X-Men Movie Is Finally Happening Under Marvel Cinematic Universe as Michael Lesslie Comes Aboard; Deets

Michael Lesslie is in talks to pen the script for the superhero team, The X-Men, that were last seen on the big screen with 2019's Dark Phoenix.

Updated on May 22, 2024  |  02:39 PM IST |  51.1K
Michael Lesslie Comes On As Screenwriter For Marvel's X-Men Movie
Michael Lesslie Comes On As Screenwriter For Marvel's X-Men Movie (PC: IMDb)

Marvel Studios' X-Men movie is gaining momentum with writer Michael Lesslie, known for his work on The Little Drummer Girl and The Hunger Games. The film, focusing on Marvel Comics' iconic mutant team, is in talks as confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, but has not yet announced a release date or director.

X-Men remains a popular property for Disney following the recent success of well-reviewed Disney+ animated series X-Men ’97. The show is a reboot of the fondly remembered X-Men: The Animated Series, which launched in 1992.

Michael Lesslie lands as the writer for Marvel's X-Men movie 

Screenwriter Michael Lesslie is in talks with Marvel Studios to write the first X-Men movie since the mutant superhero franchise was acquired by Disney in its purchase of 21st Century Fox in 2019.

X-Men 97 (IMDb)

According to a new report from Deadline, the X-Men reboot had Marvel execs meetings with different filmmakers to hear pitches for the reboot. The decision to go with Lesslie is said to have been made just this past week. While this marks a major step for the film, fans shouldn't count on an imminent release date, as the project could still take some time to be put together. With the desired screenwriter in talks to come on board, Feige and Co. will now look for a director to help oversee the movie's development.

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The British-born Lesslie started his career in 2007, adapting the 1994 film Swimming With Sharks as a play, which debuted in London’s West End. He adapted Shakepeare’s Macbeth for director Justin Kurzel’s 2015 feature starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and then worked again with all three for 2016’s Assassin’s Creed.

He executive produced and co-wrote the 2018 BBC/AMC limited series The Little Drummer Girl, an adaptation of the John le Carré novel directed by Park Chan-wook and starring Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgard and Florence Pugh.

Lesslie most recently produced and wrote a feature film adaption of Hamlet starring Riz Ahmed, Joe Alwyn, Morfydd Clark and Timothy Spall and directed by Aneil Karia, and he co-wrote the upcoming Now You See Me 3.

X-Men '97s success proves the popularity of the franchise

The success of X-Men '97 on Disney+ might have convince Marvel Studios that the popular mutant group is still relevant, and now may be the time to involve them in the MCU. The franchise previously had its own live-action films, but the rights have since been reverted back to Marvel Studios.

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The X-Men team made its comics debut in 1963 from creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Its first feature film arrived in 2000 with 20th Century Fox’s X-Men from director Bryan Singer. Two sequels followed, with the team getting rebooted for 2011 prequel film X-Men: First Class from director Matthew Vaughn. The rebooted iteration got three sequels, with the most recent being 2019’s Dark Phoenix.

X-Men 97 (IMDb)

The X-Men have fought against a variety of enemies, including villainous mutants, human bigots, supervillains, mystical threats, extraterrestrials, and malevolent artificial intelligence. In most iterations of the team, they are led by their founder Charles Professor X Xavier, a powerful telepath who runs a school for mutant children out of his mansion in Westchester, New York, which secretly is also the headquarters of the X-Men.

Their stories have frequently involved Magneto, a powerful mutant with control over magnetic fields, who is depicted as an old friend of and foil to Xavier, variously acting as an adversary or as an ally.

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The X-Men exist in the Marvel Universe along with other characters featured in Marvel Comics series and often interact with them. The X-Men/mutant corner of the Marvel Universe has been informally called X-Universe. For instance, Wolverine was an antagonist to the Hulk before joining the X-Men and has ties to other heroes such as Captain America, Black Widow, the Thing, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Elektra and Spider-Man.

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are former Brotherhood of Mutants members who joined the Avengers, as have other X-Men characters such as Beast. Rogue got her powers via absorbing Carol Danvers (then called Ms. Marvel) who has also interacted with the X-Men.

In the meantime, characters from the previous X-Men movies will get another chance to shine on the big screen before the MCU reboot. Deadpool & Wolverine brings back Hugh Jackman as Logan, serving as one of the main characters, and there will be several cameos from various X-Men characters.

ALSO READ: Who Is The Dazzler In Marvel? Exploring Origins, Powers & Storyline of Character Rumored To Be Played by Taylor Swift

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