'X-Men' TV Series in the Works at Fox

Showrunners Matt Nix Headshot

Fox is looking for a new way into the X-Men universe.

The network on Tuesday announced that it has handed out a put-pilot commitment to an untitled Marvel action-adventure series. The project will focus on two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive. The series will be a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. Burn Notice's Matt Nix — who is set as showrunner on the network's upcoming APB drama — will pen the script and executive produce alongside X-Men franchise veterans Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg as well as Marvel's Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.

The news comes less than a year after Fox announced development of the X-Men-themed drama Hellfire. The latter project, which was overseen by Evan Katz and Manny Coto, was scrapped after the duo exited to focus on 24: Legacy, with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne also departing the project in January.

For Fox, the untitled Marvel entry would extend the network's superhero-themed offerings. It currently has DC Comics fare Gotham as well as Lucifer. For Marvel, meanwhile, it would give the comic book powerhouse a second series on a broadcast network should it move forward. The news comes months after ABC canceled sophomore drama Agent Carter and passed on Marvel's Most Wanted, a spinoff of its first broadcast scripted series Agents of SHIELD. Meanwhile, on the cable front, Marvel is teaming with FX and Fargo's Noah Hawley for X-Men take Legion, which has already been picked up to series with multiple projects (including Daredevil spinoff Punisher) in the works at Netflix. 

“Developing a Marvel property has been a top priority for the network — and we are so pleased with how Matt Nix has led us into this thrilling universe,” Fox Entertainment president David Madden said in a statement. “There’s comic book adventure, emotional and complicated relationships and a rich, existing mythology from which to draw. With the brilliant production crew behind this project, it has all the makings of a big, fun and exciting new series.”
Said Jonathan Davis, president of creative affairs at 20th: “Working with Marvel on a television series for Fox has been a professional dream for our head of development, Michael Thorn, and all of us at the studio. Matt, Lauren, Bryan, Simon, Jeph and Jim are a powerhouse team of creative artists, and we can’t wait to get started on what will easily be one of this development season’s most exciting new projects.”
For its part, Fox has been trying for years to bring X-Men to TV. Fox studio counterpart 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the film franchise (with seven features already released based on X-Men characters and Gambit with Channing Tatum in the pipeline).