Simon Kinberg has been a guiding force on the X-Men franchise over the past couple of years, with writer and/or producer credits on every film in the mutant superhero franchise from 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand through to next weekend’s Logan and next summer’s New Mutants. And now it looks as if he will be adding director to the his roles in the franchise.
Collider is reporting from multiple sources that Kinberg is currently “looking to make his directorial debut with the next X-Men movie and he’s already written the screenplay.” Collider is also reporting that Kinberg’s screenplay is loosely based on the X-Men comics classic “Dark Phoenix” storyline. Recent rumors have given the next mainline X-Men franchise film the subtitle Supernova.
In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean Grey’s mutant telepathic powers grow to such an extent that they threaten to consume her and destroy the world in the process. If that sounds a bit familiar, it just means that you remember what happened in X-Men: The Last Stand, which cherry-picked some of its plot elements from the fan favorite story. Of course, that film is considered one of the worst of the franchise, so much so that Bryan Singer took pains to erase it from continuity in 2014’s time-traveling X-Men: Days Of Future Past. That wiping of the slate now gives the franchise a second chance to tell the story.
If this pans out, and Collider’s Steve Weintraub does caution that studio Twentieth Century Fox could very well change their minds about the direction of the franchise, this would confirm earlier scuttlebutt that the Dark Phoenix Saga was going to serve as the basis for the next mainline X-Men film. Currently, the studio has the final Hugh Jackman-starring Wolverine spinoff Logan, opening next weekend, but nothing else. A spinoff film featuring the superhero team from the X-Men comics spinoff New Mutants is in development at the studio, as is Deadpool 2 and Gambit, featuring another fan favorite character. Given the original film’s stellar box office, Deadpool 2 is a certainty to happen. New Mutants is also likely, but Gambit, which has gone through a number of changes of creatives, is more doubtful.
Last week, Sophie Tucker, who played Jean Grey in last summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, commented that she was due to start shooting an X-Men movie soon. However, there was no mention if it were New Mutants or this X-Men project.