While Deadpool wound up being a massive hit when it was released back in February 2016, it was also revealed that there was some serious conflict behind the scenes. Director Tim Miller didn't always see eye-to-eye with writers/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and star Ryan Reynolds, so when it came time to announce Deadpool 2 Miller stepped away. It turns out he hasn't walked too far away, however, because he is apparently working on a secret X-Men franchise film currently known as 143.
Deadline has learned not only that Tim Miller has been hired to helm the mysterious project, but that Marvel veteran Brian Michael Bendis has been hired to write the screenplay. The film is so secretive that we currently know absolutely nothing else about it - but it is a fascinating development for the X-Men franchise.
So what is 143? That title doesn't deliver a ton of info, but the history of the X-Men franchise may offer a clue. In X2: X-Men United, audiences are introduced to Jason Stryker - the mutant son of William Stryker (Danny Huston) who has the power to invade people's minds. The powers are very similar to the X-Men comics character Mastermind, but he is also referred to as Mutant 143. Does that mean that this project could be about him?
Exactly when 143 will come together is a question mark right now, in part thanks to Tim Miller's personal schedule. Last year it was reported that he is currently collaborating with James Cameron to reinvigorate the Terminator franchise, but he is also currently attached to craft an adaptation of William Gibson's Neuromancer. For what should be obvious reasons, it is not currently clear how Miller is approaching 143 in terms of priority regarding these other deals.
For those not familiar with the name, Brian Michael Bendis spent years as a massive player in the world of Marvel Comics, and contributed in a major way to where the brand currently is today. He shocked the world back in November of last year when he announced that he would be leaving Marvel in favor of a gig over at DC Comics (rumored to give him some access in the DC Extended Universe), but evidently he's not done playing around with Marvel characters.
There was a rumor last month that Tim Miller was quietly working with 20th Century Fox on a developing Kitty Pryde project, but it's unknown if this developing news regarding 143 supports or negates that story. This project has definitely piqued our curiosity, so we will be sure to let you know about all of its latest movements as it makes its way through development. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the updates, and scope out our special Upcoming X-Men Movies feature to scope out all of the officially announced and dated features that are currently in development within the franchise.
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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.