It’s official: Fox is moving forward with its highly anticipated live-action X-Men project.
The network on Tuesday handed out a formal pilot order to its untitled Marvel action-adventure drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From Burn Notice grad and APB showrunner Matt Nix, the project focuses 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.
Diehard X-Men fan Nix will pen the script for the “action-adventure” project and serve as showrunner on the potential series, which hails from 20th Century Fox TV and Marvel TV. The drama stems from Nix’s overall deal with 20th TV. Nix executive produces alongside X-Men franchise veterans Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg as well as Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
This marks Fox’s second overall pilot order and first drama. It joins fellow hourlong entry Orville, with the Seth MacFarlane hourlong dramedy scoring a 13-episode straight-to-series order.
Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Nix said the Fox drama — unlike Noah Hawley’s upcoming X-Men take Legion — is connected to the larger X-Men universe. “A fan of the movies but also the comics would not be disoriented at all as to where this fits in the mythology,” he said. “If you look at the movies, which take place from — they started in 2003 to now — they don’t all line up perfectly. I’m not slavishly fitting them into a particular slot. But at the same time, if you like the world of the movies, there are definite nods to the movies. It exists in the same general universe.”
Pressed as to whether there will be a direct tie-in with the features in a way on par as to how ABC’s Marvel drama Agents of SHIELD does, Nix said the drama would feature new and familiar characters and “acknowledges that events like the events that have happened in movies have happened. But it’s not up to date.”
For Marvel, this marks the comic book powerhouse’s latest foray into scripted television and second live-action X-Men show following FX’s Legion, due next month. The company also has ABC and Imax’s upcoming The Inhumans as well as veteran Agents of SHIELD on top of multiple shows at Netflix, including The Punisher, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and The Defenders.
The pilot order arrives as 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 multiple features already released based on X-Men characters).