With the Disney and Fox deal to close within the next few weeks, the fate of the “X-Men” franchise seems uncertain. It’s almost certain the property will be almost immediately folded into the MCU and under control of Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige who’ll most likely reboot the whole thing.
So what does that mean for the projects in development? The franchise’s long-term producer Lauren Shuler Donner has spoken at the Television Critics Association press tour and answered some questions about that with her comments likely to concern some fans.
Donner says she’s not expecting the current ‘First Class’ cast members to cross over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “It’s all in Disney’s playground and they get to decide.” That includes her future involvement in the franchise as she indicates she already took a step back two years ago following “Deadpool” and is not expecting to make the jump:
“I don’t know, I don’t think so, certainly in name credit, it’s up to Kevin Feige. 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.”
One topic discussed was the fate of “The New Mutants” which was pushed back over a year from its original release with plans for massive reshoots – reshoots that apparently still aren’t done. Donner, who says she’s seen one of several cuts that exist, indicates that the chances of it meeting its planned August 2nd date are slimmer than expected but it’s still a go for now:
“I’m being told yes. 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, we started off as more of a team kind of movie, and the decision came to it more of a horror film. I think it’s a good idea. I want to see it released. I’m hopeful that it will. I’d hate to see it thrown to Hulu.”
Donner also pretty much put a stake in the heart of the long in development “Gambit” film, saying it’s not currently in development and there’s no director attached. She also indicates there’s already been early chat about a Wolverine re-casting. Finally, she says don’t expect too many new X-Men films as Marvel Studios won’t be upping its output quota much:
“You cannot have too many Marvel, X-Men superhero movies out there: We’ll cancel each other out. Each one has to be distinctive. People will get sick of them. We have to be careful; [Kevin] has to be careful. You can’t have more than four [franchises out there].”