By Edward Davis | The Playlist March 21, 2014 at 8:00AM
You better grab a drink and take a seat — Fox just set a batch of dates for the 2017/18 calendar, and they've got a very tentpole heavy future laid out. While this is the part where we lament the state of the industry, frankly, it is what it is so let's just break down what they've got coming.
UNTITLED FOX / MARVEL — July 13, 2018
If the Marvel Studios/Disney/LucasFilms plan is to have at least one Marvel and "Star Wars" movie in theaters every year, 20th Century Fox does not want to be left behind. Now that they have Mark Millar acting as a Joss Whedon-esque guru-like figure, the company seems hell-bent on supersizing its franchises so as not to be left behind from "The Avengers." "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" is already looking like a type of "X-Men" greatest hits by merging two existing franchises together and they could potentially be going in this same direction (and "X-Men: Apocalypse" is already dated for summer 2016). So what's this film going to be? Well, Fox only owns three Marvel properties: Fantastic Four, X-Men and Deadpool. The latter is a non-starter, so the online speculation and chatter is a potential "X-Force" film ("Kick-Ass 2" helmer Jeff Wadlow was hired last summer to write it with an eye to direct) or a "Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men" film (which was once rumored). Considering the desire to go big, either sounds plausible. The one thing to note is that the X-Men universe they own is huge and includes heroes like Dazzler and Gambit, but it seems unlikely right now that Fox would gamble on one of those unknown properties for a solo film.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR 2 — July 14, 2017
Did you read that ridiculous report/rumor recently from a site which will not be named that said director Josh Trank was potentially going to get kicked off "The Fantastic Four," and the entire cast would be replaced in favor of a clean slate (and still somehow make the previously set 2015 release date)? You'll notice we didn't even bother mentioning the ridiculous claim. Well, this seals the deal. You don't set a date for your not-even-started franchise if you're about to pull the plug on it and work from scratch. What does this mean? Damn, confidence really. The exact opposite. Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, and Michael B. Jordan are set to star again, because you know their original contracts were like for 8 quadrillion movies.
UNTITLED WOLVERINE — March 3, 2017
Will Hugh Jackman be back? Well, director James Mangold has already said he'd return another "Wolverine" film recently and as much as Jackman slightly protests, and contemplates an adamantium-less future we would not be surprised to see him return for "X-Men: Apocalypse" in 2016 and this. Beyond that though... This is probably the point where he'll want to bow out, we'd assume (though we're sure Fox will continue to dump whatever money is required to make stay in whatever bank account he likes). At any rate, let's hope whatever is next far, far better than the Japanese-set "The Wolverine" which had its heart in the right place and good intentions, but was lost in a sea of convoluted plot and shoe-horned in villains as the expense of Logan's story.
UNTITLED RIDLEY SCOTT PROJECT — March 4, 2016
OK, fanboys are immediately going to be screaming "Prometheus 2" for this one. Considering how aggressively Fox is planting flags in the ground for the next few years (more so than Marvel), one would think yes, they're paving the way for franchises here. In other words, if Ridley Scott does another "The Counselor" type movie, they'll date it when it's ready. For something like "Prometheus 2," you're going to want to carve out a big fat release date in advance. It's speculation of course, but we'd guess and assume this is something franchise-y above just one of the many dozen Ridley Scott movies he has in the slow cooker. Some have suggested it could be the sequel to "Blade Runner," but that's being produced and developed by Alcon Entertainment, and isn't under the Fox banner.
TAKEN 3 — January 9, 2015
Yeah, Liam Neeson, punching, kicking, getting hella tooked. You know the drill....
FRANKENSTEIN — October 2, 2015
In case you forgot, this is the Daniel Radcliffe/James McAvoy take on Mary Shelley's monster. It was originally slated for a January 2015 release but obviously, a bow closer to Halloween makes a bit more sense.
UNTITLED VINCE VAUGHN MOVIE — March 6, 2015
We presume this is the long since wrapped comedy, formerly known as "Business Trip," that reteams Vince Vaughn and "Delivery Man" helmer Ken Scott. It's basically "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" in Europe.
THE SECRET SERVICE — October 24, 2014
Yep, the Matthew Vaughn directed Mark Millar joint. Looks like Fox is hoping this'll play big in the always busy fall season.