We reported in October that, after months of rumors, an X-23 spin-off of the R-rated blockbuster Logan is happening, but that may not be the case anymore. Logan director James Mangold confirmed in October that a script for this X-23 spin-off is already being worked on, but thanks to the new massive merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox, that project is seemingly dead in the water, as Disney must decide which projects and franchises to move forward with, and which to abandon. While X-23 may be dead, there are already executives who are “relishing” rebooting the Wolverine franchise, and the opportunity to cast a new Logan/Wolverine, after Hugh Jackman retired from the character following Logan.
The merger complicates things from a distribution standpoint, since there simply may not be enough room on the calendar to release all of these films theatrically, under one studio roof. One possibility could be the upcoming Disney streaming service, which could be used to flesh out the planned trilogy that will begin with The New Mutants, arriving in theaters April 13, 2018. If that movie is a bona fide hit, the theatrical trilogy could conceivably continue as planned, but if not, it’s possible that the sequels could be relegated to the streaming service, or simply cancelled outright. Here’s what one insider had to say about how strong the Disney slate already is, without any of the Fox properties.
“If Disney is an NFL team, then every movie on the calendar is like a Heisman Trophy winner. This raises the bar of what is a theatrical release.”
Kevin Feige made headlines last month when he revealed Marvel has 20 movies planned after Avengers 4, over a span of 10 years, mirroring the studio’s approach to the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where they rolled out 22 movies over an 11 year stretch, ending with 2019’s Avengers 4. With such an expansive slate already being planned, it remains unclear how much room there will be for the X-Men franchise, which will release three movies next year, The New Mutants (April 13, 2018), Deadpool 2 (June 1, 2018) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (November 2, 2018). Production will also begin next February on the highly-anticipated Gambit spin-off next year, starring Channing Tatum as the title character, with a February 2019 release being planned. Sources contend that all of these Fox Marvel properties will be re-evaluated at some point to see if there is a way of integrating them within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.