Simon Kinberg Talks Fox’s Marvel Universe, Expanding into TV Adaptations, and an R-Rated DEADPOOL

by     Posted 211 days ago

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Ever since Marvel’s little “experiment” succeeded to the tune of $1.5 billion with The Avengers, the other film studios have been working to craft comic book universes of their own.  Warner Bros. owns the DC properties and is building towards Justice League, Sony Pictures only controls the Spider-Man series but is doing its darndest to build that into a larger franchise with Sinister Six and Venom movies, and 20th Century Fox actually owns a rather large library of Marvel comics properties, including X-Men, Fantastic Four, X-Force, Deadpool, and New Mutants.

Steve recently caught up with Simon Kinberg at WonderCon in anticipation of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and during the course of their conversation the writer/producer also discussed Fox’s large-scale plans for its Marvel comics properties, as well as the possibility of delving into television and creating an R-rated Deadpool movie.  Hit the jump to read on.

x-men-days-of-future-past-ellen-page-shawn-ashmore-daniel-cudmoreWith Marvel Studios showing great success in crossing over its various comics properties, Steve asked Kinberg is Fox is now working towards a similar goal:

“Yeah, they definitely understand what they have now in a way that—having worked on the X-Men Fox movies since 2003, [it was a] different regime, really different culture inside the studio [back then], but outside the studio like you say, the juggernauts, the big movies of every summer are [now] superhero movies.  We’re gonna have three big superhero movies in the span of like a month and a half between Cap 2, Spider-Man, and us.  So Fox does understand that they are sitting on this massive universe with the X-Men, also with Fantastic Four obviously.  But they definitely have a sense of it and there’s a real interest and appetite for how to explore and expand that world into other movies, into spinoffs, into different time periods, the whole gamut.”

x-men-days-of-future-past-ellen-page-omar-syWith Marvel also delving into television with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a series of Netflix shows, Steve also asked Kinberg if TV was something Fox was thinking about as well:

“We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV.  Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story.

I think what [Fox is] seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that doesn’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.”

deadpool-movieSince the notion of an R-rated Deadpool movie has been kicking around for years, Steve also asked Kinberg if Fox might be game for finally stepping outside the box and producing an R-rated comics adaptation.  He admitted that the studio is still figuring out its larger plans with regards to its Marvel properties, but said he personally would like to see that iteration of Deadpool come to fruition:

“Yeah, it makes sense to me.  Genuinely it’s early phases, early days, but if you’re gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with.”

Watch the video interview below, followed by a transcript of the conversation.  Look for more with Kinberg on Collider soon.


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x-men-days-of-future-past-posterCollider: Has Fox in the last six months acknowledged, “Wait a minute, we have New Mutants, X-Force, Deadpool, we need to do more with this?”

SIMON KINBERG: Yeah, they definitely understand what they have now in a way that—having worked on the X-Men Fox movies since 2003, so over 10 years now, different regime, really different culture inside the studio, too, in fairness to them, but outside the studio like you say, the juggernauts, the big movies of every summer are superhero movies.  We’re gonna have three big superhero movies in the span of like a month and a half between Cap 2, Spider-Man, and us.  So Fox does understand that they are sitting on this massive universe with the X-Men, also with Fantastic Four obviously.  But they definitely have a sense of it and there’s a real interest and appetite for how to explore and expand that world into other movies, into spinoffs, into different time periods, the whole gamut.

Do you think any of these characters Fox is thinking about a TV show?

KINBERG: We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV.  Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story.

fox-marvel-movies-simon-kinbergIf it was affordable, of course you’d put X-Men on TV.

KINBERG: And that’s the challenge.  I think what they’re seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that don’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.

I’m very curious about Fox doing what Marvel and Sony won’t do, which is tell an R-rated comic book Marvel movie.  What are the chances of Fox doing a $30-$35 million Deadpool R-rated, and putting it out and there and almost telling fans, ‘We’re gonna test this.  If it does well, we can make more R-rated movies.’  Because it seems like there’s a lot of interest in the character.

KINBGERG: Yeah, it makes sense to me.  Genuinely it’s early phases, early days, but if you’re gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with.




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  • kps

    Post the full interview already!

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Aw come one – in regards to “Deadpool is that it’s still in very, very early stages”. Well that’s probably another 5 years at least until we will see anything come to light.

  • Dave

    So Collider quotes its own interview before the whole thing? lol. Odd.

