Despite the company still being caught up in the grips of Disney, Twentieth Century Fox appears to be carrying on as normal, akin to a ship’s captain insisting on a regimented fire drill even as the entire vessel lurches further and further underwater and into the tentacled embrace of the kraken.
The executives at Fox have some big upcoming “X-Men” projects on their books.
Firstly, the long awaited “Gambit” movie is finally coming, as filming will begin in March. Channing Tatum will be in the titular lead role, and will be directed by Gore Verbinski.
Then from an unofficial source, it was announced that Fox is also working on a Kitty Pryde movie, presumably because, let’s face it, nobody’s too thrilled about the “Gambit” movie to begin with.
Better known as Shadowcat in the comics, Kitty Pryde has the ability to walk through walls. In the movie’s she’s been played most consistently by Ellen Page, and apparently also has the power to teleport Wolverine back in time, because plot.
Tim Miller will be directing the Kitty Pryde movie, which is probably something that Fox will be very happy about, as he directed “Deadpool”, and proved an incredible tolerance for Ryan Reynolds before ultimately getting sick of him and refusing to stay on to direct the sequel.
It’s hard to know whether Miller or Reynolds deserves the bulk of the praise for creating “Deadpool”, so if the upcoming sequel turns out to be garbage, we can assume that Miller is the genuine talent of the two when it comes to making quirky, offbeat superhero comedies.
In all honesty, though, it feels unlikely that the Kitty Pryde movie will ever actually get made. Fox is a long way from getting this thing ready to film, and in the meantime, the machinations of Disney will probably put an end to the entire project.
After all, why make a Kitty Pryde movie set in the “X-Men” universe when Marvel can make one set in the vastly more financially lucrative MCU?
While it’s very unlikely that the company is willing to take advice from loud mouth articles on the internet, here’s what Fox really ought to do: cancel “Gambit”, and fast-track the Kitty Pryde film in its stead.
While Gambit is one of the more beloved of the Nineties X-Men characters, let’s face it: the appeal of seeing Channing Tatum in this role is non-existent. There’s a reason why Fox has been struggling to know what to do with this movie for so many years. This simply isn’t a very good idea.
Throw in Gore Verbinski, and things don’t get much better. Verbinski is best known for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, and in fairness, one of those five movies is actually vaguely watchable.
One in five isn’t a fantastic batting average, and it’s worth assuming that this superhero heist movie probably isn’t going to be the “Deadpool” style success that Fox is really hoping for.
Better, then, if you’re after a movie like “Deadpool”, to get the director of “Deadpool” to make his movie – and make it fast, before Disney swoops in and cancels the project entirely.
This isn’t to say that the Kitty Pryde movie should start filming in March – that would be ridiculous – but certainly it should be done this year, before Marvel can get too trigger happy in cancelling Fox projects.
Push back all the scheduled production work on “Gambit”, move the filming to new locations, give Tim Miller a meager budget and see what he can come up with this time. He worked wonders on “Deadpool” with almost no money at all, essentially funding the whole thing out of the loose change that he could scrounge from between the couch cushions at Fox’s corporate office, and it turned out wonderfully.
Gambit is the kind of character that’s campy and colorful enough to do better in the MCU than in Fox’s tonally confused “X-Men” franchise – and that includes the growing Deadpoolverse. Meanwhile, there’s only a short window available during which Fox can hire Ellen Page to reprise her role before Marvel inevitably wants to recast the character.
The Kitty Pryde movie is more valuable to Fox than this continued “Gambit” nonsense, and if the company is smart, they’ll prioritize the project that’s most likely to turn out halfway enjoyable.