Things rarely ever look good for the X-Men, even when the Scarlet Witch’s powers get out of control and she makes mutants the dominant species on Earth, so The Hollywood Reporter revealing that 20th Century Fox is struggling with the future of its X-Men movie series isn’t so much a surprise as it is an accurate reflection of the comics. As pointed out in the story, Hugh Jackman will be done playing Wolverine after Logan, and Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Nicholas Hoult’s contracts all ended after the recent X-Men: Apocalypse. That means future X-Men movies won’t have Jackman, and getting any of the other four to sign on for more sequels won’t be cheap for the studio.
On top of that, director Bryan Singer probably won’t be back for another X-Men movie, so Fox is reportedly planning a soft reboot without him and is developing a script for a film that may not feature Lawrence, Fassbender, or McAvoy—though THR‘s insiders say Fox is “optimistically” including them in its plans. Plus, even though Deadpool 2 has stalled after losing director Tim Miller, Fox is already trying to find someone to make Deadpool 3, with unnamed sources suggesting that it will involve the black-ops X-Force team.
Meanwhile, that New Mutants spin-off is still in the works, and it’s reportedly far enough along that it could start filming early next year. With the mainstream X-Men series in trouble, spin-offs like New Mutants and Deadpool will be more important than ever.