Fox's X-Men universe is in trouble and Fox knows it. Its bona fide star, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, is done after Logan. The last X-Men movie made much less than the one before it. And Deadpool just lost its director.
Add to that Gambit's stalled production and it all adds up to Fox's only successful superhero universe — as opposed to every time it's tried to make a Fantastic Four movie — running out of steam. According to a story by The Hollywood Reporter, Fox's plan to keep it going is to speed up production and just keep soldiering on:
Elsewhere, the reset button has been pressed. Sources say the flagship series will be reconfigured, with Simon Kinberg, overseer of the franchise as producer and writer, working on a new script. Singer, who directed four X-Men movies, will not be returning, according to insiders, but the script is being written with Lawrence, Fassbender and McAvoy optimistically in mind.
While it's being called a "reset", Kinberg (who wrote Days of Future Past, Apocalypse and Fantastic Four) has been in the producer's seat since First Class.
But there are real reasons to start over. Losing Singer, who's regarded as the vision behind this series, is going to be a problem. And it's a dangerous proposition to think Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy will return. All three seemed like they were done and, apparently, they promised each other that all would return or none of them would. It's going to cost Fox a giant pile of money to get them back.
The real shot at rebooting the franchise sounds like it's going to be focusing on a whole new group of characters entirely, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
One of Fox's best hopes may be The New Mutants, a spinoff featuring superpowered teens with some overlap with the flagship X-Men. According to sources, director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) could even begin rolling cameras by spring.
I guess you can't let the need to rethink your whole universe slow you down.