Gwendolyn Purdom
November 16, 2017 5:40 pm

The X-Men universe is about to throw *another* superhero into the (cinematic) ring, with a standalone feature devoted to lesser-known character Multiple Man. And because the dude’s whole thing is cloning himself, things could get real confusing. Adding to that, the man who never ceases to surprise us — Hollywood enigma James Franco — might just star!

So, who is Multiple Man, anyway?

Multiple Man, also known as Jamie Madrox, hails from a more obscure corner of the Marvel Comics world. The character proves his ability to clone himself at birth. To keep him and his family safe, Madrox’s father moves them to a secluded farm and keeps his growing boy in an anti-cloning suit made by the one and only Professor Xavier of X-Men fame. Of course, at some point the suit malfunctions and then all the cloning antics — and run-ins with other characters in the Marvel canon — can begin.

Madrox actually first showed up in the Marvelverse in a 1975 Fantastic Four comic. He appeared here and there in the following years and landed his own short-lived series in 2004. Known for his humor and later a dark streak (look out, Deadpool!), Multiple Man could actually be the perfect comic book character for Franco to tackle, which is potential casting that Deadline broke. Now, Franco, of course, is no stranger to comic adaptations; he famously played Harry Osborn in the 2000s-era Spider-Man films. We just didn’t necessarily expect him to return to a comics-based franchise, but we welcome it!

As for the behind-the-scenes crew, Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg (!!) has signed on the write the script for the Fox film, and Genre Films will produce alongside Franco’s production company Ramona Films that he runs with his brother Dave.

Next month, we’ll see Franco take on another quirky cult character in The Disaster Artist, a movie in which he stars and also directed. After that, it seems he’ll have a lot of adventures in store between Multiple Man and an adaptation of the classic crime-solving book series The Hardy Boys, which he’ll be making with his brother.

Fox’s plate will be just as full. In addition to James Franco’s super debut, other X-Men spinoffs including Deadpool 2, The New Mutants, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Gambit (starring our collective boyfriend Channing Tatum) are all in the pipeline.