An image from Deadpool and Cable: Split Second. Image: IGN

Logan truly feels like the end of an era for the X-Men movies. Not just because Hugh Jackman is leaving the character behind, but because it comes at a time when the franchise itself feels up in the air. X-Men: Apocalypse disappointed, Deadpool wowed, and TV entry Legion is surprising. Who knows what’s next?

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Simon Kinberg does. He’s the executive producer of Legion. He produced Logan, as well as Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse. And he’s the rumored frontrunner to direct the next X-Men movie. Recently, he spoke to Deadline and dropped some revealing updates on all things X-Men movies. We’ll start with the non-spoiler stuff before getting into the Logan ramifications. Here’s the overview:

We are working hard on New Mutants, Gambit with Channing Tatum, Deadpool 2 and the new X-Force movie where Deadpool is alongside Cable and other main characters.

That may be the first time we’ve heard definitively that Deadpool will be in the X-Force movie, though it was obviously the assumption. As for what that film will be, Kinberg continued:

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X-Force is a combination of Deadpool, and Cable –they’re like the Black ops of the X-Men. They’re much darker and have an R-rated decibel. There are other X-Men characters coming into X-Force at different times in the comic, but it’s separate from X-Men.

Of course, we recently heard Joe Carnahan is writing a script for X-Force and while he doesn’t mention that, the way Kinberg talks about it, he seems to expect it to happen fairly quickly. Definitely before a third Deadpool movie at least. But, we guess, X-Force is kind of its own Deadpool sequel in a way.

Oddly, when asked the order of what’s next movie-wise, Kinberg mentioned Deadpool 2 and X-Force but not New Mutants, which many assumed would be next to go into production after Deadpool 2. That may still be the case and maybe it just slipped his mind, but it’s interesting to note.

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Kinberg then explained that while there is a plan for the movies to connect, that is not their main goal.

There is a larger architecture to tell these stories in. I talk to the studio all the time about this and there is a plan for how these movies can connect and be a part of a larger narrative. It’s something that’s fun, exciting and it will be interesting to see how we marry the different tones that we’ve been generating in these standalone movies of the X-Men universe. But we go into making the best movie we can. It’s not just about a Colossus or Deadpool cameo. Connecting all of these movies will happen when it organically makes sense. These movies aren’t simply being built as stepping stones to a larger story. Each one is wholly enclosed and a movie worth seeing.

The writer-producer also doesn’t deny the rumors that he could direct the next X-Men movie, whenever that would be, but he doesn’t confirm them either.

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Okay, and now the Logan spoilers and how the ending of that film will resonate beyond.

As you probably know, Logan ends not just with the death of Professor X, but Wolverine himself. Kinberg was asked about continuing that character and if Hugh Jackman would have a role in that. Here’s his answer:

We haven’t even thought of the next iteration of Wolverine. For all of us, we were keeping our fingers crossed that the audiences would respond to Logan the way they have. I can’t visualize in my head another Wolverine but if that day ever comes, we would talk to Hugh about it.

There’s no mention of how X-23 could potentially continue that mantle, or if they would just reboot the character. We’ll have to see. But, for now, it seems like the focus—at least after Logan—is the X-Force and Deadpool universe.

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Read more of the Kinberg interview at the below link.

[Deadline]