Marvel’s New ‘X-Men’ Movie Lands ‘Hunger Games’ Screenwriter Michael Lesslie

The X-Men are one step closer to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their own movie.

Screenwriter Michael Lesslie (“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes”) is in talks with Marvel Studios to write the first “X-Men” movie since the mutant superhero franchise was acquired by Disney in its purchase of 21st Century Fox in 2019.

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As with every Marvel Studios film, Kevin Feige will produce, but nothing else about the film has been set, including director or cast. Marvel has been slowly seeding the MCU with mutants over the past two years, including brief mentions in 2022’s “Ms. Marvel” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and appearances of the X-Men’s namesake and leader, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), in an alternative universe in 2022’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and of Beast (Kelsey Grammer) in the post-credits sequence of 2023’s “The Marvels.”

Most recently, Marvel Studios enjoyed its best reviews in years with the Disney+ animated series “X-Men ’97,” a continuation of the animated “X-Men” show from the 1990s that exists within its own timeline.

The British-born Lesslie started his career in 2007, adapting the 1994 film “Swimming With Sharks” as a play, which debuted in London’s West End. He adapted Shakepeare’s “Macbeth” for director Justin Kurzel’s 2015 feature starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and then worked again with all three for 2016’s “Assassin’s Creed.” He executive produced and co-wrote the 2018 BBC/AMC limited series “The Little Drummer Girl,” an adaptation of the John le Carré novel directed by Park Chan-wook and starring Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgard and Florence Pugh.

Lesslie most recently produced and wrote a feature film adaption of “Hamlet” starring Riz Ahmed, Joe Alwyn, Morfydd Clark and Timothy Spall and directed by Aneil Karia (“Top Boy”), and he co-wrote the upcoming “Now You See Me 3.”

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