In news sure to disappoint fans of comic book movies, the Deadpool spinoff X-Force is reportedly no longer in production at Fox Studios. The news comes as Fox’s long contemplated merger with Disney approaches its final stages. News of X-Force’s cancelation came from Rob Liefeld, the comic book writer who originally created Deadpool and X-Force. Liefeld broke the news in response to a tweet from Daniel Richtman, a writer with SuperBroMovies. Liefeld confirmed that X-Force was a victim of the Disney-Fox merger, saying that the film would have easily made $800 million at the box office.
While Liefeld’s comments are not official word from Fox, Liefeld would probably know the fate of a film based on characters he created himself. X-Force was set to be the third appearance of the Ryan Reynolds version of Deadpool. Previous entries in the series, 2016’s Deadpool and last year’s Deadpool 2, were greeted with strong critical acclaim and were successful commercially. The film would have also seen the first real appearance of the X-Force team. In a series of gags, Deadpool 2 humorously killed-off its version of the team. Despite Liefeld’s comments, many fans of the Deadpool series are hopeful that Disney might decide to produce X-Force once it fully acquires Fox. When the acquisition was announced last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that he was a fan of the Deadpool movies and hoped to find a way to continue Ryan Reynolds’ iteration of the character. Iger also said that while most Marvel films at Disney are rated PG-13, producing R-rated films like Deadpool is a possibility so long as audiences are aware of the more mature content.
X-Force was one of several Marvel films planned by Fox Studios. A film based on the popular X-Men character Gambit has been described as very far along in pre-production. Gambit was set to star actor Channing Tatum in the title role. Despite being planned since 2014, development on Gambit had been delayed several times, with numerous directors being rumored to helm the film. A film based on the Fantastic Four villain Dr. Doom was also be planned by the studio.
Fox will release two more Marvel movies that were produced before the merger. Dark Phoenix, based-off the classic Chris Claremont X-Men storyline The Dark Phoenix Saga, will be released on June 7, 2019. The last film in the series, The New Mutants, will be released on August 2, 2019 and have a horror tone.