Jackman, Mangold In Talks To SNIKT! Again!

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Well! That was unexpected!

Mike Fleming just reported on Deadline that Hugh Jackman and THE WOLVERINE director James Mangold are in talks with Twentieth Century Fox for another solo Wolverine movie, thanks in no small part to a $413 million international box office haul that’s made it the second highest grossing X-MEN film to date.

Fleming reports that Mangold is writing a treatment with longtime franchise shepherd Lauren Schuler-Donner set to produce.

(So much for Sean’s recent Tweet wondering if Fox might finally consider getting out of the X-Men business if DAYS OF FUTURE PAST doesn’t make big bank. Looks like Fox is planning for the long haul.)

The Gentlemen talked about the movie in a podcast roundtable you can hear here, and you can read our very own Josh Costella’s review here.

I liked the movie but didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to because of issues with its final act; Jackman’s dedication to the character and his fans is second to none in this genre, and the film’s issues were rooted largely in its shooting script. Let’s hope this next installment dials back a bit on some of the sillier elements and the studio’s need to shoehorn in as many extra mutants as possible.

(Though maybe we’ll see some more ninja action in the Extended Cut arriving on Blu-ray on December 3. Just be careful which version you buy; the Extended Cut is only available in the 3D set.)

This will be Jackman’s eighth time playing the character. Eight! That’s so awesome. I love the guy.

  • http://www.modernmythmedia.com/ Sean Gerber

    American audiences are still shrinking for the X-MEN franchise, but as John noted, the international market helped THE WOLVERINE put a stop to the trend of diminishing total box office returns. The international setting of the story probably didn’t hurt there. I’m sure Fox will wait to see how DOFP does before giving a third Wolverine film the green light, but my guess is this movie will indeed happen.

    Meanwhile, Marvel will continue to develop the Inhumans to eventually make them the mutants of the MCU.

    • http://www.johnbierly.com/ John Bierly

      I was really hoping for Sean’s scenario — that Marvel (via Disney dollars) might find themselves in a position to buy back X-Men rights if DOFP doesn’t do big business. I’d love to see Marvel have it all back, to be honest; can you imagine Jackman’s Wolverine in AVENGERS 3? I can. :)

      As Sean noted, this isn’t a green light yet, but I can’t imagine Fox letting this go.

      • Joshua Strong

        Which franchise would you like to see Marvel reacquire more, the X-Men or Fantastic Four?

      • http://www.modernmythmedia.com/ Sean Gerber

        Fantastic Four, hands down. I want FF back at Marvel more than any other property currently licensed to another studio including X-Men and Spider-Man. Tonally, FF fits perfectly within the MCU, especially as it gets more cosmic with THOR: TDW and GOTG.

        Also, I’m still content with what’s happening with X-Men and Spidey right now. I can’t say the same for FF, as it’s been dormant for a number of years and nothing about the proposed reboot excites me.

      • Joshua Strong

        I could not agree more with you. Could you imagine how epic the MCU would be with the inclusion of the Fantastic Four as they build towards the Infinity Gauntlet story line. And they can include the cinematic “Illuminati” with Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, Bruce Banner and Adam Warlock.

      • Michael Lalaian

        Not to mention Black Bolt, Black Panther and Namo–er, damn Universal…

    • Dylan Johnson

      I don’t think the X-Men franchise is in as much trouble as you. The Wolverine underperformed domestically mostly because of poor marketing and people hating the last Wolverine movie. First Class underperformed, but when people finally saw the movie they mostly liked it, and are ready to see cast from it return.

      • http://www.modernmythmedia.com/ Sean Gerber

        It’s not so much about the franchise being in trouble, as Fox is still making money off of X-MEN. It’s more about the point at which Fox’s return on investment would be low enough to consider an offer from Disney/Marvel to buy back the rights. In truth, I think a deal like that is always possible depending on how much Disney is willing to pay.

