While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been humming along since 2008, it was actually 20th Century Fox that helped start the comic book movie boom with Bryan Singer's X-Men in 2000. Over the years, the franchise has slowly grown into one of the most solid in movies today, and recently the studio has begun to look at ways to continue to expand its mutant universe even further.

Fans will note that 2016 was an important year for Fox, as the studio found out -- via Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse -- both how big their comic-book audience is, and that there is room for flexibility in approach. 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 Maisie Williams

The New Mutants

To date, most X-Men features have been straight-up blockbuster action movies, but writer/director Josh Boone is taking a hard left turn with his adaptation of The New Mutants. Based on the comic series originally started by Chris Claremont and Bill McLeod (though heavily inspired by the art of Bill Sienkiewicz), the film will be the franchise's first straight-up horror film, and it looks as though the story will primarily take place within the confines of a dilapidated hospital. Under the care of Alice Braga's Dr. Cecilia Reyes the titular team includes Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot/Roberto da Costa, and Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage - all young mutants who don't have full control over their abilities yet and are considered a danger to themselves and others.

Release Date: April 13, 2018

Deadpool 2 Cable Josh Brolin

Deadpool 2

After being stuck in development hell for years and years, Tim Miller's Deadpool sparked a phenomenon when it was released back in 2016, and a sequel was never in doubt following its record-setting opening weekend. The sequel, which currently only goes by the name Deadpool 2, has a new director at the helm in David Leitch, but is bringing back writers/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, as well as (of course) Ryan Reynolds as the titular anti-hero. The film will see the Merc With The Mouth team up with two classic allies from the comics - the time-traveling Cable (Josh Brolin) and the remarkably lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz) - though plot details have been thin beyond that.

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 it was quickly rumored that it would be a second blockbuster attempt at adapting the classic and beloved Dark Phoenix Saga (which was previously used as source material for Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand). Fox confirmed that story when they gave X-Men: Dark Phoenix its official title and a 2018 release date. Simon Kinberg, who has been a writer and producer working on the X-Men franchise since The Last Stand, has been handed the keys to the film and will be making his directorial debut. James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) are all back in the 1990s-set story, with Jessica Chastain on-board playing a character that has yet to be revealed.

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, but the project has run into a number of issues along the way (including word at one point that the film was going to move forward without Tatum). The biggest problem has been holding on to a director, as both Rupert Wyatt and Doug Liman signed on to the production only to leave it behind a few months later. Now, however, the project is on track to be released in February 2019, with Gore Verbinski at the helm

Release Date: February 14, 2019

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