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Fox’s ‘X-Men’ TV Show: Creator Matt Nix on How He’ll Introduce New Characters and Avoid the Wolverine Question

TCA: Nix hints that he already has a title for the show, and explains how the show might live in the greater "X-Men" universe.



20th Century Fox/Marvel Ente/REX/Shutterstock

As Fox gets close to ordering its pilot set in the “X-Men” universe, creator Matt Nix revealed a handful of details on Wednesday.

The new, as-yet untitled show follows two ordinary parents who must go on the run after they discover their children have mutant powers. The show fits into the “X-Men” cinematic universe to some degree, Nix told reporters during Fox’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour for “APB” (which he also executive produces).

“Without getting into specifics, which I’ll get murdered for getting into, I would say that a fan of the movies but also the comic books would not be disoriented at all,” he said. “Where this fits in the mythology, if you look at the movies, which started around 2003 to now, they don’t all line up perfectly. So I’m not slavishly fitting myself into a particular slot. But at the same time, if you like that world, the world of the movies, there are definite nods to it. It definitely exists in the same general kind of universe.”

READ MORE: ‘X-Men’ Series In The Works At Fox, Matt Nix & Bryan Singer To Produce

He added: “In a sort of general way, it acknowledges that events like the events that have happened in movies have happened. It’s still evolving; we’ll see how much that comes in. But it’s certainly not, ‘since this happened in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” now all of these things are happening.’ That’s cool, but they already did that.”

Asked to elaborate about the plot, Nix said to imagine a world where, if mutant kids just manifesting their powers have to go on the run, “established mutants are going to have something to say about that.”

As for the character mix, there will be some familiar names from the X-Men mythology, combined with original characters that Nix is inventing.

The new characters have been created with the mythology in mind, but he’s working hard to sidestep fan questions of where iconic “X-Men” characters like Wolverine might be.

“I didn’t want to do anything that was like, ‘Wolverine is just off screen!'” he joked. “It exists in a world where those questions are answered without needing to name a lot of names or spend time dwelling on those issues… when I was pitching the show, I pitched some characters that appeared nowhere in the mythology, but the guys from Marvel when I started describing them, all gave each other knowing nods. Where it was like, ‘oh I see what he’s doing.'”

Nix said the show would run for 13 episodes, at most, per season.

“It’s heavily serialized,” he said. “We want to tell a coherent story.”

Matt Nix

Alan Diaz/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Nix said his show wouldn’t have any relation to Noah Hawley’s “Legion,” the new FX show that is also inspired by the “X-Men” world.

“When I was working on this I said I needed to see ‘Legion’ so that I don’t step on anything they’re doing,” Nix said. “Then I saw it, and I said, ‘There is no chance I’m stepping on anything they’re doing!’ It’s a great show but it’s a very different. It’s more cable-licious. It’s a very different world.”

Nix said he has already settled on a title for his show, but so far Marvel and Fox are holding it back.

“I turned in my first draft and I titled it with the real title, and I got an instant email where they were like, ‘no, no, no, no! Here’s the code name.’ [But] I look forward to the time when I’m allowed to share the title.”

READ MORE: Marvel’s ‘Legion’: First Look at Noah Hawley’s Edgy New ‘X-Men’ Drama

Nix is executing producing the show with Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. That show and “Legion” came about after lengthy negotiations between Marvel and 20th Century Fox TV (which holds the film rights to the “X-Men” franchise) to make such shows possible.

Nix said reporting to both Fox and Marvel has worked out so far. “It has been surprisingly smooth and surprisingly pleasurable but very slow,” he said. “Just because everybody has to approve everything at every step. ‘OK, we’re good with this?’ That took three weeks. The truth is everybody is on the same page. It’s just with something like this, [you have] a lot of parents and the engagement of people at a much higher level much earlier. You don’t pitch to everybody on a normal show like you do with ‘X-Men.'”

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