    • Liderc

      People don’t like to read straight interviews, they’re boring. So they take the best stuff and put them at the top, it’s called being smart.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Fox doesn’t have the TV Rights to the X-Men.

    • Robby Richmond

      Got any factual proof there Kaine? I’d like a read if you could link me please. :)

    • MarvelWatch

      According to Fox, they do.

      A couple years ago, it was in the news that Fox sued (and then settled with) Marvel, after Marvel produced an live-action TV show called “Mutant X” that was similar to the X-Men concept.

      • Robby Richmond

        So theres no hope of disney saying “Hey! stop that!” and then Fox saying “You scratch our back (with wolverine getting all avenge-y) if you scratch ours (with a TV show probably cancelled after 7 episodes)” No? No chance? Not even with an added distribution deal for Avengers 3 in Asia or Europe?

    • The_Eternal_Dalek

      All television rights were sold alongside the film rights. Marvel have definitely confirmed that the X-Men are still out of their hands, but on the other hand thanks to a deal with Sony five years ago we also know Marvel have Spidey back. Everything else is presumably with the movie rights holders.

  • bidi

    Fox is proving why everyone loves Marvel more. Marvel isn’t afraid to take chances and they try to be the ones setting the trends, while Fox and everyone else is just there playing follow the leader. grow some balls and make a modestly budgeted (in superhero terms), hard-R Deadpool movie god damn it

    • Wade Wilson

      And why Fantastic Four is going to bomb HARD and be forced to return to Marvel. Nobody cares about that reboot, and after 2 shitty FF movies, nobody is gonna give this one a chance. The only Fox Marvel movie I’d be excited to see is that rated-R Deadpool movie, but everything else plays second fiddle to whatever Marvel or DC puts out for me. Fox and Sony are the bastard childs of the comic book movie genre

      • jack262626

        people gave batman another shot after 2 shitty movies.fat chance it will bomb…

      • RedMercury

        It would be interesting.

        Supposedly, Marvel has the MCU mapped out until 2028. But I wonder what would happen if FF did poorly. I’d imagine that Fox would just let the rights run out. I rashly assume that they have to do something every 10 years, since that appears to be what happened with Daredevil (e.g., Daredevil movie in 2003, rights reverted to Marvel in 2013). So Marvel wouldn’t get the rights back until 2025.

        But if it did poorly, I wonder whether Marvel would be willing to pay to get those rights back. And how would that change Marvel’s 2028 plans if they got the Fantastic Four back?

        I think it will be a cold day in Hell before Marvel gets back X-Men and Spidey, alas.

      • The_Eternal_Dalek

        From what has been said by Marvel, they’ve got some sort of plan if the FF rights come back, although they have obviously given up on Spidey and the X-Men coming back.

        However, I would stress those plans are all about the Silver Surfer rather than the main four.

      • Liderc

        FF just doesn’t translate to film well, the powers are too weird.

        Iron Man works because the suit is believable, Captain America works because his powers are believable. Batman works because he could be real.

        The Hulk’s solo films don’t work because it isn’t believable, he only works when he’s surrounded by superheroes people believe could be possible.

        Thor didn’t work either in his two solo films, they were both terrible films. The acting is terrible and Hemsworth has been completely saved by Tom Hiddleston’s popularity, he would have bombed without Hiddleston saving those films.

