To those not in the know, Marvel and 20 th Century Fox have been at loggerheads for some time now. Having been granted cinema rights to the X-Men comic franchise, Fox had been resistant to giving it up back to Marvel to use in their now formidable in-house Marvel Studios. The rights entanglement has had some negative effects on the X-Men’s presence in the larger Marvel brand, downplaying and even excising their presence from merchandising and videogames, while the portrayal of the mutant heroes on the comic themselves have been…meh. It was feared that this impasse will have continued ad infinitum if Fox and Marvel’s current owner Disney had their way or something. Recent developments however may be pointing to a possible step at reconciliation.
Variety reports that just this Tuesday July 12, Marvel and Fox announced a collaboration to create a new TV series based on the “X-Men”. This is such a sure thing that Fox went so far as to put in a show pilot commitment to be written by “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix. What this means is that Fox is obligated to show the show pilot on their FOX network to gauge audience interest in turning it into a full series; failure to do so would mean Fox is paying the production expenses out of its pocket.
The series, which has yet to be given a title, tells the story of two normal human parents who make a shocking discovery: their children are mutants with superhuman powers, and now their entire family is in the crosshairs of an anti-mutant government and its shadowy mutant-hunting agency. Forced to go on the run to survive, their only hope may lie with a secret network of mutants who are actually fighting back against the oppression.
Both Marvel Television (separate from the cinema-focused Marvel Studios) and 20 th Century Fox Television are involved in the production of the pilot, according to Comic Book Resources. Joining the project as executive producers are Lauren Schuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jim Chory, comics writer and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, and longtime “X-Men” film director Bryan Singer.
Sadly this new attempt at cooperation had certain repercussions. For instance, the other planned “X-Men” TV series on FOX about the super-villainous secret society “Hellfire” has been canned. Fortunately, a third “X-Men” related TV production on FX, “Legion” is still going strong in development, with show-runners and executive producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, and writers John D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
While no release has been given for the pilot, this bodes quite well for a possible reunion between the embattled X-Men and the rest of the Marvel Universe. They certainly need it, if rumors regarding the “Death of X” comic book event ending all “X-Men” titles on print has some kernel of truth.
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