Simon Kinberg, the Kevin Feige of the X-Men Universe on Fox, is usually pretty good at giving fans little teases of information. This weekend he did exactly that, revealing in the process roughly when we can expect Deadpool 2, along with Gambit, the next X-Men movie, and spin-off New Mutants.
The good news? Things are already heating up for Wade Wilson. The bad? Jean Grey won't be going all Dark Phoenix on our asses until at least 2019.
What's The Craic With Deadpool 2?
Deadpool's stunning global box office came as a major surprise this February, so it's no surprise that the sequel is right at the top of Fox's priority list. Of Deadpool 2, Kinberg told the Saturn audience:
"We start shooting Deadpool 2 at the beginning of next year."
Fox has scheduled a bunch of mystery release dates, one of which is March 2, 2018 — almost certainly intended for Deadpool 2 if shooting begins a year earlier. We don't know too much about the nature of the sequel just yet, who will return (hopefully we'll see much more of the scene-stealing Negasonic Teenage Warhead) and whether there will be more crossover with the other X-Men. This time, they might actually be able to afford a Charles Xavier cameo...
Likely release date: March 2, 2018
Is Gambit Even Still Happening?
Yes sir, it is. Stuck on the fringes of development hell for quite some time now, and having completely missed its original Autumn 2016 release date, Gambit is back on the cards (sorry...) with Channing Tatum still in place as star and co-producer. As per Kinberg's words at Saturn:
"We have a great script on [Gambit] and hope to shoot that movie at the beginning of spring of next year."
The jury remains very much out on whether Gambit could come from nowhere to be a runaway, Deadpool-esque success or whether the Ragin' Cajun is too much of a wildcard (no really, I'll stop) to headline his own movie. A Spring 2017 shoot would put Gambit in theaters in Fox's scheduled June 2018 release slot.
Likely release date: June 29, 2018
What About New Mutants?
Casual X-Men fans who haven't explored the comics too much may not even know who the hell the New Mutants are, but they will soon. James McAvoy is set to impart Charles Xavier's newly-bald wisdom on the team of younger mutants who invariably attract the unwanted attentions of the Hellfire Club. Kinberg pledged that New Mutants will be loyal to the comics, which is a pretty mouth-watering prospect.
"I can't tell you what the roster is, but I can tell you who the director is, which is Josh Boone who directed The Fault In Our Stars. We have a really good script and hoping to shoot that real soon, too. It's very loyal to the comics. I'll leave it at that."
Being another unknown property, casting will probably be crucial to New Mutants' chances. Poaching Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones to play Wolfsbane would be a major win, but whether that particular rumor has a sliver of truth in its DNA or is straight-up wishful thinking remains to be seen.
Possible release date: October 2018/March 2019
And Finally, The Third X-Men Trilogy...
Apocalypse proved the most divisive X-Men movie in quite some time, and director Bryan Singer announced his intention to step away from the franchise not long after its release in May. That will be music to the ears of some X-fans, although personally I think Singer is an excellent director who will be missed.
Here's what Kinberg had to say about the first movie in the upcoming third X-trilogy:
"I sit down and start writing the next one of the mainline X-Men movies real soon."
Given that writing the first draft of a script is a lengthy process, you wouldn't expect the movie to begin shooting until at least a year after the writing stage begins. By that math, the very earliest X7 could shoot is Fall 2017, for release a year later, but X-Men movies always hit in late Spring, making 2019 much more likely.
Those holding out for the Dark Phoenix Saga (2.0) will just have to make do with watching Sansa Stark kill it on Game of Thrones in the meantime.
Possible release date: May/June 2019