Marvel is in the midst of preparing for the latest relaunch of its comic book universe with Marvel Now! and one thing that fans have been noticing is a serious lack of X-themed books in the upcoming lineup. As the comics have come to more closely reflect the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this increasingly leaves less room for the X-Men because the licensing rights to the characters are notably owned by 20th Century Fox. With that being the case, Marvel and Disney are hardly interested in helping to the line the pockets of a competitive studio, which is one reason why there’s only one X-book in the current line-up. Thankfully, Fox is looking to further expand the X-universe with several new shows focused on everyone’s favorite merry mutants, but there are even more ways the studio can take advantage of the children of the atom.
It’s no secret that much of Marvel’s success has come through its successful creation of a shared universe for all of its cinematic properties. By incorporating elements of all of their films into each other, they are able to create a greater impetus to see all of the movies and build an even larger audience. They’ve even extended this world to televisions and streaming through the creation of both network TV series and successful original series through Netflix. However, just as Marvel crafted a shared universe between the MCU and its television properties, there’s nothing stopping Fox from doing the same thing with the X-Men. The runaway success of the latest Deadpool movie has helped to breathe new life into Fox’s X-Men franchise. The movie featuring everyone’s favorite Merc With a Mouth shattered box-office records for R-rated films, not to mention movies connected to the X-Men universe. And speaking of that universe, that’s exactly what Fox has in mind.
Piggy-backing off the renewed popularity of the franchise, Fox plans to team up with Marvel for two different shows set in the X-universe. One will concern the child of a prominent mutant while the other will focus on the parents of mutants. The first, Legion, is scheduled to debut on FX in early 2017. The show was created by Noah Hawley, of the critically acclaimed Fargo TV series, and will have director Bryan Singer serving as executive producer. The show will focus on the character of the same name who, in the comics, is a troubled, schizophrenic mutant with incredible powers—and is in fact the son of Professor X. The second show is yet to be titled and will also be executive produced by Singer. Its focus will be on two parents who discover their child is a mutant and are forced to go on the run from the government. The two shows would mark the first time mutants will have graced the small screen since the animated series, X-Men Evolution, ended in 2003.
Another area in which Fox could grow its properties even more is in the digital realm. The 1990’s were dominated by various X-Men video games but these days it seems to be slim pickings for gamers looking for their most beloved mutants. The last game that came out for consoles was X-Men: Destiny back in 2011. But given the success of the most recent movies, it’s surprising that Fox hasn’t attempted to capitalize on the characters. The 2013 Deadpool game was remastered for PS4 and Xbox One in fall 2015, but that still fails to build on the enormous success of the movie.
The most recent games available for fans are actually themed slot-reels for browsers and mobile devices that feature the diverse cast of characters, which further prove that the X-Men license is still just as popular as ever. One game in particular includes both heroes and villains from throughout the history of the X-Men and appeals to both die-hard fans of the comics as well as casual audiences. If simple games like this continue to remain popular, can you imagine what a new console game would do? With a new Spider-Man game on the horizon, it only makes sense for Fox to take advantage of the lucrative X-Men license and finally create a current-gen game that can make the most of its continued popularity
There’s also a sequel to Deadpool already in the works, which is slated for a 2018 release. Thus, it would behoove Fox to take advantage of the opportunity and profit from yet another sure-fire hit. A new video game for Deadpool would be a no-brainer and if Fox is smart, it will follow suit for the X-Men, because Wolverine 3 is due out next year.