It’s official: the glut of super hero narratives will continue onto the small screen, and thanks go to Warner Bros. and The CW. While Warner Bros. is gearing up to unveil its DC Cinematic Universe, WB TV and The CW (and to a lesser degree CBS) have already been building up alternate renditions of DC’s characters. And while some thought there might be potential confusion for audiences by having the same characters on both small and big screens, WB and CW have prevented this by not overlapping those worlds. They’ve taken less fabled characters like Green Arrow, Supergirl and the Atom into the TV world or tried different spins on familiar material, like the pre-Batman milieu of “Gotham.” However, the competition is getting fierce and one big player is aiming for some of that supersized audience.
20th Century Fox is following suit. While there have been rumors of an X-Men live-action series recently, it sounds like such a project is moving forward. [“For] X-Men, we’re in negotiations with Marvel. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to announce something soon. We’re not closed on a deal yet, but it’s something we’re definitely pursuing,” Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden told THR this week at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour stop. Fox’s potential live-action series is being penned by “Star Trek 3” screenwriters Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne.
But stumbling block is which entertainment leviathan controls which rights. Fox only controls feature film rights to the X-Men Universe, which includes Deadpool and Gambit, among others, and TV rights still have to be negotiated through Marvel, which would much prefer that every Marvel property be under their domain.
Marvel is working on their own shows for television, including “Agent Carter,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and all their shows on Netflix like “Daredevil” and the yet to debut “The Defenders.” Fox’s goal apparently is for for X-Men to be a “long-running” series and not a mini-series or event series. Walden added “the characters from the X-Men franchise are with Fox on the feature side, so we won’t be including Marvel characters that are at ABC with Disney,” which is of course, a big duh. Marvel will definitely want some of that action financially, so it’ll be interesting to see if they come to terms.