Who says the world of mutant superheroes has to be confined to a movie theater screen? If negotiations work out between Fox Television Group and Marvel, the X-Men could be coming to the small screen in a live-action series. Talks were just brewing back in January when this series plans were first reported, though it seems some progress has been made. No deal is closed just yet, but new reports out of TCA confirm that both sides are in talks for a planned “long-running” series, not just a limited-run television event.
Per THR, here’s what Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden had to say about the progress:
“[For] X-Men, we’re in negotiations with Marvel. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to announce something soon. We’re not closed on a deal yet but it’s something we’re definitely pursuing.”
It’s worth mentioning that there are quite a few hurdles standing in the way of a live-action X-Men series coming to Fox. Obviously the two movie divisions of their respective parent companies don’t exactly see eye to eye when it comes to sharing the X-Men. 20th Century Fox still owns the feature film rights to the X-Men characters, which is why Disney/Marvel movies can only make certain allusions to the Marvel mutants’ existence. However, Marvel retains the comics rights, so they would still have to sign off on any deal to bring the X-Men to TV.
Further complicating matters is the fact that Disney’s ABC already has Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter on the schedule, with an untitled show in development from John Ridley, though they passed on a S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off for the moment. And lest we forget Marvel’s partnership with Netflix for their Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders series. The Disney/Marvel partnership seems to be humming right along just fine without Fox. That being said, Walden still seems optimistic:
“The characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature side so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney. This will be exclusively the franchise as it has existed at Fox.”
I wouldn’t hold my breath for this one. Marvel is in a much better place than they were while they were dealing with financial limitations due to bankruptcy. The Disney partnership has helped alleviate those concerns immensely. I’m not entirely sure what Fox could offer at this point to entice Marvel to OK the deal, unless it has to do with sharing or even returning feature film rights for the X-Men and/or maybe the Fantastic Four to Marvel. I don’t see either thing happening any time soon. Still, Fox already has Star Trek 3’s Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne penning the series, though they will share a “created by” credit with showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto.
Judging from how Fox has handled their Gotham adaptation, I don’t think I’d want to see a live-action X-Men series at all. But perhaps you have a different opinion. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!