Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fox Marvel Guru Mark Millar Talks X-Men Movie Franchise and Expanding the Studio's X-Universe

A while back, and after The Avengers hit the jackpot at the box office last summer, 20th Century Fox hired former Marvel comics writer Mark Millar to help oversee Fox's X-Men movie universe and X-franchises.

Before Comic-Con, word got out that Fox is planning to expand their X-Men movie universe by having Kick-Ass 2 writer/director Jeff Wadlow pen a script for an X-Force movie. Along with this there is the ongoing reports of a completed Deadpool solo script that is finished and waiting a green light from Fox. Even test footage was filmed by Deadpool director Tim Miller to hopefully get a green light (but he's still waiting).

Since being hired on, Millar has been quiet and hasn't said much about his role with Fox and the future of the studio's X-franchises. Until now, when Millar spoke with Collider.com at Comic-Con.

"[Fox is] aware of [the X-Men potential]," Millar said. "I think at the moment though, what you've got to do is you've got to be smart about it. You've got to grow things organically. I'm not talking crossovers and all that kind of stuff yet. The idea is to just build everything up quietly in its own way and bring in the best possible talent."

Millar has to be referring to the build-up that has begun with the new release of The Wolverine and then with next year's X-Men Days of Future Past. Then, he talked a little about Fox's history when the studio acquired the X-Men movie rights from Marvel.

"Marvel sold the X-Men franchise off to Fox back in the 90s when they needed the cash," Millar disclosed. "You have to remember that [the X-Men] were the crown jewels. The reason they got snapped up was they were Marvel's biggest selling book for twenty years. You're sitting on a goldmine there. We're all talking about, very vaguely, lots of possibilities. I think there's a good five to ten potential golden franchises in there."

Five to 10 possible "golden franchise" sounds like a bit of a reach but not when you consider how Fox owns all movie rights to everything "X-related" and all Marvel's mutants (sans the duel ownership of the mutants Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver with Marvel Studios). So there are plenty of mutants to chose from. Deadpool, Cable, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Gambit are a few who could probably hold their own in a solo movie, like Wolverine has done for two solo outings now. And don't forget the great villain arsenal Fox owns with Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, Dr. Doom and many others.

Bottom line, it sounds like Millar's job with Fox is starting to progress forward as the studio puts the finishing touches on X-Men Days of Future Past for next summer. The next ensemble film could easily set the tone for a much larger X-movie universe once time travel happens and changes things previously known in past films to help set the stage for the "X-pansion" of Fox's Marvel universe.