Fox reveal why planned X-Men spinoff series HELLFIRE got canned

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Last year we received reports that Fox and Marvel were going to team up for a series titled, Hellfire, which was going to be an adaptation of the X-Men spin-off comic series The Hellfire Club to their network. The series was meant to follow a young agent who discovered a secret society of powerful mutants who used their abilities to shape the world. The show was supposed to release alongside their sister network’s Legion. However, while Legion went on to production, nothing more was heard of about Hellfire… until last month when it was revealed the series had been scrapped.

That news broke along with the real that Fox was working on another Marvel project, a new untitled X-Men spin-off from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, as the network was instead looking to take their televised mutant universe in a new direction. This seems a little strange, as starting something new instead of using an established name like Hellfire is an unusual decision to make, but not without reason – according to Fox themselves.

In speaking with /Film, Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden opened up on why the network opted to pass on their original concept:

We did see an early draft of Hellfire and there was a lot of work to be done. [Producers Manny Coto and Evan Katz] were getting very busy with the new [24: Legacy]. At a certain point we all regrouped, together with Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner and Jeph Loeb at Marvel and really made a decision. I would say if there was anything about Hellfire that was not ideal for us, it felt like a show that wanted to live as a feature rather than really taking advantage of what television does best: exploring relationships and characters and smaller moments. It doesn’t mean it can’t feel like a big show but Hellfire felt more like another installment of the features.

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So, there is still hope for Hellfire fans, but probably more in the movie space, which with massive cinematic universes already in play, is probably going to be even more difficult to establish without breaking continuity somewhere. Hopefully they do try and turn the idea into a movie though.

As to what the focus of the replacement series is expected to be, she remained tight-lipped:

There will be some iconic characters but mostly this is about a new family. It’s about an average family who encounters this extraordinary world and children who have mutant powers and they end up on the run, so it’s a little bit underground railroad in terms of a storytelling spine.

Certainly sounds interesting and something which plays on well with the X-Men world where mutants are seen in a bad light by everyone else. It’s too early to say whether their move will be a success or not, but a for Hellfire fans, hopefully you will get a movie soon.

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Last Updated: August 12, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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