After the megahit of Deadpool, the top-grossing R-Rated film worldwide and second in domestic, 20th Century Fox suddenly has an interesting leeway to try some new and different things with their X-Men franchise. The mutants from Marvel Comics have been in dark and ultra-serious ensemble films for the most part, but along comes Deadpool, with a unique feel, a lot of fun, and a shocking amount of comicbook roots showing. While X-Men: Apocalypse followed with a relatively low domestic gross, it looks to finish third in worldwide take for the franchise, keeping things going fairly nicely (though drastically lower than Marvel Studios' own superhero properties).
Still, 20th Century Fox is on the way up now with the X-Men franchise, and perhaps more importantly on the way to expansion. There are now more X-Men films in development than ever before, and two TV series on the way as well.
"The success of [Deadpool] showed the studio that not just the mainline X-Men movies, but there are characters – and characters with different tones and different vibes, that can justify their own movies as well," Kinberg told Moviefone in a far-ranging interview. "So Gambit, and Deadpool, and New Mutants, and even others - we're really serious about making, and then, like the way Marvel has done so brilliantly, the Marvel Studios have done so brilliantly, feeding them in and out of each other's stories."
Part of building that truly connected universe is launching TV series set within it, and the first is Legion, a new series coming to FX early 2017 that features a character from the comics that has at time been hero and at time villain, the bastard son of Charles Xavier. His codename "Legion" comes from the fact that he has a nearly-infinite set of mental-based powers - but each are assigned in his mind to a different personality.
"Tonally, it's very different," Kinberg said of Legion. "Noah [Hawley] is a genius - he wrote and created and directed the pilot to Legion – and it is a very different sensibility than anything we've done with the X-Men movies. Almost, I would say, as radically different as Deadpool was from the mainline X-Men movies."
Kinberg assured fans that Legion is "really character-based, really granular in terms of getting inside the details of the characters."
Legion premires in 2017 with an 8-episode order so far for the first season, starring Dan Stevens as David Haller aka Legion, with Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin also starring. It's a joint production between Fox's FX Productions and Marvel Television.