When the Fox Entertainment Group successfully snagged licenses for two X-Men television spin-offs to 20th Century Fox’s highly successful franchise of Marvel-licensed movies late last year, one of them, Legion, went on to get a series pick-up for early 2017 on FX. The other however, Hellfire, a series planned for FOX that would have involved the titular group of X-Men foes, the Hellfire Club that were introduced into the movie canon in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, ended up losing its creative team to successor series, 24: Legacy, which is also set to begin airing in early 2017, this time on FOX. It gets worse too, as official source, Variety has now broken a scoop that confirms that Hellfire is dead, and is no longer moving forward.
While it’s sad that such a promising pitch isn’t going to get off the ground, there is good news, to compensate! FOX is apparently electing to use their X-Men television deal with Marvel Entertainment to instead push another spin-off series to the X-Men movies, which is currently without a title. As with Hellfire, it will be a joint production between FOX and Marvel Television, with 20th Century Fox handling physical distribution. Burn Notice’s Matt Nix will both write the pilot script, and serve as an executive producer.
The series has already had a premise revealed by both FOX and Marvel too. It will follow two ordinary parents who discover that their children are mutants, and must go on the run from a hostile government, joining with an underground network of mutants to survive. It’s currently unknown whether the show will be set in the exact same continuity and universe as 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies, or if, like Legion, it will instead be set in a parallel universe that doesn’t have any direct connection to the canon of the movies.
What is known however is that the currently-untitled series has already been given a put pilot commitment by FOX. This means that the pilot of the show is guaranteed to air, regardless of whether or not the show is picked up to series by the network. This hugely increases the chance that the network will pick up the series, which is targeting a debut in the 2017/2018 season that begins late next year. Frankly, it might as well have been ordered straight-to-series too, since the current deal entitles FOX to one X-Men spin-off series, so it’s extremely unlikely that the network will ultimately pass on the show, since they already sacrificed Hellfire, and would certainly be testing Marvel’s patience if they axed another X-Men spin-off series before its pilot could even be filmed.
If, and likely, when, this untitled X-Men spin-off series is picked up, it will potentially join two shows from Marvel’s main rival, DC that currently air on FOX, specifically Batman prequel series, Gotham, which begins its third season this September, and a graphic novel adaptation from DC’s Vertigo imprint, Lucifer, kicking off a second season this September, both of which air back-to-back on Mondays. In related X-Men movie news from Fox, this past May’s prequel trilogy closer, X-Men: Apocalypse is set to hit digital and disc home viewing media later this Fall, with our official review awarding the movie a solid 77% overall score, praising its grand scale, fun action and enjoyable title villain, but criticizing its dense plot and over-dependence on knowing X-Men film canon. Earlier this year, Fox also broke the record for the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time with X-Men spin-off movie, Deadpool, already available to own for home viewing, which we were very fond of in our review, awarding it a lofty 90% score, and extensively praising its excellent, irreverent blend of action, comedy and tragedy.
Keep mutating Eggplante for all major news and updates on Fox’s X-Men projects.