Those damn moviegoers certainly love their superheroes. Four of the top ten highest-grossing movies of 2017, 2016 and 2014 featured superheroes. Three of the top ten in 2013 and 2012 did as well. The last time a superhero movie wasn’t in the year’s top ten was in 2011. That was when Harry Potter was box office king and Ryan Reynolds was Green Lantern.
With this superhero craze comes a bevy of new projects from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, Fox’s X-Men universe and Sony’s Spider-Man universe. It’s getting pretty confusing out there so let our guides help you keep track of where each movie — confirmed or rumored — is at right now in its development cycle.
Fox has three X-Men movies with release dates and supposedly another six at various points in development.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
LAST UPDATED (3/27/18): Reshoots on the way; Set for release on Feb. 14
2016: Around the release of X-Men: Apocalypse in the summer, the film’s writer and producer Simon Kinberg said the next X-Men film is set in the 90’s although it was unknown if he meant the sequel to Apocalypse or The New Mutants (ComingSoon). Further news didn’t come until November when it was said that Kinberg was writing the next X-Men script with franchise stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence in mind even though they haven’t signed on to the movie yet (THR).
2017: In February, star Sophie Turner said the movie was shooting soon (HeyUGuys) while another outlet reported around that time that the movie was called “X-Men: Supernova” and was filming in June (Collider). A couple of weeks after that, it was said that Kinberg would make his directorial debut on the picture and that he finished the screenplay (Collider). Fox would give the movie its official title, Dark Phoenix, in April and slapped the film with a Nov. 2, 2018 release date (THR). Filming began in June with Kinberg confirmed to direct and the principal cast returning (Deadline). In October, Kinberg announced on his Instagram that the movie wrapped production (Instagram).
2018: Dark Phoenix was delayed from Nov. 2, 2018 to Feb. 14 after test screenings indicated further photography was needed and the actors couldn’t come back in time.
LAST UPDATED (4/13/18): Script rewrite, production said to be done by October; Set for release on Jun. 7, 2019
2014: Poor Channing Tatum has been confirmed as the character Gambit since May 2014 (Games Radar). Even then, wheels first didn’t start to turn until October when Josh Zetumer was hired to write a Gambit solo movie (Deadline).
2015: Gambit received an Oct. 7, 2016 release date in January (Variety) and Zetumer handed in his first draft in May (Empire). A month later, Rupert Wyatt was hired to direct (EW) and Tatum’s producing partner said filming would begin in fall 2015 (ScreenRant). And let the hell begin… Wyatt would go on to drop out in September with reasons for the departure including scheduling conflicts and the studio’s problems with Wyatt (THR). In November, Kinberg said they had a new director (Collider), which was later confirmed to be Doug Liman.
2016: In January, filming was said to begin in March in New Orleans (WGNO). However, the film’s release date was said to have been pulled from Fox’s schedule in February (Twitter). When March rolled around, Liman was said to be looking at another movie to direct before returning to film Gambit in the fall with a new script (The Wrap). There was a script by July, which Kinberg said was “great” and they hoped to film it in spring 2017 (YouTube). But Liman left the production in August (Variety) and would go on to say to that he never found a connection with the story (Collider).
2017: Kinberg said at the beginning of the year that they hoped to start shooting in early 2018 (Comic Book). Tatum would say in August that the script has been re-written after Deadpool and Logan “kicked the doors down” and opened up the genre for them (HeyUGuys). In October, Gore Verbinski was hired to direct and the film was given a Feb. 14, 2019 release date (EW). By December, the movie was set to film in March 2018 (NOLA).
2018: Verbinski became the third director to depart the project in January with creative differences (Variety) or scheduling conflicts (Deadline) part of the issue. That same day, Gambit was pushed to June 7, 2019. In April, Gambit was said to have received a rewrite from Reid Carolin and was expected to begin filming in June to be done by the end of September (Omega).
