As the main X-Men film series continues chugging along, the mutant-centric franchise has been expanding with spinoffs like Deadpool, Logan and more. Now we can add one more project to this growing cinematic universe, and it'll have James Franco leading the charge. The Disaster Artist star has been tapped to appear in a movie centered on Multiple Man.
Along with James Franco playing Jamie Madrox, a.k.a. Multiple Man, Deadline reports that Wonder Woman's Allan Heinberg has been tapped to write the script, while longtime X-Men films creative mind Simon Kinberg will produce the project through his Genre Films production company. Franco's own company, Ramona Films, will also produce. A director hasn't been chosen yet. Franco will be the second actor to play Multiple Man in a theatrical setting, previously portrayed by Eric Dane in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. This also won't be Franco's first foray into comic book media, as he previously played Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.
Introduced in 1975's Giant Size Fantastic Four #4, Multiple Man (as his name suggests) is able to create copies of himself. The amount of copies he can generate varies; during with time on X-Factor, the maximum was 50, but there have been times when that number was significantly higher. Regardless, when it comes to manpower, he's the guy you want on your team. Jamie's copies also have independent thought, so whenever he absorbs them back into himself, he collects the knowledge and skills that they obtained during their time "alive," though this has also led to him suffering from mental instability. The absorption process can also sometimes heal his injuries, although this doesn't work as efficiently as something like Wolverine's healing factor.
His allegiance to Magneto and the Brotherhood in X-Men: The Last Stand aside, Multiple Man is primarily depicted in the comics as a protagonist, whether it's as a standard superhero or as a private investigator. Aside from X-Men: The Last Stand, Multiple Man's other appearances outside the comics include the '90s X-Men animated series, X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Men II: Rise of Apocalypse and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
The Multiple Man movie is just one of several spinoffs on the way branching off from the main X-Men narrative. Next year will see the release of New Mutants and Deadpool 2 ahead of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Gambit, X-Force and an X-23 spinoff are in development. Simon Kinberg also revealed earlier this year that there's interest in bringing Alpha Flight and Exiles to life on the big screen. Given Jamie Madrox's affiliation with X-Factor in the comics, it begs the question of if this Multiple Man movie will be used to introduce that team to the X-Men cinematic universe, whether it's in a supporting capacity or if they'll lead their own movie.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on James Franco's Multiple Man movie, and browse through our X-Men movies guide for more information on what this franchise has coming down the pipeline.