Simon Kinberg Signs Three-Year Deal With Fox To Develop X-Men And Fantastic Four Franchises

The 20th Century Fox-owned Marvel universe has been having a pretty big day today. First it was announced by director Bryan Singer that the X-Men franchise will be back with X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, and now The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Simon Kinberg, who co-wrote and produced the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, has inked a three-year deal with Fox to help further develop their comic book universe.

Unlike Marvel Studios, which maintains the rights to hundreds of different heroes, Fox currently only holds the Fantastic Four and mutant characters like the X-Men, but the writer/producer plans on helping Fox expand on those franchises in bigger and better ways. Speaking with the trade, Kinberg was open about his goals and blatant about where they will be taking inspiration. "I have a lot of ideas on how to built those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel," Kinberg said. "I want to be able to build stories over multiple movies."

As of now Fox only has three comic book movies on their upcoming release calendar, with Singer's Days of Future Past set to come out on May 23, 2014; Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot scheduled for June 19, 2015; and Apocalpyse slated for May 27, 2016. That said, the studio is also currently developing an X-Force movie with Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow attached to helm, and have had a finished Deadpool script ready and waiting for months and months now.

With Kinberg making this deal I also find myself curious what's going on with Fox's relationship with Mark Millar. Back in September of last year it was reported that the comic book writer had signed a contract to be a consultant on all of the studio's upcoming Marvel projects and assist in shaping their cinematic universe, but now it sounds like the job Kinberg is going to be doing (and Millar isn't mentioned anywhere in The Hollywood Reporter's story). What's more, back in March Singer said that he had not had any conversations with Millar about Days of Future Past, which is expected to be an important junction in the franchise.

Kinberg originally became involved with Fox's Marvel movies as a writer on the disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand, and continued with the surprisingly awesome X-Men: First Class. His filmmography outside of comic book movies is rather spotty, with credits like Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes and This Means War, but hopefully working withthe X-Men and Fantastic Four characters will bring out his A-game and lead to some great titles.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.