CATEGORIES Action, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, RumorMonger, Celebrities and Controversy, Box Office, Fandom, 20th Century Fox, DIY/Filmmaking, Newsstand, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeFox has not had a good year -- and as with most drama-filled issues, they really have only themselves to blame. Variety points out that they were the only studio this summer that didn't have a $100 million domestic earner. What they did have was a lot of widely-derided flops like The Happening, Space Chimps, and Meet Dave. They also had films that might have done well, had they chosen to actually sell them, like The X-Files: I Want to Believe. They were also dealt a bit of bad luck when it came to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was supposed to come out this summer, making it the greatest superhero year ever, but was delayed due to Hugh Jackman's commitment to Australia. (A film which the studio is really hoping bails them out come fall, along with Marley and Me.)
Faced with so much failure and drama, what is a studio to do? Well, turn to superheroes, of course! As you read this, they're holding strategy meetings to dust off or create some new franchises off their comic book properties. They're looking at more X-Men spinoffs, including a young X-Men project that might just be X-Men First Class. They're also looking at giving Deadpool his own movie -- which seems a no-brainer when you have Ryan Reynolds playing him in Wolverine. Why, they're even looking at reviving Daredevil. (Frank Miller and Jason Statham, call on line two.) It's enough to wind up any Marvel fan.
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But then again, consider the trail of bodies Fox keeps leaving in their wake. The only thing stopping them from having their own The Dark Knight with any of their comic book properties is themselves, because the studio constantly sours its relationships with directors. Alex Proyas won't work with them again after I, Robot. Babylon A.D.'s director, Mathieu Kassovitz was very public about his rift with the studio. Wolverine has been rife with rumors too -- and now the scoop is that things were so bad between Fox and Gavin Hood that he was nearly fired. Two replacement directors actually waited in the wings before Richard Donner to fly out to Australia and smooth things over. Fox says this is because he's a producer on the film -- but it is actually his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, who holds that proud credit.
And that's not even factoring in their duel with Warner Bros over Watchmen -- not only will the court costs be pricey, but it's reportedly causing fans to threaten a boycott of all their upcoming films. You know, I keep hearing about this, and haven't seen it for myself despite lurking on many a movie forum. A Google search reveals a few petitions and one or two threads on obscure forums -- has anyone actually come across such frenzied fanboys and girls? I honestly suspect it's the mainstream media sniggering at what they imagine to be Internet geekdom, or a scheme cooked up by a few brilliant Warner Bros' interns to scare Fox. (However, if they mess up Wolverine, I will personally lead the mob to their gates. Torches and pitchforks all around!)
Whew. That's a lot to take in, isn't it? I would honestly love to see more movies from the X-Men universe, and count me in for a Daredevil and Elektra reboot. There's massive potential for good films for any studio ... but then again, this is Fox we're talking about. Sound off below, readers.