Writer Matt Nix gave details on the X-Men series for Fox at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour and assures the drama is very close to a pilot order.
Nix will serve as showrunner and also executive produce alongside franchise veterans Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg as well as Marvel's Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
The untitled project revolves around two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.
"Fingers crossed, we get everything together and it enters the cycle for this year's pilots,"
Nix mentioned that this X-Men show will have nothing to do with FX's Legion. "It's an awesome show. When I was working on [this] I thought, 'I really need to see Legion to make sure that I don't step on anything they're doing.' Then I saw it and was, like, 'There's no chance I'm stepping on anything they're doing.' It's a great show, but it's more cable-licious. It's a very different world."
Nix is also looking to keep the project to be a shorter-order series, should it move to pilot and eventually score the go-ahead later this year. Nix noted that his X-Men will be "heavily serialized" as he wants to tell a "coherent story." "It's so much harder if you don't know when it ends,"
he said. Expect it to be around 10 to 13 episodes, should it move forward.
The standard idea for the project will feature a world in which mutant kids are forced to go on the run after manifesting their powers and how the established mutants have "something to say" about it all. Expect the kids to be teenagers. "Imagine a world where that's going on and extend outward from there,"
he said. This world will feature both familiar characters and new characters. "[I get to invent] some. It's designed to sidestep questions like, 'Where is Wolverine?' You have to answer those questions,"
he said. "I didn't want to do anything where it's like, 'Wolverine is just off-screen.' It exists in a world where those questions are answered without needing to name a lot of names or spend a lot of time dwelling on that issue. Within that, there are a certain amount of [familiar] characters that I can use and am using and then other characters I'm inventing — but everything is invented with a nod toward the existing mythology. … When I was pitching the show, I pitched some characters that appear nowhere in the mythology but the guys from Marvel, when I started describing them, all gave each other knowing nods where [they understood what I was doing]."