Prior to the release of ‘Deadpool 2‘, much of the film’s marketing and general advance hype centered on the fact that the film would, after nearly two decades, bring X-Force to the big screen. The team, which has been a constant presence in the comics world for more than twenty-five years, represents a more militant approach to the X-Men’s pursuit of mutant/human co-existence. This cinematic introduction was something of a landmark given not only the team’s longevity and popularity but also the fact that Fox has an ‘X-Force’ movie in the works.

Which made it all the more surprising when nearly the entire team was unceremoniously killed off.

But since when has a little thing like a gruesome death ever kept a good X-Man down? Regardless of what befell the inaugural cinematic X-Force (with or without the film’s tongue-in-cheek, time travelling ending), the standalone ‘X-Force’ film remains on the slate, courtesy of writer/director Drew Goddard. But while Goddard has a general sense of where he wants to go with the film, he has admitted that he has yet to begin work on the script in earnest and Fox likewise has yet to set a release date. So what sort of timetable are we looking at?

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Goddard, who is currently in the process of completing work on ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, explained that while work on ‘Bad Times’ proceeded remarkably quickly (filming began in January and it will be in theaters this October), the amount of work involved has meant that he simply hasn’t had time to give ‘X-Force’ the attention it deserves:

“I’ve learned I’m very much a one-movie-at-a-time kind of guy, and they all know. It’s the same studio, which is nice, so they can say, “Okay, get ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ done,” and then once I get this movie done and get this into theaters we’ll turn our attention that way [toward ‘X-Force].”

With ‘Bad Times’ release looming soon, it is thus likely that Goddard will begin to focus his energy on ‘X-Force’ by the end of this year.

It’s also worth noting that Goddard’s remarks to CinemaBlend pre-dated today’s announcement that the deal Disney/Fox deal had been approved by government regulators. That said, the sale has yet to be finalized, and thus it would still be premature to make assumptions about the deal’s implications for Fox’s current slate of ‘X-Men’ films. Regardless, ever since the potential sale of Fox’s assets was announced back in November, the creative powers that be at both Disney and Fox have maintained that they are proceeding under the assumption that it’s business as usual until someone tells them otherwise. And whatever the future might hold for ‘X-Force’, it seems clear that Drew Goddard hasn’t got that memo yet.

Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘X-Force and other upcoming ‘X-Men’ movies as it becomes available!