The clown car is a comedy routine you may be familiar with. The skit involves a never-ending conveyor belt of clowns, eerie and cheerful, exiting an impossibly small car. While it would be unfair and almost crass to compare Fox to a circus, in some ways, the clown car metaphor relates to their current X-Men slate.
Just when you think another installment is one installment too far, another one pops out. Then another one. And another. The latest entity (again, I'm not comparing to clowns, I promise) to exit the superhero automobile is unexpected and ambiguous, a teasing working title that has been revealed online — X-Men: Supernova.
The Surprise Reveal Of 'X-Men: Supernova'
The title has been in the public realm for a while, previously thought to be attached to Josh Boone's X-Men: New Mutants project. However, the latest listing on Production Weekly — a website with a comprehensive breakdown of films currently in production — includes two entries; one for New Mutants and one for the mysterious Supernova.
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Another production listing site, My Entertainment World, has also added the two separate films, one to begin filming in April, one in May. Although when the filming of the May 2017 project was announced in December, it was presumed that would be #NewMutants.
The addition of another feature is a surprise, not least because, as it stands, #Fox is now working on a wealth of superhero flicks, with these two new entries joining Deadpool 2 and the #Gambit movie in the production line — as well as the announcement that, due to Deadpool's record-breaking success, a third installment is already in the pipeline.
Plus, it's unlikely that Supernova will be a one-off feature. Instead, expect a whole new #XMen trilogy. Why? Let's take a look.
Fox May Focus On The Dark Phoenix Saga
First things first, X-Men comic book fans will be familiar with the name, as X-Men: Supernovas is a storyline from 2007, in which Cable helps the X-Men fight a group known as the Children of the Vault. However, it's highly unlikely this is a narrative that'll be adapted as a feature film, especially considering Mystique is the only member already introduced, and Jennifer Lawrence is unlikely to return.
Instead, Supernova is likely to be a working title for the follow-up to Apocalypse, continuing the franchise's core storyline by focusing on Jean Grey and the Dark Phoenix Saga. Superhero stalwart Simon Kinberg has been working on the script to the next X-Men movie since last summer, and in the run-up to Apocalypse he confirmed that he was interested in taking the franchise down this route.
It makes sense considering Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner, as well as Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan and Storm actress Alexandra Shipp, all signed multi-picture deals before their collective debuts in #Apocalypse. And it's not the worst idea; while Apocalypse left a lot to be desired, the aforementioned newcomers were one of the highlights of a messy, overstuffed storyline — especially the glimpse at Grey's powerful potential in the final showdown with Oscar Isaac's titular villain.
Will Jean Grey Force Out The X-Force?
The trouble is, the Dark Phoenix Saga is comprehensive and in-depth, and there's no way that it'd fit adequately into a single film. So reading between the lines, Fox may be approaching a new trilogy. Which means three more X-Men movies in the next few years. Plus Deadpool. Plus New Mutants. Plus Gambit.
That raises questions as to whether Fox may sacrifice the #XForce, the antihero ensemble who have been teased with the inclusion of #Deadpool and Cable, encouraged by the success of the R-rated, adult route to superhero stories. But does Jean Grey have other plans?
Are Fox right to proceed with the Dark Phoenix Saga?