Yesterday, it was announced that Fox, who holds the film rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, struck an agreement with Marvel in order to pursue their long held goal of putting another X-Men television series back on the screen. The last time this occurred in live action, it gave us such works of “brilliance” like Generation X (developed by FOX) and Mutant X (developed by Marvel Studios), but that was the 90’s-early 2000’s and frankly, superhero television was a very different animal.
In this new deal, Fox is reportedly developing two new series. Legion for the FX network, presumably focused on the mutant of the same name and the star of the X-Men: Legacy comic, and Hellfire for the FOX network, which centers on a Federal Agent infiltrating the Hellfire Club in the late 60’s. The former has Noah Hawley (the creator of the BRILLIANT Fargo series) involved, which is a terrific sign, while the latter may or may not be a spin-off of X-Men: First Class.
The question is, what does Marvel get back in the deal? It’s probably a just a money deal, as Devin Faraci points out, Marvel couldn’t put the X-characters on TV anyway. Taking the money and running seems like the trade-off, but today Den of Geek reported the following rumor that has quite a few people online in a buzz:
According to our source, Fox were given the TV rights for X-Men in exchange for Fantastic Four. The deal’s been in the works for some time we’re told. Further, the timing of Marvel’s recent announcement of its movie slate leading up to the year 2020 and the X-Men TV series is no coincidence.
I’d take that with a grain of salt until another source corroborates. For what it’s worth, Marvel has very much wanted to get their hands on Galactus and the Silver Surfer for some time, originally being willing to trade an extension of the Daredevil rights for their use. Once Thanos and the Infinity War are behind us, they’re going to need another big bad for Phase 4. But I wouldn’t bet my house on it happening here.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.