        For the right price, Fox would do it now, but I’m guessing the right price today is far more than Disney would consider paying fresh off of a $4B purchase of LucasFilm last year. That price could eventually come down if the box office returns on X-MEN films decrease. Obviously, Fox is happy with the return they saw on THE WOLVERINE and expect to have a hit with DOFP, so such a deal is probably far from imminent.

        One day, however, I expect it to happen. Perhaps when Jackman hangs up his claws.

  • Michael Lalaian

    Fantastic Four, right now they would fit in nicely with what Marvel is doing with their cinematic universe. Though I have to say, I am kind of bummed about this. I really hate being in this weird position as a fan where I actually don’t want an X-Men film to do very well in hopes that the rights will revert.

    Speaking of Days of Future past, are we gonna get a Podcast talking about the trailer? I’d also like to hear the gentlemen’s thoughts on DC leaving NYC and heading for the west coast. Even as someone from L.A., it broke my heart to hear that news.

  • Robert Reineke

    Reports of the X-Men’s demise at Fox are totally overblown, IMO. When you factor in respective budgets, The Wolverine is more profitable than Star Trek Into Darkness and nobody thinks that franchise is dead.

    Yeah, Fox would like to make more, but they keep churning out X-Men films and keep making solid profits on each of them. And it’s not like they have better options lined up to replace X-Men.

    Even beyond that, Fox has several cable channels that require programming. Yeah, they may be paying fees from one corporate pocket to another, but having a franchise as diverse as X-Men to draw programming from is an extremely valuable asset even it the X-Men have plateaued in cinematic popularity.

    X-Men won’t be given up by Fox until they develop their own alternative, like Harry Potter or LotR at WB.

    • Michael Lalaian

      Avatar could potentially fit this bill since there are at least three sequels on the way.

    • http://www.modernmythmedia.com/ Sean Gerber

      Demise is an exaggeration and wishful thinking for sure, but the diminishing returns up until THE WOLVERINE were factual. As we’ve both said, though, the franchise is still profitable, so any plans to sell rights back is far from imminent and the prospects of such a deal ever happening are not at all definite.

      The most likely time in which I can see such a deal happening is when Jackman decides he no longer wants to play Wolverine. The franchise is simply not as bankable without him and Fox would be left with the decision of trying starting all over via recasting and/or rebooting in hopes of getting back those same profit levels versus a one-time, presumably big cash infusion with no risk.

      I think Fox’s willingness to sell will eventually be there. The bigger question in my mind is Marvel’s willingness to buy. Right now, Marvel doesn’t need the X-Men and presumably won’t need them all the way through Phase 3. If Marvel can successfully build the Inhumans up to the point of a successful film franchise, they may never need X-Men.

      Still, as cool as Black Bolt is, he’s no Wolverine. Robert Downey, Jr. won’t be around forever and there may come a time when Marvel feels the need to give its cinematic universe a major shot in the arm. Maybe X-Men is that shot, if not Spider-Man. Maybe that day will never come at all.

      I do, however, think such a deal is possible within the next 10 years.

      • Robert Reineke

        Disney is going to have to pay off Star Wars before they open the checkbook again, IMO. That day may come, but I think it’s closer to a decade away, after the next Star Wars trilogy, than it is at all imminent.

        In the meantime, Fox doesn’t have a lot of other franchises, certainly not in the near term and although X-Men isn’t what it was, it’s still better than the alternatives. When Disney needs new franchises and Fox has its own set of franchises, a deal will make sense, but right now I think they’re both content.

        And, heck, it’s not like deals can’t be cut for teamups. WB and Disney both worked together on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, for instance.

  • Mike Snyder

    I also had some issues with the final act (and the fact that Logan could actually remember these scenarios/people from his past ) but over all enjoyed the film and am curious to see what they will do next.

    I for one would love to see a return of Sabertooth. Seeing as how his “death” in x1 was never detailed I think there’s plenty of room for him to come back and it’d be great to get a proper showdown with Wolverine. Despite all its flaws, I think Liev Schrieber was fun in origins and wouldn’t have an issue with him reprising the role either.