X-Men Producer Reveals One Big Challenge Facing Marvel As It Takes On The Fox Characters

X-Men The Last Stand promo image

It's no secret that superhero movies are everywhere, as comic book movies have become the most profitable and popular genre in the business. The X-Men franchise was there before it all blew up, although the OG franchise is seemingly in jeopardy as the Disney and Fox merger looms above both studios. Fans are eager to see the X-Men finally join the MCU proper, although there are a few challenges to making this move happen.

X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner recently spoke to this challenge at TCA. When fielding questions from the audience, she was asked if Channing Tatum's Gambit movie was going to survive the upcoming Disney/Fox merger, she said:

That is up to Disney. That really is up to Disney. I hope so, but that’s up to them. The problem is, as you guys well know, you cannot have too many Marvel X-Men superhero movies out there because we will cancel each other out. Each one has to be distinctive.

You've got to admit, she's got a point. While revealing that the Gambit movie's fate is currently unclear, Lauren Shuler Donner also addresses an issue that the fans might not be thinking of: Marvel Studios has to edit down its schedule in order to avoid superhero fatigue.

When 20th Century Fox was poising to compete with the MCU, a variety of new and exciting projects were announced, in addition to the main installment Dark Phoenix. This includes the Deadpool franchise, horror inspired The New Mutants, rom-com superhero flick Gambit, and developing a Kitty Pryde movie. But now that the House of Mouse is acquiring the rights to the mutants, the studio may want to simplify so that it doesn't oversaturate the genre.

In her same conversation at TCA, of which CinemaBlend's Nick Venable was in attendance, Lauren Shuler Donner went on to warn Marvel Studios Kevin Feige about overstuffing the upcoming Phase Four of movies. As she expanded,

And yet you’ve got the Avengers to follow through, you’ve got so many distinctive story canons to follow through, and yet you want new ones. I don’t think you can have more than four. Four is a lot. Because people are gonna get sick of them. So we have to be careful. He has to be careful, Kevin.

While comic book fans are no doubt eager to see the X-Men and Avengers collide in a future installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is a certain risk involved. Disney now has the keys to a ton of iconic comic book properties, making proper scheduling and editing see all the more important. Then again, the inevitable departure of OG Avengers like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth may create space for mutant stories in Phase Four.

Marvel's next installment will be Captain Marvel on March 8th, while the X-Men franchise will continue with Dark Phoenix on June 7th 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.