When the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, the rights to Marvel Comics projects such as Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Silver Surfer returned to Marvel. We know that Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Cop Car) is attached to direct their Fantastic Four reboot, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 3 is officially in the works with The Molyneux (Bob’s Burgers) handling the script, and writer/director Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice, Ant-Man, Don’t Look Up) has been publicly interested in tackling a solo Silver Surfer movie.
What seems to be something that won’t be anytime soon is their X-Men reboot, which likely won’t get a release date before 2025, as hinted to by Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. How they’re going about with Fantastic Four could suggest that Marvel Studios may end up looking at their existing director lineup to handle the X-Men reboot.
A director that is quickly becoming a strong standout is Loki’s Kate Herron, as the series has a strong cinematic feeling and look despite being a Disney+ series. It also echos what Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are doing with The Mandalorian slightly more than the two previous Marvel/Disney+ shows.
I bring up Kate Herron because she recently revealed in an interview with Trey Mangum that her first introduction to Marvel was the X-Men cartoon series that originally aired domestically on Fox in the 1990s.
“Basically, my first introduction to Marvel was that I loved the X-Men cartoons growing up, I was obsessed with it. I remember trying to turn my dolls into Storm…but I’d always play X-Men with my toys. I think loved it because they were outsiders and I connected with that, I was really drawn into that story,” Kate Herron said.
Having a director with that sort of connection with X-Men would be the complete opposite of Bryan Singer, who was notoriously ignorant of the source material (altering characters at whim) and according to Hugh Jackman, actively banned the comics from the set. Herron has proven she has a visually striking eye and the ability to have the scope needed for a project as big as X-Men, also being able to juggle a good amount of characters as each episode of Loki adds more players into the mix.
It wouldn’t hurt to have someone that might champion the Jim Lee era costumes that were highlighted in the Fox Kids cartoon. Going that route with the character designs would also help separate itself from the Fox films and allow Marvel Studios have their own stamp on the live-action X-Men.
I also think one key element of the X-Men franchise is the high-volume of female characters on the roster, something that wasn’t always handled properly with Fox’s era of the franchise as Bryan Singer/writers/producers took liberties with characters like Rogue and Storm. Those characters alongside Psylocke didn’t get proper adaptations with the previous incarnations. Herron’s Loki series has a strong/diverse female presence and those characters have been given a little more depth, there is hope that she could give a bigger stage to female members of the team.
While some fans will likely be keen to see The Russo Brothers return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for X-Men, they’ve been clear that what they actually want to tackle is Wolverine and Secret Wars. If they were to oversee the Secret Wars event, the X-Men would likely be involved and scratch that Wolverine itch.
I could see Kate Herron fitting nicely as the architect or godmother of the new era of the X-Men and fans like myself may feel more comfortable with the franchise in her hands after seeing her impressive work on Loki.