X marks... the end?

The one thing you can usually rely on from the likes of Marvel and Fox is that there’s someone willing to crank open their gob and spill some secrets about their big films. The latest to unhinge their jaw is Tom Rothman, the president of the film division at 20th Century Fox. Speaking at the Big Momma’s House 2 premiere, he was only too happy to talk sequels…

When asked about the status of X-Men 3, he explained that this latest outing for the mutants is planned as a wrap-up for their story. “The official title is X-Men: The Last Stand. It's the conclusion of this trilogy. These three movies work as a trilogy. These characters in this relationship, it's the culmination of that saga. It's the culmination and the resolution of those relationships laid out in the first two movies.” So will we never see them again? “That doesn't mean never, I would never say never again but I will say that this brings that saga to an end. It's quite the way the last Lord Of The Rings, Return of the King, brought that trilogy to a conclusion in terms of those characters, that's what this movie does. It goes all the way back to the first one and rounds off and completes that three-part story.”

And he maintains that even if the X-Men films don’t continue, we haven’t seen the last of the universe. “You'll see more of the X-Men world. You know, we're developing a Wolverine movie right now, we're developing a Magneto picture.”

So what of Fantastic Four 2? The film wasn’t a critical hit, but it scored well enough at the box office that Fox is working on a sequel: “We're writing. That's the thing, we are aiming for July of '07 which seems like a long time but in our world it isn't, it's a short time, it's not either short or long but it's not so far away as it sounds, let put it that way. We are working on the script now.”

Finally, there’s Alien Vs Predator, or the not-quite-as-bad-as-the-others Paul WS Anderson film. There’s been script movement on that, too: “I think they just got the script, they just got the script in. We are making that movie, it's gonna be kick ass. We're hoping for August of 2007 release.”