's comic book adventures and origin it was going to stick. It may have just been a vehicle for him to have fun and act crazy.
 

7. New Mutants Trilogy

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Fox was the first studio to postpone The New Mutants, and that's because they wanted reshoots to change the film's tone and add some more characters.

That didn't happen after Disney merged with the company, and a series of release date delays followed, this time caused by the pandemic. The film was eventually released, but wasn't embraced by critics or moviegoers; it came and went, and didn't make any real impact in the process. 

Director Josh Boone has confirmed that he had an entire trilogy planned, and that a post-credits scene introducing a villainous take on Sunspot's father played by Antonio Banderas never ended up being shot.

As it stands, The New Mutants is now a standalone feature.
 

6. X-23 Stars In A Logan Sequel

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Logan ended Wolverine's story and Hugh Jackman's time playing the character. When one door closes, another opens, and the MCU had a new potential Wolverine in Dafne Keene's Laura/X-23.

James Mangold started developing a spinoff with comic book scribe and screenwriter Craig Kyle, but the filmmaker's other commitments - along with Keene's decision to sign up for HBO's His Dark Materials - slowed momentum. There were rumors for a time, however, that Laura might be part of X-Force.

It seems this one just wasn't meant to be. 

This looked like a smart way to replace Jackman as Wolverine, but Marvel Studios surely has plans to find a new actor to take on that role when the X-Men are rebooted.
 

5. Channing Tatum As Gambit

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We first met Gambit on screen in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine where he was played by then newcomer Taylor Kitsch. The film was a disaster, and Fox quickly moved away from the Origins concept.

In 2015, the studio announced plans to bring the character back; the difference was that it was Channing Tatum who X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner was eyeing for the role, and a 2016 release date was set. Multiple delays followed, as did directors like Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski.

They all left the project over "creative differences."

Plot details were never revealed, but an origin story dealing with both the Thieves and Assassins Guilds was rumored. Mister Sinister, meanwhile, was eyes as the lead villain after first being teased in X-Men: Apocalypse.
 

4. Deadpool 3

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Both Deadpool films were massive successes for Fox, and proved that superheroes and an R-Rating do play well together. 

A third chapter was in the works before the merger, with the rumored plan for it to follow X-Force. Of course, you don't need us to tell you that the threequel was another victim of Disney's merger with Fox. Thankfully, Deadpool 3  will still see the light of day. 

This week, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed a third film is happening. 

It will bring Ryan Reynolds back as the Merc with the Mouth, feature an R-Rating, and be set right in the midst of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shooting begins next year.
 

3. X-Force Spinoff

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Deadpool 2 saw Wade Wilson put together a team of mutants capable of taking down Cable, but nearly all of them met comically grisly ends when they embarked on that first mission.

It got some laughs, but wasn't what fans wanted to see from X-Force.

Luckily, Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) was tasked with directing an X-Force spinoff film, with Cable, Domino, and potentially Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus all joining Deadpool. Wolverine, unfortunately, wasn't expected to appear in any way after Hugh Jackman bid the role farewell in Logan

Fingers crossed this one becomes a reality courtesy of Marvel Studios. 
 

2. Dark Phoenix 2

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Dark Phoenix was originally planned as a two-part film, but Fox made inexperienced director Simon Kinberg scale back his ambitious plans, cramming his vision into one, awful project.

Fans really didn't care about seeing these characters again knowing Marvel Studios had plans for the X-Men in the MCU, and the odds were always stacked against Kinberg's film. It was destined to flop, but Fox still had plans for a sequel to continue telling the story of these characters.

That was evident from how Dark Phoenix ended, and it's likely that would have lined up with the timeline of the original trilogy. 

It's hard to believe we'd have seen Kinberg back at the helm, though. 
 

1. X-Men/Fantastic Four/Deadpool/Daredevil Crossover

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Fox failed to take advantage of its full roster of Marvel characters, and after losing the rights to Daredevil, the studio dropped the ball on the Fantastic Four, and kept Deadpool away from the X-Men.

Way back in 2010, however, the studio started moving ahead with plans to adapt Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Civil War. The plan was to pit the X-Men against the Fantastic Four, with both the Merc with the Mouth and Man Without Fear also making their respective presences felt. 

Bourne helmer Paul Greengrass was eyed to direct, but the deal was never done. 

Instead, Fox moved forward with X-Men: First Class, and the epic crossover event never became a reality. It might not have been very good, but we'd have loved to see it happen.
 

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