Sources have confirmed to us that Tim Miller of Deadpool fame is hard at work developing a solo movie for the famous phasing member of the X-Men, Kitty Pryde, to potentially direct. Best known by the codename Shadowcat, but also taking on the aliases of Ariel, Sprite and even the mantle of Star-Lord over the years, Pryde is a mutant with the ability to “phase” or become intangible, which basically allows her (and anything she’s touching) to pass through solid objects, disrupt electromagnetic fields, and even levitate. Miller’s setting the project up at 20th Century Fox, the current home of Marvel’s X-Men, X-Force, Wolverine, The New Mutants, and the aforementioned Deadpool titles, but the much-publicized potential buyout by Disney will almost certainly complicate things.
To be clear, a Kitty Pryde movie is very much in development at Fox by Miller at the moment, but even without the expected merger valued at $52.4 billion, a movie that’s in development doesn’t necessarily end up going into production. Just look at the list of “announced” projects for super-producers like Steven Spielberg or Ridley Scott–who just added a possible Disney project of his own–to get an idea of how many pictures are in development versus how many come to pass. Factor in that Miller himself is currently producing a Sonic the Hedgehog movie for Paramount and will be directing the new Terminator film for the studio for a 2019 release, and then add in the fact that the regulatory review of the Disney/Fox merger should take anywhere from 12 to 18 months (if it is approved at all) and things get a bit more complicated.
But Fox isn’t just sitting around waiting to see if they’ll be folded into Disney or not; they have to actively pursue movie projects like normal. Neither is Miller taking a “wait and see” approach. While ultimately Kitty Pryde might never hit the big screen, the fact that he’s actively developing the picture is an interesting and exciting bit of news. (Again, we want to stress that this film, in its current version, might never see the light of day due to any number of reasons, from Fox passing on it, to Disney scrapping it completely, to a Disney and Fox potentially working out some sort of compromise if the merger deal falls through.) If Kitty Pryde does come to pass, it will be the first time the Marvel mutant gets her own big-screen title and would follow sometime after Simon Kinberg‘s upcoming film X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Not a bad pair of films to celebrate Fox’s first female leads for a Marvel title since the beleaguered Elektra.
Now that’s not to say Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat hasn’t appeared in feature films before. Cameo appearances from Sumela Kay in X-Men and Katie Stuart in X2 acted as Easter eggs/teasers for the character. Fans will remember Ellen Page‘s portrayal–most notably in the sequence opposite Vinnie Jones‘ Juggernaut–in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Feel free to speculate on who should play Pryde and get your fan-casting suggestions in now because this project is a long way away from the casting process.
We’re curious to see the direction that Miller and Fox and/or Disney take the character, who began her time in the comics as a sort of “kid sister”/sidekick to the older X-Men after her 1980 introduction. In the mid-80s, Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom‘s miniseries “Kitty Pryde and Wolverine” took the title characters on a side-quest in Japan in order to capitalize on their popularity. (Don’t expect Hugh Jackman back for that famous role, but you should definitely get your suggestions in for whoever next plays Logan.) That popularity even gave Pryde first billing in “Pryde of the X-Men”, the story basis for a classic Konami arcade game and the pilot for what would become a fan-favorite animated series.
We should expect this first film to be a solo outing for Pryde, but there are a lot of story arcs to mine for future films. It’s possible we could see the coming-of-age story for Pryde that was laid out in the “Days of Future Past” storyline, but previous films have already exhausted that tale. What’s more interesting to me personally are the adventures of Kitty Pryde that haven’t been explored on the big screen just yet. We might see her joining the Xavier’s Academy and befriending some members of the New Mutants alongside the X-Men themselves. And how great would it be to see Pryde pal around with her alien dragon friend Lockheed again? Oh and then there was the time that Kitty was possessed by a ninja demon which bestowed incredible martial arts abilities to her, or the time the X-Men and Fantastic Four fought each other while Doctor Doom tried to save Kitty’s life … or the time she married Peter Quill and then took on the mantle of Star-Lord so he could attend to his duties as Emperor of Spartax. Yeah. There’s a lot of story to mine here.
And as for Miller’s involvement, he did quite well for himself (and the studio) with his budget-conscious and hyper-focused take on Deadpool, a solo antihero film with a killer star in Ryan Reynolds and a solid supporting cast around him. Will lightning strike twice?
I love that Miller is developing Kitty Pryde and I can’t wait to find out more about the project; whether or not it ever sees the light of day in the wake of many, many variables remains to be seen.