Exclusive: Simon Kinberg in Talks to Write and Direct the Next ‘X-Men’ Movie

     February 21, 2017

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Over the past few weeks, a lot of rumors have been going around about the next X-Men movie beyond the New Mutants film that director Josh Boone is developing. We’ve covered some of them, including how the follow-up to X-Men: Apocalypse – supposedly titled X-Men: Supernova - might start filming this June and would focus on the Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix storyline, which is a comics arc that fans have been dying to see since Bryan Singer teased it at the end of X2. It basically involves Jean Grey succumbing to her powers and transforming into Dark Phoenix, a malevolent force that brings about Grey’s downfall.

Shortly after posting that story, Sophie Turner, who was introduced as the young Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, was on a red carpet when she revealed she was “about to start shooting the next X-Men movie,” but with both New Mutants and this Supernova film rumored to be in development, it was unclear what film she was talking about.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Knowing something was happening, I started to reach out to sources to find out if a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse was really in development and who was working on it. While many fans were let down by Apocalypse, the film still went on to make almost $550 million at the worldwide box office. Add to that, I’d argue the X-Men characters are more popular than ever after the success of Deadpool, so it would make sense for Fox to keep churning out the movies—especially after introducing a new young ensemble in Apocalypse.

Which brings us to where we are today.

After talking to multiple sources, I can report that writer/producer Simon Kinberg is looking to make his directorial debut with the next X-Men movie and he’s already written the screenplay. From what I hear, it does focus on the Dark Phoenix storyline and it’s now up to the studio if they’ll use his script and if he’ll get to direct it. At this point, I don’t have any information about casting beyond Sophie Turner.

If for some reason you’re not familiar with Simon Kinberg and his relationship to the X-Men franchise, he’s essentially the Kevin Feige of the X-Men universe at 20th Century Fox. If you look over his IMDb resume, you’ll see he’s either written, produced, or been heavily involved with X-Men: The Last StandX-Men: Days of Future PastX-Men: ApocalypseDeadpoolLoganLegion, and New Mutants. It’s pretty clear he knows these characters, and more than that, he’s helped keep the franchise moving forward as he’s worked alongside directors like Bryan SingerMatthew Vaughn, and Tim Miller.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

While I think fans have the right to be nervous about someone possibly making their directorial debut with an X-Men movie, I’d point out that Deadpool marked the directorial debut of Tim Miller, and that turned out OK. I’m actually very confident in Kinberg’s ability behind the camera. After all, he’s watched some great filmmakers up close and learned from the best, and he’s been entrenched in this X-Men universe for over a decade now.

But before we start debating Kinberg’s merits as a filmmaker, let me remind everyone what I’m reporting today is where the project currently is as I type these words. Tomorrow Fox could decide they want someone else entirely to helm the next X-Men movie or they could decide they only want to make Deadpool movies in the near future. What I’m reporting is what is accurate today, but as we know when it comes to Hollywood, everything can change in a heartbeat.

So the big question is, do you want the next X-Men movie to focus on the Dark Phoenix storyline? Do you want to continue on with these X-Men: Apocalypse characters? Sound off in the comments below.


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