Writer Jeff Wadlow shares details of canceled X-Force movie trilogy

DF-49136 – Shioli Kutsuna and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer.
DF-49136 – Shioli Kutsuna and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer. /

Writer and director Jeff Wadlow reveals details about the X-Force trilogy that had to die in order for Deadpool to live.

Before the Avengers made the transition to the silver screen, X-Men was the Marvel team to beat at the box office. X-Men premiered in 2000 and subsequently launched a total of 12 films centering on the band of merry mutants, with solo outings for Wolverine and Deadpool. This was also back when 20th Century Fox owned the majority of the X-Men characters, while Disney owned almost everybody else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fans of the X-Men franchise knew that eventually the day would come when we would get tired of seeing the same old lineup in every movie every other year, so Fox began to explore spin-off options. In the comic books, particularly in the ’90s heyday, there were several teams of mutant superheroes that formed out of the ideology of the X-Men. These included a junior team called The New Mutants, a British team called Excalibur, and a government-sanctioned team called X-Factor. As the members of The New Mutants got older, they eventually rebranded themselves as X-Force, a more militant group of heroes led by Cable and Domino (who both appear in Deadpool 2).

Fox had its eyes on X-Force as being the next step in the evolution of the X-Men franchise, which would highlight a group of less privileged young mutants. Prior to the Disney/Fox merger, Fox had planned to officially introduce X-Force in the third installment of Deadpool.

Speaking to Comic Book Movie about the X-Force films that will now never be, screenwriter Jeff Wadlow stated:

"“[I] asked if X-Men was about mutants who got to go to private school with Wolverine and Professor X, and have the Blackbird swooping down to pick them up, what about the mutants that have to go to public school? What about the ones who don’t have the benefactor looking out for them, and what about the kids who have to figure it out on their own? We then would have introduced that darker, more militant mentor in the form of Cable.I plotted out this three-movie arc that took X-Force from what it was in the 90s with [creator] Rob Liefeld with a band of kids fighting for what they believe in. And then by the third film, the group would have grown and changed and lost and picked up some new members, and basically turned into Rick Remender’s version of the X-Force in the early 2000s. That was a much darker hit squad and black ops team who had lost their way over the course of the three films.”"

This would have provided a refreshingly different perspective to Fox’s X-Men universe, but was ultimately scrapped when Deadpool became more popular in the pages of the comics. Remender’s version of X-Force is actually titled Uncanny X-Force and featured a lineup of fan favorites including Wolverine, Deadpool, Archangel, Psylocke, and Fantomex. While Deadpool 3 is still in development, since Ryan Reynolds is the only known actor to survive the Disney/Fox merge, it remains to be seen if X-Force is going to be any part of the upcoming sequel.

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