A live-action X-Men TV series isn’t just a pipe dream for Fox. At Thursday’s TCA summer press tour event, Fox Television Group co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden told THR that the studio is “in negotiations with Marvel.” No deal has been finalized, but she shared that the studio is “hopeful that we’ll be able to announce something soon.”
Although 20th Century Fox, which shares a parent company with Fox Television Group, owns the rights to the film franchise, Fox has to get Marvel on board too, as it holds the comic rights. Ultimately, Fox is looking to create a “long-running series” based on the beloved comic books. The show is currently being written by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, the writers behind Star Trek 3. Showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto, who worked on Fox’s 24, are also attached to the project.
With both Marvel and ABC subsidiaries of the Walt Disney Company, the TV network currently has multiple comic book-based series, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, either on air or in the works. For Fox, this means that certain characters are off-limits for an X-Men TV series. “The characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature side, so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney,” said Walden. “This will be exclusively the franchise as it has existed at Fox.”
It’s understandable that Fox would want to take a crack at a live-action TV series, given the success of the film franchise since the 2000 release of X-Men. Sequels and spin-offs have followed, and a TV version seems like another logical step. To date, all X-Men TV series have been either animated or cartoons. Fox did release a live-action, made-for-TV X-Men movie, Generation X, in 1996, though, but we’d say fans are ready for more.