      • Tristan Enseleit

        Wait, what? FF powers are “too weird”? A guy that can control, manifest and manipulate flame. Didn’t we just see two correctly-portrayed yet different X-versions of that in Pyro and Sunspot? Or a guy composed of solid rock just like X-Men’s Colossus can shift into organic steel? Or a woman that can create and manipulate force fields similar to Chris Evans’s character in Push? Which, by extension, is a type of telekinesis or object manipulation that can be similar to Jean Grey’s power? You must be joking. Fox can’t get the Fantastic Four correct because they hired the director of Barbershop to do the films instead of a true fan. And as for the reboot, they’ve already doomed themselves with the miss-casting. Most comicbook movies don’t get done correctly because fans of the source material aren’t hired on to actually work on the films. The biggest notion of that is the fact that Singer has admitted he’s not a fan of the X-Men comics, but yet Fox still thinks he’s the man to be directing them. Ugh.
        As for Marvel Studios not taking risks, you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Sure, Iron Man 1 was a risk, but The Incredible Hulk came next and that was a risk after Universal tried and failed with the green behemoth. Iron Man 1 just has the MCU more noticeably attached to it. Additionally, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America are some of Marvel’s “B-list” heroes since other studios owned their big-names (X-Men, Spider-Man, etc.), so the mere fact that those characters all were getting standalone films before teaming up, that’s a clear risk too, especially since Cap already had a forgettable and awesomely-bad movie back in 1990 and it skipped theater releases to go straight to TV 2 years later.
        Hulk’s movies didn’t work before simply because the effects/CGI weren’t what they are now. We weren’t seeing the actor’s performance in the Hulk like we do now with Ruffalo’s take on Banner and the big, green monster. We were essentially seeing two completely different characters (1 human, 1 not) that supposedly were connected but you wouldn’t know that by their performances or faces at all. Ruffalo was the first Hulk to actually have his own face and body in the character’s performance. Simple as that. And the actor has made it perfectly clear that that feature is now essential for him to properly give us a more connected and emotionally-vulnerable Hulk.
        And if you think Thor’s movies were bad, then clearly you don’t know Shakespeare or Game of Thrones since directors of those made them. Branagh, a Shakespearean actor and director that did Hamlet, brought us Thor 1 and Alan Taylor did Thor 2. The only weakness seen in either is in the dialog being a tad weak (except when it’s grossly Elizabethan talk, which fits perfectly in Asgard), but otherwise, the acting is excellent on all accounts. It’s just so obvious all around that Loki’s Hiddleston, whom originally auditioned for Thor, is perfect casting such that he’s a natural scene-stealer and fan favorite. Makes it seem so good to be bad. He takes the God of Mischief and puts him on the same level of character complexity as Hamlet is said to be. But you can’t knock Hemsworth for not shining quite so bright since obviously his hero isn’t written quite as well or given as much freedom/flexibility. But Hemsworth does have the range, evident in his other bodies of work done inbetween Avengers bouts (Snow White & the Huntsman, of which he is getting a spin-off that won’t include Kristen Stewart’s horribly-acted protagonist; Rush; Red Dawn, etc.). The guy has a different accent, attire, hairstyle and weapon in each movie he does, so give him credit for that.
        So, trying to say the FF won’t translate to film well made me laugh. It just needs to be put in the right hands. In other words, Fox and Sony just need to swallow their pride, give the rights back to Marvel Studios and let them do their own characters on screen correctly. When Guardians of the Galaxy blows up the box office, all of the studios pretending to make blockbuster comicbook superhero films (or making up excuses as to why Wonder Woman hasn’t made it onto the big screen yet or that she’s too difficult to do) will need to put their feet in their mouth as a walking, sentient tree and a raccoon with a machine gun prove them all wrong that it can be done beautifully. Marvel Studios knows what they’re doing and how to do it.

      • NICK НΛRT

        as much as i want you to be right, FF will not bomb

      • NICK НΛRT

        as much as i want you to be right, FF will not bomb

    • jack26262

      i don’t think marvel would do an R rated movie

    • Stefan Bonomo

      I don’t think even Marvel would go with doing an R-rated movie, thanks to Disney. This is probably why we will most likely not see anybody like Punisher, Blade, or Ghost Rider considering they need that hard R too.

      Now with the Netflix series, and Daredevil, I’m interested if Marvel will let the people go all out and make a dark and gritty Daredevil show, since its on Netflix, or will it have to be dumbdowned to PG-13?

      • The_Eternal_Dalek

        Netflix themselves have said in the past they are very much going to cater for the fans rather than the masses, but what this means for the age rating remains to be seen.

        Literally all we know is the length (in the cases of four of the shows), the titles, a couple of showrunners and that the Kingpin will appear in the Daredevil show (thanks to Sony selling back the Spider-Man television rights).

    • Liderc

      Marvel isn’t afraid of taking chances? lol, their movies are the safest movies ever.

      The only unsafe movie they’ve done is Iron Man 1, everything else has been on cruise control and boring.

      The Avengers may have been difficult to write, but not risky at all. You have half a dozen audiences with characters they love, of course they’ll turn out to see it. That’s not taking a chance at all.

  • Doug_101

    After X-Men 2, I had hoped they might team with FX and make a TV miniseries for X-Men leading up to Dark Phoenix – like 10 or 13 episodes at most. Alas, that never happened and we got The Last Stand instead.

  • aceshigh

    Let Tarantino do the Deadpool film already!

