Deadpool and X-Force creator Rob Liefeld does not expect the planned X-Force movie to move forward, calling the X-Verse spinoff a “victim” of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
Pour one out for ol’ X-Force. Victim of the merger. $800 million grosser easy. //t.co/1ZCfYb9Ii5— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) January 11, 2019
“Pour one out for ol’ X-Force,” Liefeld tweeted Friday in response to scooper Daniel Richtman’s claim the long-gestating X-Men spinoff Gambit — which would have starred producer Channing Tatum — is “officially dead,” alongside the Doctor Doom project penned by Fargo creator Noah Hawley.
Richtman noted X-Force isn’t yet “officially” dead, but is unlikely to meet a filming start before the Disney and Fox merger closes in early March.
“$800 million grosser easy,” Liefeld wrote of X-Force, to be scripted and directed by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale).
Spinning out of last summer’s Deadpool 2, X-Force was to reunite Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth and franchise newcomers Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz. Both stars inked four-movie and three-movie contracts with Fox, respectively.
Star-producer Reynolds expected the mutant team-up to supplant a Deadpool 3, the franchise then moving forward as X-Force — likely involving Deadpool’s X-Men allies, including the metal-skinned Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and the volatile Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Producer Simon Kinberg said in May an exact roster had yet to be determined.
In October, Goddard admitted details surrounding the looming merger are “above our pay grade,” but was hopeful all parties would “sit down and talk” when considering how to best move forward.
“Certainly X-Force is a comic I’ve always loved. These are characters I love, I love working with Ryan in a team with Josh and Zazie,” Goddard said, adding he would be “very excited” for the project to have a place at the table.
Marvel Studios chief and master planner Kevin Feige said just days ago the prospect of soon reclaiming Marvel Comics’ currently off-limits cache of Fox-controlled characters — including the X-Men, Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and countless others — is “very exciting,” but is adamant there are only “vague ideas” to integrate the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that there will be no concrete plans for outside properties until given the go-ahead by higher ups.
Liefeld told ComicBook.com at San Diego Comic-Con in July good friend Brolin is “legitimately excited” to return as metal-armed mutant mercenary Cable in X-Force.
“He said, ‘Rob, I’m really excited about my arc, I’m really excited about what my character goes.’ People then go, ‘What did he say?’ I don’t pry further,” Liefeld said.
“He just told me that he’s really excited about X-Force and he’s really excited about what his character does, and really excited about revisiting Cable, and he feels that Cable has a bigger arc. And that’s what I was told, and I didn’t dig any deeper, I’ll take him at his word.”
The famed comic book creator previously said an X-Force franchise could “absolutely” rival Marvel Studios’ Avengers saga, dubbing the project an “R-rated Avengers in the making.”
“You can see where Fox is building up a roster that rivals what happened over with the Avengers. They built up piece by piece this impressive group of personalities, and actors, and talent that people just responded to,” Liefeld explained.1comments
“So I’m obviously at a disadvantage. I’ve seen more than the average Joe has seen, but I see how well it clicks, and I think that when you throw the R-rating in there, the X-Force can absolutely rival the Avengers. X-Force is not family friendly, and that matters, too. I definitely do see them building their version of the Avengers with this.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger said previously it “only makes sense” to integrate their newly-owned Marvel characters under the Marvel Studios banner and Feige’s control, where the characters can be “supervised by one entity. There shouldn’t be two Marvels.”