EXCLUSIVE: With a deal in place with the Writers Guild, studios have begun taking aim at setting writers for their open assignments. Marvel Studios is looking to set the bar with what will likely become one of the more sought-after jobs for any scribe.
Sources tell Deadline that Marvel will start setting writer meetings later this fall for pitches on its anticipated X-Men movie. Insiders add there is no rush to fill the job since the film hasn’t been dated yet, and it’s more than likely that writer decision will be made at the top of 2024. Marvel declined comment.
While it will still be a bit before an X-Men movie makes it to theaters, the news that Marvel has started development on the live-action pic is sure to excite fans of the franchise who have been begging for a new movie since Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and its library in 2019. The X-Men universe was by far the most popular and profitable Marvel IP that Fox controlled with seven films and a successful Wolverine spinoff franchise that produced three more. After the disappointing release of Dark Phoenix in 2019, however, X-Men has been in need of a makeover.
Following the Fox acquisition, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been overseeing the development process but there has been no rush to reboot the franchise with so many other projects farther along in development. That said, Marvel has had its fun with fans, teasing that an X-Men movie was on the horizon by dropping hints in its movies and TV shows — specifically at the end of its Ms. Marvel series, where a character in an end-credit scene dropped the word “mutant.” This scene seemed to signal the emergence of mutants that make up the X-Men team.
Marvel is also already toe-dipping into the X-Men world with a throwback to the classic ’90s animated series; the animated X-Men ’97 will debut in early 2024 on Disney+.
With the WGA and AMPTP deal done, open writing assignments are expected to be one form of the business to see a bump in the coming weeks. While writers already assigned to certain projects have picked up their pens, other areas like the spec market and especially productions will remain either slow or on hold until the SAG-AFTRA strike is resolved.
SAG-AFTRA, which has been on strike since July 14, resumes talks with the AMPTP on Monday.