With a “business-friendly” administration and a President who adores Rupert Murdoch, the government isn’t going to stand in the way of the upcoming Disney-Fox merger. However, 20th Century Fox has to act prudently and carry on with business as usual. That means continuing to crank out a bunch of superhero properties even if those franchises may get upended or rebooted once the characters land in the hands of Marvel Studios.
THR reports that the studio isn’t slowing down on its superhero properties. There’s the untitled Kitty Pryde movie Tim Miller is set to direct with Brian Michael Bendis writing the script; there’s the previously reported Doctor Doom movie from Legion showrunner Noah Hawley; and THR adds that acclaimed comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) is working on a script for a Silver Surfer movie. Additionally, a search is underway for a new Gambit director with a new script expected by March, and New Mutants will take on reshoots this summer that will add a new character, but the film is still slated for February 22, 2019.
Then there’s X-Force, which could be huge for Fox. Drew Goddard is still on board to direct, and THR reports that Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin are expected to star in the picture, which is aiming to start filming in October. Additionally, the studio is planning three X-Men movies for 2019 and another three X-Men movies for 2020.
Even if the Fox-Marvel deal is approved this year, it makes sense for Fox to proceed with these movies since Kevin Feige has his own plans for the time being. I have little doubt that he’ll want to eventually integrate the X-Men into the MCU, but for the time being, and given the production schedules for blockbuster films, it makes sense for Fox to proceed as they would even if the merger wasn’t happening. That may mean that Doctor Doom and Silver Surfer movies may not see the light of day, but it’s a smart move to at least have them in the scripting stage.