20th Century Fox is finding itself making some tough decisions regarding the superhero franchise under their purview. With Deadpool being a huge hit this year, it looked like the studio was fully recovered from the black eye they received from the all-around disaster that was their Fantastic Four reboot. Then X-Men: Apocalypse came and went with a thud, and to add insult to injury Deadpool director Tim Miller decided to step away from production on the sequel.
So what to do? Fox is moving full steam ahead on Deadpool 2, though no director has been firmed up as of yet (rumors are that John Wick co-director David Leitch is in negotiations for the job). THR also reports that plans for Deadpool 3 are underway as well, which will in-turn feature the X-Force. It’s likely that the original plans for an X-Force film have been rolled into the Deadpool franchise instead, especially with Cable and Domino appearing in the first sequel.
But Deadpool was the obvious path forward, what about the core X-Men films? Well, that same report says that Bryan Singer will not be returning to the franchise, though Simon Kinberg is writing the next entry. The issue at hand, the four main stars of the previous trilogy of films (Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Nicholas Hoult) contracts have all been fulfilled. The studio is hoping for their return but that the “reset button” has been pushed, with a reconfiguration coming (whatever that means).
As for the other films in this universe? Gambit could remain in development hell unless they can find a filmmaker to replace Doug Liman. The Josh Boone-directed The New Mutants is still on track so far, and could start shooting as early as this Spring.
In the meantime, Logan, the presumed final Hugh Jackman bow in the role that made him a star, will release this March.