Journal de Montreal is reporting that Fox has already reserved studio space at Mel’s Studios in Montreal starting in November 2016 for the X-Men film that will follow next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse. The report claims that pre-production (set construction, costuming, etc.) will begin next November, ahead of a 2017 shoot and likely a 2018 release. They also claim that Bryan Singer is being eyed to direct, though nothing is official at this time.
What’s my take? That almost all of it is true. Fox is aiming to keep X-Men properties constantly hitting the screen from here on out. Next year sees the release of Tim Miller’s Deadpool (February 17th, 2016) and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27th, 2016). 2017 will bring James Mangold’s The Wolverine 2 (March 3rd, 2017) and Doug Liman’s Gambit (TBA 2017). It stands to reason that 2018 would see the release of the next X-Men saga film, possibly with a Deadpool sequel in tow, assuming that spin-off proves successful. Blocking out studio space in advance is both smart and expected.
The only element of the report that gives me pause is Bryan Singer returning to direct. I have no doubt that he will shepherd the project as a producer no matter what, but given his commitment to direct an adaptation of Jules Vernes’ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea next for Fox, it seems unlikely that he would be able to do both films. While Leagues could easily shoot during the middle of next year, even if it finishes production before November, there’s still likely to be a lengthy post-production period for the film. I can’t picture Singer being able or willing to juggle post on it while also doing prep (or even shooting) on an X-Men tentpole at the same time.
Again, I’m just guessing here, but I suspect that this mystery X-Men saga film is in fact Josh Boone’s The New Mutants. The script already has one draft in the can and Boone is in the midst of another, but it has yet to be scheduled. While we have heard nothing in the way of inside information just yet, it stands to reason that X-Men: The New Mutants will follow on from Apocalypse and be the start of a new trilogy centered on the young mutants (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, etc.) introduced in Apocalypse.
Anyone from the First Class cast that re-ups will, of course, remain on board. We’ve already reported that both McAvoy and Fassbender have extended their contracts. While Jennifer Lawrence seems highly unlikely to follow suit, there’s still a few left that might potentially truck onward, namely Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till. The former seems more likely to be retained than the latter, but I’m sure Fox will take what they can get. So there you have it. I’m betting that The New Mutants is the Apocalypse follow-up and will be directed by Boone while Singer produces alongside playing in Jules Verne territory. Could Singer return to the director’s chair for the next film after that? Quite possibly.
There are, of course, other possibilities. The New Mutants could be its own thing entirely, for one. There’s also still an X-Force film in development. At this point, almost anything regarding the X-Men film after Apocalypse is conjecture. We are unlikely to get loads of information on the next entry in the saga until around the time that Apocalypse is released. Until that time, it will be interesting to see what the studio has to say (if anything) about this bit o’ news and what exactly The New Mutants will entail, be it the above or something altogether different.
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