While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been humming along for years, it was actually Fox who started the comic book movie boom with the first X-Men film. Over the years, the franchise has slowly grown into one of the most solid in movies today, and in recent years the studio has begun to look at ways to continue to expand its mutant universe.

2016 was an important year for Fox, as the studio found out -- via Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse -- how big their comic-book audience is. There already are plans for the future that will keep the X-Men and their associated characters going for quite some time, with spinoffs and solo movies in the works for years to come. Here's the complete list of greenlit X-Men and mutant films, with their planned release dates:

The New Mutants comics

New Mutants

As the most recent project added to Fox's X-Men slate, New Mutants is the most mysterious film at the moment. We know that Josh Boone, the director of The Fault in Our Stars, will be helming this, and he is also currently writing the screenplay (as he has been sharing a good deal on social media about his progress). Fox's head of all things X-Men, Simon Kinberg, has also revealed that the movie is being designed as a young adult feature, and a recent report called this "Stephen King meets John Hughes." We know that he villain Demon Bear may also play a significant part, meaning that New Mutant hero Danielle Moonstar will likely be at the center of the film. Maisie Williams is officially on board the film in the role of Wolfsbane, while Anya Taylor-Joy has been cast as Magik. Beyond that, Rosario Dawson is rumored for a role as team leader Dr. Cecilia Reyes, and one of the things we know for sure is that James McAvoy will not be making an appearance.

Release Date: April 13, 2018

Deadpool

Deadpool 2

A sequel to Ryan Reynolds' immensely popular original story, Deadpool, was never in doubt. But the steps to get there have been a bit bumpy. Original director Tim Miller recently departed the project for what is being called "creative differences," though he already has been replaced by John Wick co-director David Leitch (who also has Atomic Blonde on the horizon). Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick will be back for Deadpool 2, and the film recently cast extremely important characters Cable and Domino in the sequel with fantastic choices of Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz. Now we're anxious to see what this new team, when working with Ryan Reynolds, is able to put together.

Release Date: June 1, 2018

X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

After X-Men: Apocalypse, we assumed that the traditional X-Men ensemble would get another story, and we had been hearing rumors that it will tell the Dark Phoenix saga, set in the 1990s (with the cast that is pictured above). Well, Fox recently confirmed that news when they gave X-Men: Dark Phoenix a 2018 release date. But who will direct? From what we understand, Bryan Singer is moving on from the X-Men saga, and Simon Kinberg has been rumored to helm this chapter, though that news was not part of the release-date shuffle. Now my big question is, will they recast a younger Wolverine to go with this younger X-Men cast, which includes Sophie Turner (as Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (as Cyclops) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (as Nightcrawler)?

Release Date: Nov. 2, 2018

Gambit comics

Gambit

Man, this one has been plagued by delays. Channing Tatum has had his eye on the cajun mutant Gambit for years. The project has run into a number of issues, however, including, at one point, word that the film was going to move forward without Tatum. The movie has also had a hell of a time finding a director, with Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) leaving the project recently in favor of DC's Justice League Dark. This one falls into the "May still happen, but no clue when" category, even as Simon Kinberg says it could film in 2018. Given the fact that it wasn't mentioned in the Fox update on the X-Men universe, our hopes for a proper Gambit movie are dwindling.

Release Date: Unknown

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