While Disney has announced a number of new dates for their Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe films, they also quietly removed a quartet of dates originally set by recent acquisition 20th Century Fox for their X-Men franchise films. Gone from the schedule is the March 13, 2020 release date set for the planned solo film featuring Channing Tatum as the mutant superhero Gambit, along with three other, unnamed projects.
Although Tatum has long been attached, the project has seen a number of writers and directors come and go – including Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman and most recently Gore Verbinski – which has also led to a number of announced release dates not being met.
At the time of their acquisition by Disney, Fox had a number of X-Men spinoff films in development. Most prominently was X-Force, a team film that would have spun out of last year’s Deadpool 2. James Franco was set to star in a film featuring the mutant anti-hero Jamie Madrox, whose power to create duplicates of himself comes in handy as a private investigator. Other characters who were being looked at for solo films include Logan‘s Laura/X-23, Kitty Pryde and the Canadian mutant superhero team Alpha Flight.
But with the release of Dark Phoenix next month and the long-delayed New Mutants once again being pushed back, this time to April 2020, it looks as if the Fox X-Men franchise is indeed winding down. Once these two films have their theatrical run, all of the X-Men characters will migrate over to Disney subsidiary Marvel Studios where they will at some point be integrated into Marvel’s cinematic universe.