Fox is adding another spinoff to its X-Men movie universe: A Multiple Man movie starring James Franco as Jamie Madrox and Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg handling the script. X-Men franchise shephard Simon Kinberg will be producing.
Deadline reports that the idea for Franco and Kinberg to unite on Multiple Man came out of the pair's collaboration on Fox's upcoming Hardy Men, written by Kinberg, in which James and Dave Franco play grown up versions of The Hardy Boys.
Multiple Man / Jamie Madrox is an interesting character from the X-Men universe: his mutant power is cloning himself upwards of 100 times (in maximum cases), by absorbing kinetic impact. The character has had one of the more interesting paths through the X-Men comics, starting off as a patient on Moira Mactaggert's Muir Island research facility when his powers were out of control, before joining the government's mutant superhero team X-Factor, and later working as a private detective in the "Mutant Town" section of NYC. He eventually opened "X-Factor Investigations," and agency that employed other mutants, including some of Madrox's former X-Factor teammates.
We here at Comicbook.com recently explored great X-Men characters for TV and Movie Adaptation, and singled out Madrox / Multiple Man as one of them. Here's why:
"The big twist is that Madrox's duplicates are actually independent, fully-formed beings with thoughts (and sometimes lives) of their own. That has resulted in weird storylines where duplicates have tried to replace the original Madrox; thought they were the real Madrox for long periods of time; or caused Madrox to take on serious mental/emotional trauma from duplicates that have suffered greatly and/or died.... [Multiple Man] could play with perspective and the nature of reality in a way that would both engage viewers, and keep them guessing."
It's not hard to see why an "artist's artist" like Franco would fine that kind of character appealing, with the ability to stack multiple performances at once. The actor just got done having fun playing two characters onscreen at once: he starred as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino, in HBO's '70s throwback series The Deuce earlier this fall.
The X-Men movie universe continues with The New Mutants on April 13th; Deadpool 2 on June 1st; and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2nd. Gambit is also in development.