Back in 2013, Fox tapped Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow to script an X-Force movie, but Deadpool’s development put X-Force on the back burner, and the Merc With a Mouth’s record-breaking box office take seems to have made the studio rethink their plans. Bryan Singer basically confirms as much, revealing that not only is Simon Kinberg currently working on a new X-Force screenplay, but that Singer himself pitched a female version of Wolverine — lending credence to recent rumors that X-23 will appear in The Wolverine sequel.

In an interview with Fandango, Singer says that X-Men producer Simon Kinberg is “in the earliest script stage” for the X-Force movie, which seems to indicate that they’ve scrapped Wadlow’s draft and are starting from scratch. Singer adds that he’s only involved with X-Force on the “idea level,” as he’s prepping 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as his follow-up to X-Men: Apocalypse.

As for a recent rumor suggesting that X-23 — Wolverine’s female clone — will appear in The Wolverine 2, Singer says:

I have discussed that with the studio. I actually initially pitched the X-Force and the female.

So not only could X-23 appear in The Wolverine sequel, but she might also show up in X-Force. Kinberg and Singer have no current plans to re-cast Hugh Jackman once he exits the franchise, and X-23 seems like a great way to continue Logan’s legacy in the series without replacing him — and let’s be honest, there’s no replacing Jackman’s Wolverine.

In related news, Kinberg tells Den of Geek that X-Force could very well be R-rated:

When there are films that want to be raunchier, want to be darker, want to be violent or R-rated, [Fox will] be open to it. And not every movie should be. I don’t think that the main X-Men movies should be R-rated; I don’t think they’re R-rated stories. But if we were to make an X-Force movie, that probably should be R-rated.

He also notes that the decision to make an R-rated Wolverine sequel was already in place before Deadpool came along.

X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27. The Wolverine 2 arrives on March 3, 2017.

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