Fox looking to bring the X-Men to TV, but it needs Marvel’s blessing
Fox is in the early stages of developing a live action X-Men TV show, according to TV Insider. Before anything can happen though, the studio needs Marvel to sign off.
As it stands, Fox owns the rights to any live action X-Men projects, along with all related properties (as well as the Fantastic Four), but the deal in place is specifically for motion pictures. The contracts are structured in a way that while no one else can use the X-Men characters in a live action setting – even Marvel – Fox still needs Marvel’s permission to create a TV show based on the property.
Those negotiations are underway though, and more than that, things are actually looking good – at least according to Fox Entertainment Chair Gary Newman.
“It’s in negotiations,” Newman said. “We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.”
The deal between Fox and Marvel is structured so that as long as Fox is actively developing a movie(s) based on the X-Men, it gets to hold on to the rights. There is a time limit on how long the studio can go between films before Marvel can snag it back, although it’s unknown exact what that time frame is for the X-Men property.
In that, the X-Men deal is similar to the one that Fox and Marvel struck over Daredevil several years ago. Following the 2003 film, Fox considered multiple ways to keep that franchise going. They all came to nothing though (not counting Elektra… and no one should ever count Elektra for anything), and ten years passed without a Daredevil film in production. As a result, the property reverted back to Marvel, which allowed it to create the upcoming Daredevil TV series on Netflix.
The X-Men franchise is in no danger of that happening any time soon. X-Men: Days of Future Past was a box office hit, and X-Men: Apocalypse is currently in production for a May 27, 2016 release, with casting well underway. Even if that is the last X-Men film Fox makes – and there is little to no chance of that – it would be 2026 before Marvel could hope to take back the property. It makes sense that Marvel would be willing to grant the TV rights to Fox, given that it still profits from the deal.
There is no news on what the series might focus on, or how it would fit into the expanding Fox X-Men universe, which will soon also contain a Deadpool, Gambit, and possibly an X-Force movie (as well as a Fantastic Four film, although Fox has yet to confirm whether or not the FF will appear in the same universe as the X-Men, and the last indications were that it would not).
Newman confirmed that talks are in the very early stages, so much so that there isn’t even a definite concept yet. He went on to claim that any X-Men TV show wouldn’t hit the air until 2016-2017 at the earliest.
Marvel seems willing to hear Fox out, which means that there is a chance. Given Newman’s willingness to explore all of Fox’s current properties to bring to TV – including The X-Files and 24 – don’t be surprised to see the mutants hit the TV soon.
The real question is which mutants would you want to see?