It seems James Franco will indeed be joining the X-Men universe.
Earlier this month, rumors surfaced that 20th Century Fox is developing a Multiple Man spinoff for its X-Men movies franchise that would star James Franco as the hero Jamie Madrox. Now Franco has confirmed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he is indeed working on a project set in the X-Men movies universe.
"I do have a superhero that I am developing," Franco says. "I don't know how much I can say. But I will say I am producing and performing in it. Or will perform in it. It's early stages. I think probably what I can say is, like anything, there's a need to develop more. I have a company with my brother now called Ramona Films. We're developing all kinds of movies. Our bottom line MO is, how can we push this into new ground? A little bit, but still make it entertaining? So that separates it from what I was doing alone, me making a Cormac McCarthy film, pushing into the new frontier of necrophiliacs."
Franco then brought up Simon Kinberg, the longtime X-Men movies producer and director of the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie. Kinberg worked with Franco on the film Hardy Men and he is reportedly producing the Multiple Man movie.
"What I love about what Simon Kinberg and Fox and the X-Men people have done with Deadpool and Logan — it took a while to get there, maybe 10 years, but they are going to go hard R," Franco says. "And we're going to take, you know, this superhero thing and really just push it into a new genre. Deadpool's almost like an action romantic comedy. And Logan's like a western, you know?
"So we're working with Simon Kinberg on an X-Men property...It's in the X-Men universe."
Multiple Man, real name Jamie Madrox, was created by the late Len Wein and first appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 in 1975. Madrox has the mutant ability to create duplicates of himself triggered by bodily impact. Madrox was a background character for the first 15 years or so of his existence but became a fan-favorite under the pen of writer Peter David as a member of X-Factor.
Other upcoming X-Men movies include The New Mutants on April 13, 2018, Deadpool 2 on June 1, 2018, X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018, and Gambit on February 14, 2019.