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Building a connected universe is all the rage right now in Hollywood. Marvel and DC both have their own expansive worlds, Transformers is setting one up, and Ghostbusters may be a well. One of the biggest and most successful of these is Star Wars, and that’s the model that 20th Century Fox as a roadmap for their own superhero realm.
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter about his latest project, Ridley Scott’s The Martian, producer Simon Kinberg, who is all over Fox’s superhero universe, had some interesting things to say about how they’re approaching this world. He said:
It's almost like the way the Star Wars movies now are. The Episodes are the mainline movies, and then you have the stand-alone movies. The X-Men flagship is [Michael] Fassbender, [James] McAvoy, Jen [Lawrence], and Nick Hoult, and then we have the stand-alone movies.
Out of all of the myriad ways they could approach creating such a large scale connected movie universe, the way Fox is going about it does appear to mimic the Star Wars way of doing things most closely. Or at least he way that Star Wars has begun doing things. Since Disney bought out Lucasfilm, that far, far away galaxy is set to start growing at a scope and speed that it never has before. We’re not just getting a new trilogy, we’re getting the standalone Story or Anthology films, novels, comics, games, and much more.
In Fox’s superhero realm, they’re about to start doing something very similar. While the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse is reportedly the final chapter in this latest trilogy, there are a number of other side movies coming down the way in very short order.
The first of these is the Ryan Reynolds-starring Deadpool, which lands in theater in February of 2016, which, the more you think about it, isn’t all that far away. After Apocalypse hits in May of next year, the Channing Tatum-fronted Gambit is slated to hit the following October. On that front, however, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the movie pushed back, as they recently lost their director, the latest in a series of setbacks, and time is getting short. Regardless of when, it is on the way at some point relatively soon, and is another way for Fox to expand their brand. And beyond that, there is still the upcoming Wolverine 3, which will mark Hugh Jackman’s last voyage as the popular mutant badass.
And just because Apocalypse is the last in this latest X-Men trilogy, Simon Kinberg doesn’t deny the possibility of more, and he says:
I would love to keep making movies with that cast
That might be tricky, but it is possible. This will mark Jennifer Lawrence’s final appearance as Mystique, as she moves on to continue what has already been a remarkable career. One of her reasons for leaving is that she’s sick of the lengthy makeup process she has to endure for her blue-skinned character, but she’s not completely opposed to showing up in this world again. And though contracts are up—most of the primary actors signed three-picture deals—some, including Michael Fassbender, have said they’re game for more.
Basically, the future is up in the air to a degree, but considering how popular and profitable these movies are, you can bet that Fox will find a way to keep expanding their universe, likely with the new cast of mutants that will show up in X-Men: Apocalypse.