With its record-setting grosses and massive potential for expansion, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the envy and model for others hoping to expand their own franchise properties and make a ton of money. Warner Bros. is trying to build their DC Comics world with their hero-loaded Superman-Batman film. Sony is packing the characters into The Amazing Spider-Man in the hopes of getting some spin-offs out of it. Stallone is, at long last, expanding the Rockyverse to include the fan-favorite grandson characters. And, logically, now Fox is trying to get in on the action with all those Marvel properties they've still got a hand in.
According to THR, that's the goal the studio is trying to accomplish with a new deal for Simon Kinberg and his Genre Films banner. Kinberg wrote screenplays for X-Men: The Last Stand, the upcoming Days of Future Past, and the planned Fantastic Four film, and he produced the latter two and X-Men: First Class. With this new agreement, he's now going to be the one "to expand those franchises into full-blown universes, with the hope of creating for Fox something akin to the Marvel model of interlocking movies."
"I have a lot of ideas on how to built those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel," Kinberg told the trade. "I want to be able to build stories over multiple movies." We could get a whole world of X-Films and Fantastic Four properties for Mystique to walk around naked in.
But apparently Hugh Jackman isn't so sure he wants to continue stabbing things in this expanded universe of things to puncture. Though 20th Century Fox already started talks with him for another Wolverine movie and yesterday announced another X-Men movie in the works, the actor has recently expressed some reservations about returning to the role. In a Vanity Fair article published Tuesday, Jackman told the magazine:
"I don't know whether or not I will do this next movie. I am really proud of this movie and I am excited to develop something with Jim Mangold from the beginning because that is a great ride. That's exciting, to see what we come up with but I have a very high expectation of what it would need to be [for me to star in it] and if it doesn't reach those, I won't be doing it."
As noted by ComingSoon, Jackman earlier this year revealed that he's not contractually obligated to reprise his most famous role any further. Is this just a negotiation tactic to make sure he gets a generous pay bump in his next deal? Or is it time for Jackman to hang up the claws, maybe finally get to the business of expanding the Kate & Leopold Cinematic Universe? For now, Jackman's future plans remain as shadowed in mystery as our own.