Fox announces TV show plans for X-Men. According to TVInsider, Fox entertainment co-chairman, Gary Newman, has confirmed a previous rumor that the company plans to extend its hold, on Marvel mutant properties, by adapting at least some part of the mutant universe to the small screen.
The TVInsider report:
Newman tells us that negotiations are under way to develop an X-Men series, inspired by the comic book series first published in 1963 and subsequent mega-hit film franchise (which has included seven movies, starting with X-Men in 2000.)
But here’s the slight complication: While sister production company 20th Century Fox controls the film rights to the X-Men characters, the comic itself is owned by Marvel, which is based at rival Disney. A live-action TV series requires Marvel’s blessing – and that has led to some delicate talks.
“It’s in negotiations,” Newman confirms. “We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.”
Because they’re focusing on deal points first, there’s no writer and no firm concept yet (although there’s been online speculation that it might revolve around the X-Men spinoff comic series X-Factor.) Because it will take time to develop, Newman doesn’t think a show would be ready before the 2016-2017 TV season.
Any deal for 20th Century Fox TV to wade into the Marvel waters will require deft negotiating because Marvel is busy ramping up its own TV presence, starting with ABC’s current series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. Next up, Marvel is producing the four Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, plus the miniseries The Defenders.
But talk of a potential X-Men series has been swirling for some time. Simon Kinberg, who wrote the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, told Collider last April that he thought an X-Men TV franchise was inevitable: “We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV.”
Last fall the website Bleeding Cool revealed that the X-Men development was real. But this is the first time Fox has confirmed that it is pursuing a deal for the show, and that indeed it would be for its own network.
This would actually mark a return of the X-Men to Fox: The network’s now-defunct Fox Kids block aired an animated X-Men series from 1992 to 1997.
20th Century Fox first acquired the film rights to the X-Men franchise in 1994; the studio also holds the rights to Marvel’s Fantastic Four. Other studios with rights to Marvel properties include Sony, which remains the home to Spider-Man. But under Disney, Marvel has been reacquiring film rights to many of its characters, including Daredevil, which was previously at 20th.
While there are certainly X-fans with fond memories of the mostly faithful 90s animated series, a live action series would require some curbing of expectations. The dip in budget, alone, would make a comparison prohibitive, a series would have to defer to big screen franchise plans, and Marvel/ Disney still want their mutants back – chipping away at any loose end they can find (consider Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver).
That said, I’d be lying if I expressed anything but anticipation at the news. Fox having already experienced overreach, with the film franchise, and being in a position to take notes from Marvel’s slate of TV tie-in projects (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Defenders), suggests good reason for that anticipation.
Leave your thoughts, on Fox’s plans for an X-Men TV series, below in the comments section. For more X-Men photos, videos, and information, visit our X-Men Page, subscribe to us by Email, follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, or “like” us on Facebook.