The New Mutants
LAST UPDATED (3/30/18): Original post-credits scene details; Set for release on Aug. 2, 2019
2014: According to a report from 2016, when The Fault in Our Stars was a hit for Fox in June 2014, director Josh Boone and filmmaker Knate Gwaltney decided to take the chance to jump into the world of X-Men. They made their own comic book from panels of the New Mutants series to detail a potential trilogy of films. This was given to X-Men producer Simon Kinberg who liked it enough to give them a movie (Creative Screenwriting).
2015: Rumors first hit that the film existed in May with Boone as director and co-writer with Gwaltney (Deadline).
2016: Kinberg said they were still working on the script that spring (IGN). In the summer, he said that filming would begin in early 2017 (Collider), but there wasn’t further news until December when Boone said he was ready to go location scouting and they had a release date in mind (Creative Screenwriting).
2018: The film’s release date was pushed to Feb. 22, 2019 in January. Word on the street was that Fox wanted to bring out the film’s horror element after the commercial success of horror movies like It and Get Out (The Tracking Board). In February, it was said that reshoots will take place over the summer to add a new character (THR). A month after that, the movie was delayed a further six months to Aug. 2 after it was said at least half of the movie may need to be reshot to include one or more new characters. On top of that, there’s apparently creative differences between Boone, who has already handed in a cut of the movie that he likes, and the studio. Another report said that the movie has gone through about a dozen writers and actor Jon Hamm was originally going to appear in a post credits scene (Tracking Board).
LAST UPDATED (5/15/18): Ryan Reynolds says a story is in place but no script, confirms Drew Goddard’s involvement
2013: Filmmaker Jeff Wadlow was said to be writing an X-Force movie for Fox with the possibility to direct (THR) although Wadlow said in 2018 that his script was scrapped in favor of a Deadpool solo movie (Collider).
2016: Around the time of Deadpool’s release in February, Deadpool producer and star Ryan Reynolds said an X-Force movie was a priority for him (IGN). A few months later, X-Men producer and director Bryan Singer said Simon Kinberg was working on the script (Fandango).
2017: Fast forward to February and filmmaker Joe Carnahan was reported to have taken the job of director and co-writer of X-Force. Reynolds would be his other co-writer (Comic Book). In September, the rumor turned to filmmaker Drew Goddard as writer and director (Deadline).
2018: X-Force is said to begin filming in October with stars Reynolds and Josh Brolin expected to return from Deadpool 2 (THR). While doing promotion for Deadpool 2, Reynolds confirmed he will next reprise Deadpool in an X-Force movie (NYT) and Goddard is on board with a story in place. No script yet (Collider).
LAST UPDATED (3/22/18): Still being developed, director talks tone
2017: Legion creator Noah Hawley said he was working on a Doctor Doom movie during Legion’s Comic-Con panel. The show’s star, Dan Stevens, is also involved (Bleeding Cool).
2018: In March, Hawley talked about the “political thriller” genre-mixing tone he plans to give to the movie (Observer).
LAST UPDATED (2/27/18): Script is being written
2018: In January, Deadpool director Tim Miller was said to be working on a Kitty Pryde movie that he might direct. A month later, it was reported that Brian Michael Bendis was hired to write (Deadline). A couple of weeks after that, Bendis confirmed that he was working on an X-Men project for Miller, but didn’t mention if it involved Kitty Pryde (THR).
LAST UPDATED (2/27/18): Writer has been hired
2018: Comics writer Brian K. Vaughan is supposedly writing a Silver Surfer movie (THR).
LAST UPDATED (11/16/17): Script is being written
2017: Allan Heinberg is apparently writing a movie for the X-Men universe that would star James Franco as the character Method Man (Deadline).
LAST UPDATED (10/24/17): Treatment being written
2017: Logan filmmaker James Mangold and writer Craig Kyle were confirmed to be writing a treatment for a movie starring Laura from Logan.
The competition rages on:
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (17 films = $13,511,852,934) – Average: about $794,814,878
- X-Men (10 films = $4,996,632,006) – Average: about $499,663,200
- DC Extended Universe (5 films = $3,768,298,638) – Average: about $753,659,727
Box office stats from Box Office Mojo.