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It’s amazing how quickly superhero shows have saturated the television landscape, but despite the proliferation of comic book characters on TV right now, Fox’s latest idea would still be a welcome addition. Today, Fox has confirmed the network is in the early stages of developing an X-Men TV series. Yes, we are talking a live-action X-Men TV series. Even better, 24 producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto are reportedly involved.
Early on Monday, Fox Entertainment Chairman Gary Newman confirmed that a potential series is in the works. It seems like it would be a pretty straightforward endeavor, but TV Insider reports that negotiations are a little more complicated than they outwardly look. Most people who keep tabs on Marvel’s properties should know that Twentieth Century Fox owns the film rights to the X-Men characters. However, Marvel still owns the X-Men comics, and a TV series is new territory that would require a new deal with Marvel to move forward. It’s a tricky match to light, and a live-action X-Men drama is certainly not off the ground, yet.
We’ve been hearing about a potential X-Men project since October, when the rumor mill was alight with the possibility that a live-action show might appear. At the time, possibilities for the series ranged from a Young Justice-approach to potentially following Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, but in the time since (and in today’s report) an X-Factor adaptation has been at the forefront. (Can we all take a moment to pause and appreciate the awkwardness of another X Factor on Fox?)
While Fox still hasn’t negotiated a deal with Marvel regarding what characters and storylines the network will be able to officially pursue, it looks like the network really wants the project. THR is reporting that the network has signed on the 24 duo to produce the live X-Men endeavor, and that Star Trek 3’s Patrick McKay and JD Payne are already on board to write, should a deal be worked out.
Obviously, Marvel has had a lot of success with tying in its movies and its ABC TV shows. Characters have crossed over between the films and shows, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter on the TV end, which has proved both fun for and engaging for fans. An X-Men TV series could do the same thing for Twentieth Century Fox and Fox network. Then again, thanks to the X-Men: Days of Future Past timeline, it could be an opportunity for the TV channel to flex its muscles and try something wholly new. The network just needs to work out those pesky contracts with Marvel, first.