Fox Is Planning An X-Men-Related TV Series – But What?

Fox has confirmed that it is in the planning stages for TV series based on the X-Men franchise. Fox holds the screen right for Marvel’s mutant characters and it appears that extends to the small screen as well as the big screen. (Fox also has the rights to Fantastic Four but we’re probably not going to see any spin-offs from that any time soon).


“We’re in negotiations with Marvel,” Fox network co-chairman Dana Walden told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to announce something soon. It’s something we’re definitely pursuing.”

Clarifying that the project would be an on-going series and not a mini series she also pointed out that – because of rights issues – crossovers with existing Marvel TV series such as Agents Of SHIELD are highly unlikely: “The characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature [films] side so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney.”

But what could the series be? Fox has a vast amount of X-related comic titles from which to choose. However, we can probably rule out Alpha Flight and Excalibur, as we can’t see a US network making a show about a Canadian or British-based team. Also, does Exalibur’s Captain Britain count as a mutant? He got his powers from Merlin not the X-gene. And we can’t have Mutant X, surely, because there’s already been a show called Mutant X which despite being an X-Men-based show wasn’t allowed to call it itself an X-Men show for legal reason.

Mutant X

Mutant X

Part of the problem will be giving any show an identity of its own. There have been so many shows now that have riffed off of the X-MenAlphas, Mutant X and Heroes (which wholesale ripped-off the “Days Of Future Past” storyline) – that an X-Men series will have to find a new spin to justify itself.

Shadowcat Kitty Pryde

Shadowcat Kitty Pryde

But could that new spin actually be an old spin? TV loves a high school drama, and the whole “school for gifted children” shtick seems tailor-made for TV. The film have had sections set at Xavier’s School, sure but a series could really take advantage of the “in-training” aspect as well all the tropes of high school series. And if Patrick Stewart too ingrained in the public’s mass consciousness as Professor X for anyone else to play him (and he’d clearly be too expensive for an ongoing series these days) then Fox could adapt Generation X instead – which was the punkier, wittier, more meta version of X-Men set in a school run by Banshee and the White Queen. (In fact, there has already been a TV pilot for Generation X previously but it was pretty awful.)

Or maybe Fox will go for the Morlocks – Marvel’s sewer-dwelling mutants. Hell, sewers never harmed the Ron Pearlman Beauty And The Beast! We don’t think it’s likely though.

Probably, we’ll get a Kitty Pryde show, because everybody likes Shadowcat and her powers are cheap to reproduce…

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