The X-Men are coming to TV, and no I’m not talking about the endless re-runs of X-3 on eTV. The initial rumours that Fox was developing a live-action X-Men TV show popped up last year, but now we’ve finally got some confirmation from somebody on the inside that it’s actually happening. Just not any time soon. Fox entertainment chairman Gary Newman told TVInsider that developments have begun on the series which is “inspired by the comic book series first published in 1963 and subsequent mega-hit film franchise”.
The holdup here is that Fox only own the feature film rights to the family of mutant superheroes, whereas Marvel obviously still own the comic book series that Fox wants to use as inspiration for the show and thus have to give their blessing. Marvel are currently also making massive headway into the TV space with shows like Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter and Daredevil, so they may not want any rivals on the tube. What this boils down to is that for Fox to move the mutants from the big screen to the small screen, some deft politicking will have to take place, but Newman is still “cautiously optimistic” about it.
“It’s in negotiations. We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.”
And that creative portion could take quite some time, as Newman doesn’t see this show coming together fully before the 2016-2017 TV season. That’s still a long way off, and would actually mark the 20-year anniversary of the last time the mutants were on the network with the much beloved 1990’s X-Men animated series that aired on Fox’s now defunct Fox Kids Block.
The question also arises as to just what this planned live-action show would be about? Would it be something standalone, or tie into the existing movie chronology? With X-Men: Days of Future Past effectively having wiped the slate clean for any stories set after that, that latter option certainly looks very viable. Maybe an X-Men Academy type scenario where the TV show focuses on the yonunger generation of mutants, while the big guys have their time in the movies?
Whatever the approach, if X-Men does come together, it will be Fox’s second recent foray into the superhero TV show business as they’ve enjoyed success with their Batman prequel Gotham, which has been very strong in the ratings and recently renewed for a second season, despite a mixed critical response. Hopefully this X-Men show can be a bit more consistent in terms of quality.
Last Updated: January 28, 2015