Lauren Shuler Donner On The Future Of ‘Deadpool’ and The Rest Of Fox’s ‘X-Men’ Franchises Under Disney
Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Last year, the Department of Justice approved The Walt Disney Company’s $71 billion offer to acquire Fox’s entertainment assets, including television and film properties. The news was a cause for celebration for Marvel fans as the move meant that X-Men and Fantastic Four characters would finally be able to play in the Marvel Studios sandbox.
However, this also meant that the current X-Men franchise, including its many spinoffs like Deadpool and the yet-to-be-released The New Mutants, was in serious jeopardy of no longer continuing or being rebooted. Deadpool, a raunchy superhero with a debaucherous behavior, doesn’t quite fit into what Disney has done with the MCU and the family friendly films they release.
Long-time X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke about passing the franchise to their new owners, Disney. She also addressed its future, as well as the future of Deadpool and when The New Mutants will be released. More on the report below.
Deadline was as the TCA 2019, where they covered Legion, which will be on its third and final season this year. At the panel, Donner spoke about passing the X-Men franchise to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige – who had worked on the very first film back in 2000 – and what we can expect to see from them:
“Kevin (Feige) and I started the first movie, he worked for me, he has a great story sense when it comes to weaving each world together, I trust him and I trust where he will take it.”
But just because the two had a working relationship, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that she will be working on any future X-Men films. In fact, Donner is unsure about if she is coming back:
“I don’t know, I don’t think so, certainly in name credit, it’s up to Kevin (Feige).
I don’t know what Kevin is thinking, I think he’s still dealing with the wealth of characters and trying to make sense of it all.”
With even more Marvel properties to work with, Marvel Studios has a real chance at dominating the superhero movie space. However, she cautions that Feige should probably limit the number of Marvel releases so that audiences don’t experience superhero fatigue:
“You cannot have too many Marvel, X-Men superhero movies out there: We’ll cancel each other out. Each one has to be distinctive. You have The Avengers to follow through; there are so many distinctive canons to follow through and you have to have new ones to focus on. For us, it’s a lot and people will get sick of them. We have to be careful; he (Kevin) has to be careful. You can’t have more than four (franchises out there).”
As for the future of X-Men, it looks like Marvel Studios will be doing a lot or reboots. Which means, they will have to be researching for some replacements for notable characters, including Wolverine. Played by Hugh Jackman in all of the X-Men title films except the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Feige will have to live up to the legacy that Jackman has left behind. But the studio is definitely looking at “a new Wolverine down the road.”
Additionally, Donner says the production and release of the long-gestating Gambit film starring Channing Tatum depends on Disney and Marvel. The project has been in development hell for the past few years, going through a number of directors that include Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. Other movies that are on hold are the Kitty Pryde movie and X-Force.
According to Donner, the future of those films depends on Disney:
“This is all now in Disney’s playground and they get to decide. At least we know it’s in good hands, everybody’s worked really hard up til now on our Fox side, but now it’s gonna be Disney’s call.”
Of course, fans would at least like to see Fox’s X-Men come to a proper conclusion. This includes seeing a Deadpool 3. However, it’s unclear if Disney and Marvel will even entertain that idea. But it’s pretty clear that the two have plans now that they have access to these characters.
As for The New Mutants, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters on August 2, the release of that film is unclear as well. Rumors are swirling that it could end up being released on Hulu instead, something that Donner hopes doesn’t happen. She told journalists that they worked hard on it, and that she would rather see it hit theaters. “I’d hate to see it thrown at Hulu,” Donner said.