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James Franco may be the next star to join Fox’s X-Men universe.
The multihyphenate is in negotiations to play Multiple Man in a stand-alone being developed by X-Men producer Simon Kinberg, godfather of Fox’s universe based on the uncanny Marvel mutants.
Allan Heinberg, one of the writers behind Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman, is set to pen the feature. Kinberg would produce under his Genre Films label, along with Franco and his Ramona Films.
Jamie Madrox, also known as Multiple Man, has the mutant power to create and control duplicates of himself. The character first appeared in 1975’s Giant-Size Fantastic Four No. 4 and was created by the late Len Wein, the comic book mind behind classic characters such as Wolverine. He’s appeared on the big screen before, with Eric Dane playing him in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which was directed by Brett Ratner and written by Kinberg.
The move comes as Fox has been ramping up its X-Men universe. It will release three films next year, with New Mutants (April 13), Deadpool 2 (June 1) and the Kinberg-directed X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Nov. 2) on the docket. A Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum has Gore Verbinski set to helm, while Logan filmmaker James Mangold is developing a spinoff centering on the young breakout character Laura (Dafne Keen).
Franco will next be seen in A24’s The Disaster Artist, for which he is already receiving awards buzz as the movie’s director and star. He is set to star in the Cohen brothers’ first foray into television, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Franco is repped by UTA, Anonymous and Sloane Offer.
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