Rumor: Fox's Future Marvel Projects Canned As Disney Deal Approaches

It was always a little strange that Fox, with the Disney deal looming so close, kept announcing major projects like nothing would ever change.  But with nothing really moving forward, it's always looked as if Dark Phoenix and maybe New Mutants would be the end of the X-Men under Fox's control. A new rumor suggests that will be the case, and any future X-Men movies will be under the Marvel Studios banner.

A tweet by Daniel Richtman says that previously announced Fox superhero films, such as Gambit, Doctor Doom, X-Force, and Kitty Pryde have been canned. Well, X-Force, which is basically Deadpool 3, isn't totally off the shelf yet, but with production supposedly to begin in two months the chances of that happening are slim.

X-Force's fate is backed up by Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, who says to "pour one out" for the mutant flick...

It was just three months ago that Gambit, which has a long and comically troubled history thus far, set a 2020 release date, but with nobody attached other than Channing Tatum it never felt like a certainty. There hasn't been any significant progress on X-Force, Noah Hawley's Doctor Doom movie, or anything, so that they would be canceled isn't surprising.  I would expect that X-Force will continue on in some way under the Marvel Studios umbrella because it doesn't make sense for Kevin Feige to break something that isn't broken. Whatever one thinks of Fox's handling of the X-Men franchise, everybody loves Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool and the box office numbers speak for themselves.

I'm unconvinced that we'll ever see New Mutants on the big screen. Multiple delays and extensive reshoots that may or may not have taken place, and a general lack of promotion tell me Fox doesn't have the faith in it to invest significant time and money on what is a doomed effort.  Depending on the day of the week, Josh Boone's film is either an outright horror or something akin to The Breakfast Club, and nobody seems to know if it'll be R-rated or not.  Currently the film is set to open on August 2nd, which is so far away nobody should be shocked if it's quietly axed before then.

Some of Fox's hesitations may have to do with a recent Observer report that Dark Phoenix's reshoots caused its budget to skyrocket over $200M. Initial test screenings didn't go as expected, causing the release date to be moved from November 2018 to February 2019, and then finally to June 7th after the release of an underwhelming. Simon Kinberg, who is making his directorial debut, rewrote major aspects of the film, focusing heavily on the final act, but the reshoots reportedly cost less than $10M. So who knows if this latest report is on the level.

Regardless, the headaches on both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants would be a sad way to close out what was at one time the top superhero franchise around. Perhaps the X-Men can be that again someday, but it'll be Disney who takes it there.