New X-Men TV show will be 'more intimate' than the movies

Showrunner Matt Nix drops a few hints about the forthcoming X-Men TV show.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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A new X-Men TV show's in the works, but we know as much about it as Professor Xavier does about the latest hairstyles. So we caught up with Matt Nix, the man in charge of the prospective show, to find out how it will approach Marvel's mutants.

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The new X-Men TV show will feature familiar characters, but won't see things from the same perspective as the comics and movies.


I took the opportunity to talk Marvel-ous mutants while chatting with Nix, the creator of "Burn Notice", about his current project, "APB", which premieres on Fox on Monday 6 February. We know Fox has ordered a pilot episode of the X-Men-related show -- to be directed by Bryan Singer -- and that it's loosely set in the same universe as the X-Men movies master masterminded by Singer. Beyond that, Nix could offer only hints about the project. So to allow you to read between the lines, I present the conversation in full below.

CNET: How's the X-Men show going?
Matt Nix:
It probably will not surprise you to know that it's a pretty hush-hush thing. But some of the high-level powers-that-be at Fox expressed a lot of optimism about the project a couple of weeks ago at the Television Critic's Association [press tour]. It feels like it's coming along very well, elements are coming together and we're very excited about the direction that it's progressing. It remains to be seen whether they like the show, but it's certainly looking good for X-Men fans...

Can you give us any hint about anything we might not have seen before in an X-Men movie or TV show?
I'm trying to parse exactly what I'm allowed to say and what I'm not allowed to say... It's a story that definitely comes at the world of mutants from the side. One of the things that's come out [publicly] is the idea of a family that discovers their kids are mutants and has to go on the run. The movies and the comics have generally started with the X-Men and encountered the world outside from the perspective of the X-Men. This show flips that on its head, in the sense that it doesn't exclusively take place inside the world of people who are already X-Men and know that world.

It's also, I'd say, a more intimate story, in the sense that's what television does well. So I'd say it also explores issues surrounding mutants and what that experience is in a way that's hard to do in a two-hour movie because [a movie] needs to move very quickly and needs to get to big action. So we can explore some of the more intimate aspects of that over time. Does that make sense? I wish I could give you more...

Can you talk about what characters are going to be in it?
I would actually be killed. They would literally kill me.

The only thing that I would say is that it's a...some of those things are slightly up in the air, but the fact that it's a question I can't answer tells you something.

(Laughing) I'm not sure what...
Suffice it to say it's a show that contains some characters that fans will be excited about. I can't talk about specifics, but it's not like there are no X-Men in it.

So there you have it, X-fans. The X-Men show will have familiar characters in it, but will also approach the story differently from the X-Men movies. Fingers crossed we'll find out more soon.

In the meantime, the stylish "Legion" debuts on FX on 8 February. And on 6 February, airing after the rebooted "24: Legacy", new series "APB" tells the story of a maverick tech millionaire who takes charge of a police precinct, examining whether technology can tackle crime.

Update, 11 a.m. PT: Adds Deadline report about Singer.

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