Joe Carnahan Rumored To Direct ‘X-Force’; Will X-23 and Juggernaut Be In It?

Feb 24, 2017

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ComicBook has a rumor that Joe Carnahan is not only writing X-Force but might direct it as well. While is was assumed he would become involved as a director, this is the first sign that could actually be happening.

A source close to the film tells ComicBook.com that Joe Carnahan, known best for his work on The Grey, has been tapped to direct the X-Force movie. Carnahan will also write the film, with Deadpool star and executive producer Ryan Reynolds. The source says work has already begun between the two on the film.

Last we heard, Jeff Wadlow’s X-Force script was completely tossed and Simon Kinberg was writing a new outline for it. Now it seems that Joe along with help from Ryan Reynolds will be hammering out a new draft.

Funny enough, I named Carnahan as a possible replacement for Tim Miller back in 2012 when it looked like Miller would walk from the first Deadpool during its hiatus.

It’s not a shocking turn of events considering Joe has had a history of developing comic book projects at 20th Century Fox over the years.

He revealed back in 2010, that he had met with Fox about Taskmaster and Juggernaut projects for them. The Taskmaster rights have since reverted back to Marvel.

“For Alex (Young, producer of “The A-Team”) I was going to do Taskmaster. Originally I wanted to do Juggernaut ’cause I had a really good take on that, and then Taskmaster was something we talked about, and I haven’t discussed it with him for ages, but I would love to get back in. I love the idea of a guy with photographic reflexes, he can see something and repeat it, I thought that was such a cool idea. I think there’s a Moon Knight series where he just beats the sh*t out of Taskmaster and kind of ruined him, and it’s a cool character. I think it might be one of those Marvel characters you really need to reimagine because he’s got the whole skull and cape—it’s a bit grandiose I think—but it would certainly be a cool thing.”

During the interview, Joe invokes comparisons to Deadpool.

“It’s kind of funny because it’s almost what they were going to do with Deadpool, that same sort of smart-ass thing, before they went the way of–and I know that there are fans that hated Fox for doing that whole thing with Deadpool and Reynolds in ‘Wolverine’–but you have to create that differentiation. I think at least Taskmaster, he’s so below the radar. He’s even below where Blade was considered a B-tier Marvel character, this guy is even lesser-known. It would be a lot of fun to write it as a series and then see what came from there.”

I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if Joe included Cain Marko aka The Juggernaut (has tangled with both Deadpool and X-Force) into his X-Force script since he would have access to the character again and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to use Anthony Masters aka Taskmaster. I’ll be interested to see if they do use Marko and incorporate the magic gem element of his powers.

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Carnahan was also involved with Fox’s last ditch effort to develop a Daredevil reboot before the rights also reverted to back Marvel. Here’s Carnahan’s sizzle reel for his Daredevil pitch.

Joe and his brother more recently developed a feature film adaptation of Mark Millar’s Nemesis for the studio, but for whatever reason stalled. Although, Kingsman (another Millar adaptation) is about to release its second installment with Matthew Vaughn’s The Golden Circle later this year.

Carnahan’s schedule just happens to be wildly busy at the moment with Bad Boys For Life about start shooting in a couple of months and recently announcing an intent to direct The Raid remake starring Frank Grillo. We’re not entirely sure when he’ll find the time to shoot X-Force if the project is a priority to Fox.

Currently, we don’t have an expected production start date for X-Force but there’s an assumption that Fox might want to see cameras rolling sometime in 2018. This all depends if X-Force is coming together before Deadpool 3 does.

It’s possible that X-Force shoots between Bad Boys For Life and The Raid, but we’ll see if Fox is willing to wait for Carnahan considering Reynolds might want to do other things in the meantime. There’s also the possibility that Carnahan could walk from Bad Boys For Life (very unlikely) freeing him up in a big bad way.

Then again, The Hollywood Reporter had previously named David Leitch (before Deadpool 2 hiring) and Ghost In The Shell’s Rupert Sanders as candidates to direct X-Force. Joe’s services at least for this first installment might just be purely scripting duties. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

When it comes to the X-Force lineup we can assume it’ll be Deadpool, Domino, and Cable.

However, Wolverine’s participation in the team-up film remains a big question mark.

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Hugh Jackman insists that Logan is final outing even though Ryan Reynolds is attempting to talk him into reprising his role in a crossover. Hugh also recently downplaying Ryan’s efforts and giving the impression that Logan is indeed his last time playing the mutant.

While Hugh has suggested Tom Hardy replace him as Wolverine, Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer, and even James Mangold are voicing their concerns about a recasting.

Here’s what Kinberg and Singer to say about it on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse.

“So either we would try to entice Hugh to come back and eat more chicken and work out for a few months, or we would have to figure out a creative way to move forward. Honestly, I can’t imagine anybody else playing the part, and there’s not too many characters I can say that for.”

Singer going as far to pitch X-23 to Fox and his comment suggests her potential involvement in X-Force.

“I have discussed that with the studio,” Singer reveals. “I actually initially pitched the X-Force and the female.”

Throwing X-23 into the mix for X-Force does make sense as the character was a member of the more modern lineup and they’ve already introduced her in Logan.

Mangold has previously talked about a desire to see Dafne Keen‘s X-23 show up in other films and alluded that he’d like to help get a solo film made. Making himself available for her future projects.

Director Tim Miller did suggest that having X-23 in a future Deadpool film could be fun too.

“I’d love to see Deadpool go up against Taskmaster who’s another Marvel total fuckin’ badass. But if I was to stay inside the Fox family, I would like to see him fight X-23, the female Wolverine. The female clone of Wolverine. It would be totally messy, but just to have it be a girl against – you know, she’s young, in the comics she’s about 16 or so – but to see a young girl kicking the shit out of him would be pretty fucking awesome.”

Giving Keen another shot before a solo film seems like a smart move and if the fans get behind her I’m sure we’ll see more of her very soon.

While the news of renewed development on X-Force is exciting, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and we hope to get answers to them in the coming months.

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