    • scurvy

      Is he actively trying to do it? Sends like a silly statement if he isn’t. I’d bet money that if he wrote an r-rated Deadpool film and asked fox to make it, they’d let him…

    • Stefan Bonomo

      Actually, Rodriguez was planning on working on the Deadpool film. It didn’t go through, but I can wonder what people’s reaction to that would be.

  • anders55

    isn’t Gotham going to be on Fox? That was just kind of unexpected, that they had all of these properties and ended up going with a DC TV show

  • replying to idiots

    The continuity in the X-Men movies is horrible, so I have completely no faith in them producing shows and movies that actually coordinate with each other.

    • Dorian Gray

      They’ve already blown any chance at continuity with Deadpool by creating and killing him off in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

      • john57676

        hence days of future past…

      • Dorian Gray

        Days of Future Past is Fox’s attempt at shoehorning continuity into their franchise. It is clear that they never had a roadmap laid out and are now desperately trying to find a way to stitch them together in order to catch up with Marvel/Disney.

        Also, Deadpool isn’t in Days of Future Past.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        I think the point is more that Days of Future Past will let them retcon a whole bunch of stuff should they want to, like Cyclops’ death, Deadpool’s death, etc. Messing around with timeline’s is a classic excuse strategy for undoing past narrative mistakes/character deaths.

      • Abed

        I believe I read somewhere that in the Deadpool script, they have him getting angry about the movie and then going to Hollywood to kill the producers that made Origins.

      • Liderc

        Someone didn’t watch the end credits scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hint: Deadpool isn’t dead

      • Dorian Gray

        You got me. Just watched it. Doesn’t really change anything, though. The version of Deadpool in XMO Wolverine isn’t the Merc with a Mouth that we’re all looking for. Just the character design of Deadpool in the movie proves that Fox didn’t have the foresight to include any of Deadpool’s original qualities.

    • Wade Wilson

      I don’t think they even own the TV rights for X-Men, so they can’t make it anyways (thankfully).

      • Batt Damon

        They just own the TV rights to Batman. I for one can’t wait to see them give the same care and consideration they have for the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises to world’s most beloved superhero.

  • Dorian Gray

    I wish Fox would just sell all of their Marvel rights. As much as I try to give the movies a chance, the current Spider-Man and X-Men movies just lack the cleverness, charm, and continuity of Disney’s MCU. The difference, to me, seems to be that Disney hires filmmakers who really care about comic books while Fox is more focused on being “cool,” “edgy,” and just making as much money as possible.

    • Robby Richmond

      Ah come on, Singer cares.

      • Wade Wilson

        Enough to ban comic books on the sets of his movies?

      • Robby Richmond

        I didnt say he wasnt crazy…

      • Batt Damon

        Singer cares about his couple of movies, not the franchise or the comic books

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  • DEADP00L

    “Yeah, it makes sense to me. Genuinely it’s early phases, early days, but if you’re gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with.”

    Get it done already! What early days?! We’ve been waiting for my movie since X-men first started, you pussies at Fox!

    (Hee hee! He said Hard-rated R )

    ^_^ Oh joy!

    • The_Eternal_Dalek

      They didn’t even own Deadpool when the first X-Men movie came out they bought him later on. Which also means if they don’t get a move on Marvel get the rights to him. Then what chance do you have of an R-rated movie?

      • DEADP00L

        When I said we’ve been waiting it’s because of the assumption that if they can make X-men happen they can make my movie happen.

        They just need balls in that room full of pussies. If Marvel gets the rights back I will be better off even if I’m not rated R Marvel has away of getting away with poking fun of the rating system.

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  • LEM

    Fox has a convoluted mess of Marvel character movies and will never EVER do an R rated comic book movie.

  • WarrenWII

    X-Men 5, Kimberg! original Cast is Impressive and ready to go, so its time to bring Cyclops, Gambit, Nightcrawler and Archagel and give us the X-Men movie we all have been waiting for

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  • Dorian Gray

    Everybody keeps talking about this “dark” “hard-R” Deadpool movie. True comic fans, does this *really* fit Deadpool’s character? I’ve only read the first 50 or so comics, but they were a actually pretty tame and most of the comedy was just snarky. When I think hard-R, I think of comics like Crossed or even Spawn.

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  • Redjester

    It’s probably because I just watched ‘The Americans’ and her face is at the top of this page, but does anyone else think Keri Russel would make a great Marvel superhero? Not sure which one, although she would have been a pretty great Rogue.

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