Kick-Ass 2‘s Jeff Wadlow was first reportedly attached to write an X-Force film more than a year ago via The Hollywood Reporter. They also suggested that Jeff could also direct the film but this hasn’t been confirmed. The news came to light after it was discovered the studio registered X-ForceMovie.com.
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) February 14, 2015
The problem concerning moving forward with Jeff as X-Force‘s director is that Sony has him developing an adaptation of Bloodshot and is heavily involved with the Masters of The Universe reboot. The studio recently teased news concerning the film as they revealed the title card on Twitter along with Devon Franklin (Senior VP of Production at Columbia Pictures) confirming Wadlow had completed rewrites on the script.
Wadlow had also been mentioned as a possible director for that project as well along with Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe Retaliation) and Mike Cahill (I Origin). It’s very likely that Jeff could end-up to making Masters of The Universe instead of X-Force. I’m sure Sony will be making an official announcement soon concerning who is directing.
Here’s a link to the Roast Gobble Dinner podcast where Jeff talked about the He-Man film, his love for this franchise and gives the impression he might be heavily involved if it gets greenlit. He confirms that he’s met with Sony to direct, they asked him to rewrite the script to his vision for the film and confirms his intention is to direct the film. Clarifying his official title on the project at the moment is screenwriter.
“This [rewriting the script] is just an opportunity to make the movie.”
I’m under the impression that Fox might want a third Marvel/second X-Men film in 2017 or at least start movement for one in 2018. A draft of X-Force is at the studio and they might make that next as it’s currently the only X-Men project in development that hasn’t been given a release date. The problem is that Fox isn’t likely going to wait for Wadlow to make it as they’re moving quickly on these projects.
Another possibility is that they could hold-off on X-Force and make a solo Cable movie first to establish him as a character big enough to lead the team. All you have to do is look at how quickly they put together that Gambit film for Channing Tatum, to understand how fast they could develop a movie for Cable.
Then again, why do that when they have an X-Force outline/draft?
They didn’t wait for Bryan Singer when it came to X-Men 3 or Matthew Vaughn when it came to X-Men Days of Future Past. They’ll likely look to replace Jeff if he makes Masters of The Universe first.
So who could direct X-Force if it’s not Jeff Wadlow?
Luckily, Fox has a stable of X-Men directors in their employment and any of them could get involved stepping-in to direct. Depending on when Fox wants production to begin we could end-up seeing folks like Bryan Singer, Matthew Vaughn, Tim Miller or even James Mangold asked to takeover.
At this point Fox hasn’t announced plans for a sequel to Apocalypse so it’s possible they could give that franchise some breathing-room, but if it’s equally successful to Days of Future Past they might fast-track another film with Singer as director. We’ve been hearing that Apocalypse would be the final film in the First Class trilogy and where the producers want to go with the main team is a bit unknown.
Matthew Vaughn is still very much at Fox and is even putting his name as a producer on Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot. Vaughn hasn’t formally announced his next film and his connections to Wadlow suggest that X-Force could be way to get him to return to the X-Men universe. As Matthew has mentioned a desire to make his own stamp on the franchise and splinter mutant combat team like X-Force could be in his wheelhouse post-Kingsman.
Nothing is official but his next film plans could include a sequel to Kingsman, or an adaption of Mark Millar’s comic Superior which also expected to be at Fox. The talk is that they’d want to move quickly on Superior before Warner Bros’ Shazam! is in theatres, as that comic heavily influenced Millar’s comic and the two have similar beats.
Starlight is another Millar project currently being scripted by Gary Whitta at Fox and could also become a project for Vaughn.
I’d also wagger that Fox might be a bit more open to the concept of an R-rated X-Men film with Matthew behind the camera. Although, Marvel seemingly had some input with Deadpool‘s rating so we’ll see what ultimately happens there as it could influence future ratings of other X-Men films.
Tim Miller is obviously taking-on the more risky and ambitious X-Men projects to date with Deadpool and I do believe that Fox could coax him into returning for X-Force. You only have to look at the turnaround production schedule of the current film to be impressed how quickly he’ll be able to get Deadpool into theatres. Since it’ll be less than a year from the production start to put on screens, as the film is still only in the casting and pre-production phases.
I’m sure they’ll want him to either make a Deadpool sequel or since Deadpool would be a lead in X-Force have him direct that as well. Miller might the best director to incorporate Deadpool into another X-Men film. It makes sense and if anyone could get an X-Force film ready for a release by 2017 it would be Miller.
The biggest long-shot is James Mangold, who is the more detail oriented of the bunch and is spending a lot of time developing Wolverine 3 to get it on the same level as The Wolverine. While it’s possible Hugh Jackman could be apart of X-Force, it might be a good idea to keep him out of it. If only to allow Cable to lead his own franchise and giving a bit of space between X-Force and X-Men films. We all know it becomes the Wolverine show and it’s not really fair to a new budding franchise like this.
I’d also like to point-out The Wolverine is one of the more darker toned films in the X-Men franchise and feels more similar to what we could expect from something like X-Force. Mangold might be the right guy to get that Uncanny version of team on screen. The only problem would be that James will be way too busy with Wolverine 3 and isn’t likely to have X-Force ready for release in 2018.
Josh Trank is also making Marvel movies for Fox but the expectation is once he’s finished with Fantastic Four 2 he’ll be off making his Star Wars spin-off for Lucasfilm. I doubt he’d even be considered since he’ll be way too busy to get a film ready for a 2017-2018 release.
In my opinion, Tim Miller and Matthew Vaughn are the best options to take on X-Force but it’s possible the studio could even go one further and find someone new for it.
A director like Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Child 44, Snabba Cash) who was in the running to direct X-Men First Class and The Wolverine could make a great action flick. Fox even tried to get him to direct Michael Fassender in Assassin’s Creed. The studio has been eyeing him long enough they might as well give him an X-Men project.
It doesn’t hurt he’s already worked with Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds on Safe House.
Would you be willing to wait until 2019 for Jeff Wadlow’s X-Force or should Fox get another director to have it ready for 2017-2018?
SOURCE: SONY/JEFF WADLOW