Marvel’s “X-Men” Movie Takes Big Step Forward in Landing “Hunger Games” Writer

With Deadpool & Wolverine slashing its way toward its July 26 premiere date, more big news about the future of the X-Men and Marvel Studios has arrived.

Marvel has hired The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes writer Michael Lesslie to pen a new X-Men movie for the studio. This would be the first time the mutant super-team has been assembled for an MCU film, owing to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. The last X-Men movie was, in fact, in 2019, with Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix. 

Lesslie penned The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, the last installment in The Hunger Games franchise, which was centered on the life of a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and a tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). He co-wrote Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth in 2015, Assassin’s Creed in 2016, and AMC’s John le Carré adaptation The Little Drummer Girl.

Marvel has recently returned to the world of the X-Men with its Disney+ animated series X-Men 97, a reboot of the popular X-Men: The Animated Series that launched in 1992. The X-Men were created by Marvel Comics’ superteam of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 and made their big screen debut—and introduced Hugh Jackman’s beloved Wolverine to worldwide audiences—in 2000’s X-Men. That film was followed by two sequels and then was rebooted with Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class in 2011. This iteration then saw three more sequels follow suit, ending with Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix in 2019, centered on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey.

The X-Men aren’t the only ensemble that Marvel and their parent company Disney retained the rights to in 2019—they’re currently well underway with the reboot of The Fantastic Four from director Matt Shakman, with Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach in the title roles. That film is slated for a July 25, 2025 release.

First up, however, will be the return of Hugh Jackman in Shawn Levy’s Deadpool & Wolverine, with Jackman’s be-clawed mutant, arguably the most popular of them all, fighting side-by-side (and sometimes against) Ryan Reynolds’ mouthy Deadpool.

(L-R): Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios’ DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.

Deadline first reported about Lesslie’s involvement.

For more on all things Marvel Studios, check out these stories:

New “Deadpool & Wolverine” Teaser & Images Signal Start of Ticket Sales

“The Fantastic Four” Adds Natasha Lyonne to Cast

“The Fantastic Four” Casts Ralph Ineson as Supervillain Galactus

“Fantastic Four” Cast Adds Paul Walter Hauser

Featured image: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios’ DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.


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