As the X-Universe continues to expand outward, characters deeper in the roster have gotten a chance to shine. Sure, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Professor X were pretty much a given from the start, but who’d have thought we’d see a cinematic appearance from Negasonic Teenage Warhead in our lifetime? A Gambit solo movie has been milling around development hell for months, the New Mutants film has been gradually amassing cast members, and this week brings a major update to the progress on yet another tangential X-project, the rough-and-tumble X-Force. Yesterday, the project gained a writer, and of course it’s a fanboy-familiar name.

Collider reports that well-regarded genre filmmaker Joe Carnahan has been tapped to draft the script for the X-Force film. Though he’s best known as the director of such dude-a-paloozas as The GreyThe A-Team, and Smokin’ Aces, Carnahan has not been hired to direct the film as well. (Though Fox is still perfectly liable to consider him as they continue the search for the right talent.) But Carnahan’s got plenty of experience as a writer, currently working on the latest Bad Boys sequel, the script for the adaptation of adventure video game Uncharted, and even eyeing a slightly heretical Americanized remake of action opus The Raid. He should be well-suited for the task of adapting the more brutal, hard-edged X-Force comics, where mutants operate as ruthless mercenaries rather than heroes. (“Think Suicide Squad, but less bad!” is how I imagine the pitch meeting went.)

X-Force remains one of the X-Universe’s more back-burnered projects, with Deadpool sequels and New Mutants coming down the pipeline first. Even so, hiring some bold talent for a daring premise could be the shot in the arm that the flagging – remember Apocalypse? neither do we! –  X-franchise needs.


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