Now, there are a whole lot of complicated, contradictory elements to modern day #Hollywood, but one of the most unusual is surely the arcane means by which studios gauge financial success. With unseen behind-the-scenes details like accounting procedure, marketing budgets and merchandising sales rarely seeing the light of day, it can often be tough to tell whether a movie has actually made all that much money — and harder still to work out whether its studio feels that the investment was a worthwhile one. Now, of course, breakout successes like #StarWarsEpisodeVII are inevitably hugely profitable, as are the low-budget, high-grossing likes of #Fox's #Deadpool, but there are plenty more big budget "success stories" that seem a little less clear cut in their box office victories.
Case in point? Fox's other major franchise, the #XMen movies. Now, they tend to appear to make a solid profit (#XMenApocalypse made $543 million worldwide off a $178 million budget, for instance, and was considered less successful than many of its predecessors), but it remains a little fuzzy as to whether or not they're actually making Fox all that much money once everything has been factored in. As such, it's perhaps not all that surprising that...
Fox May Be About To Reboot The Entire X-Men Universe
That, at least, is the speculation currently making its way around Hollywood, with the triple whammy of X-Men: Apocalypse's comparatively weak final gross, the expiring contracts of central stars #JenniferLawrence, #MichaelFassbender and #JamesMacAvoy, and the widespread impression that the movies aren't all that profitable anyway seeming to add up to a serious dilemma for the studio. Add in the imminent departure of #HughJackman from the #Wolverine franchise with next year's #Logan and continuous delays to the #ChanningTatum-starring #Gambit solo movie, and everything is looking rather less than rosy in X-Land.
Heck, even 2016's big surprise success, Deadpool, is having trouble with its upcoming sequel, with director #TimMiller having surprisingly left the project, leaving #Deadpool2 with both an apparent lack of direction, and the full weight of studio pressure on its back.
Is The Answer Really To Reboot The Whole Franchise, Though?
Well, perhaps. That is certainly, it seems, an option that is currently on the table for Fox, with the end of Jackman's tenure as Wolverine — combined with the "alternate reality" X-Men universe showcased in Deadpool — offering a tempting opportunity for a new approach. Whether that involves a full reboot, however, or simply a subtle retooling, very much remains to be seen.
According to THR, for instance, "the flagship [X-Men] series will be reconfigured," without its current helmer Bryan Singer. This might well suggest a willingness to pursue a Lawrence, Fassbender and MacAvoy-less X-Universe, seeing as the trio would likely expect a huge payday were they to continue with the franchise (and, even then, there's widespread suspicion that Lawrence and Fassbender may not want to stick around at any price). If the trio were all to depart, then, a "hard reboot" would seem the most likely outcome. The latest script for the next X-Men movie, however, is reportedly "being written with Lawrence, Fassbender and McAvoy optimistically in mind," which may well suggest that the folks at Fox haven't yet given up hope of pulling off a softer retooling, with their big name stars in tact.
If those stars were to leave, though...
What Would A Rebooted X-Men Universe Look Like?
Well, most likely, a whole lot like Deadpool. The Merc with a Mouth already lives in an entirely different X-Timeline, after all, offering Fox a ready-made, mutant-filled universe upon which to build a hypothetically rebooted X-Men franchise. With #XForce reportedly in the early stages of development, and both #Gambit and #TheNewMutants far enough away from filming to allow them to be converted into "Deadpool-verse" movies should Fox be so inclined, it wouldn't even be all that difficult a switcheroo to pull off, with only the main X-Men franchise (along with, just possibly, a new Wolverine movie series) requiring a full reboot.
Could we, then, be set to see a whole new approach to X-Filmmaking — one based around the more brightly costumed X-Men of Deadpool? Well, it's far from a given at this point, but it certainly seems a little more possible than it did a few months ago.
Still want more on the future of the X-Franchise, though? Never fear, we've got you covered right here.
In the meantime, what do you think? Will Fox fully reboot the X-Men universe, or just retool it slightly? Let us know below!