To Me, My X-Men

The X-Men MCU Movie Is Officially Happening — And It Might Already Have a Writer

In the wake of two big X-Men projects, the super squad is returning to the big screen.

Marvel Studios

Ever since Disney bought Fox in 2019, the MCU and the X-Men have had a long-running “will-they-or-won’t-they” dynamic. WandaVision introduced Evan Peters as a “recast” Pietro, but he wasn’t really him, just a brainwashed actor. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduced its own mutants — and brought back Sir Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier — but they existed in a different universe. Next, Deadpool & Wolverine and the upcoming Fantastic Four movie will make the merger official.

But it’s all leading up to the inevitable: a standalone X-Men movie set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, there’s an update on the movie: the first signs of life in what is sure to be a huge MCU event.

Marvel is already betting big on the X-Men with Disney+ original animated series X-Men ‘97.

Marvel Animation

Deadline reports that Hunger Games: Songbirds and Snakes screenwriter Michael Lesslie is in negotiations to write the upcoming movie. X-Men was reportedly a major focus for Marvel Studios once the writer’s strike ended last fall, but it still apparently took nearly eight months to find the right scribe for the high-profile script.

Lesslie has experience with franchises and adaptation (if an uneven track record, at best). Beyond the recent Hunger Games prequel movie, he co-wrote both the Assassin’s Creed movie (starring Michael Fassbinder) and the 2015 adaptation of Macbeth (also starring Michael Fassbinder).

If you’re noticing a pattern here, you’re not alone. So should we expect Michael Fassbinder to reprise his role as Magneto in the upcoming X-Men movie? Probably not, but it feels slightly more likely with Lesslie onboard.

Deadpool & Wolverine is already doing a lot of work bringing mutants into the MCU, but a headline movie is in the future.

Marvel Studios

The bigger takeaway is that Lesslie feels like a safe move for the struggling MCU. The screenwriter has a short resume but the journeyman credentials required for a massive undertaking like this. It’s unlikely he’ll be the only writer assigned to the project (he seems to prefer working in a group anyway), but it could signal a more traditional approach to this next chapter. After all, introducing the X-Men in such a big way is a bold enough swing on its own without also hiring a screenwriter with a more distinct voice.

This is what the MCU has been building up to for five years, and now it’s finally coming to fruition. But does a standalone X-Men movie have the potential to become the Endgame-level event the MCU has so desperately needed? With the right script, director, and cast involved, this might just be the shot in the arm the studio needs.

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