FOX has had their fun with the X-Men franchise with quite an extensive and somewhat complicated timeline over the years. But the focus appears to be shifting toward the spinoff team of X-Force with the rise of Deadpool as the featured star of the Foxside of the Marvel universe.

The black ops team of mutants looks closer to making its way to the big screen than ever, as Drew Goddard has reportedly signed on to write and direct X-Force, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That should be an encouraging sign for the future of Fox’s X-Force initiative, and continuing what’s already been established with Deadpool and its upcoming sequel, featuring the time-traveling rebel Cable.

Goddard has some noteworthy accomplishments to his name, including being nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Martian. But what is most notable here is his background with Marvel projects.

As a writer and producer, Goddard is credited with creating the Daredevil series for Netflix, which spawned a Marvel TV universe of shows that culminated in The Defenders. He was also previously in line to direct a Spider-Man spinoff for Sony that focused on a group of the wall-crawler’s villains, titled The Sinister Six. But that was before Sony totally bungled its Spider-Man franchise and had to reboot the most popular Marvel character once again with Marvel’s help, bringing Spidey into the MCU with this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Deadpool and the X-Men, and now X-Force, aren’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, due to the rights agreements in place, but having someone who has had a contributing hand in building comic book universes on TV and in movies (with varying degrees of success) should be seen as a good sign for what Fox has in store for X-Force.

Fox also needs as much optimism as they can muster, following the success of Deadpool. The X-Men franchise will still be a large part of the studio’s mutant adventures, but has once again failed with the Fantastic Four (0-for-3 for those keeping score at home), and Deadpool was a pleasant surprise. Now Fox is hitching its wagon to Ryan Reynolds as the main star of their X-Men universe, now that Hugh Jackman has closed out his run as Wolverine. Thus, launching a possible X-Force series needs to take off for Fox in a big way.

In the comic books, characters like Psylocke, Angel and Wolverine have been part of the team. No one should expect to see Wolverine, but Psylocke (played by Olivia Munn) and Angel (Ben Hardy) were in the last X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse. Could they turn up in X-Force?

Production for Deadpool 2 is already well underway (scheduled for release in theaters next June), and it is expected that the film’s stars (Reynolds and Josh Brolin as Cable) will be a featured part of the X-Force team-up. Both characters are in the comic book source material, where Cable is the team leader for the militant alternative to the X-Men, and spinning off Deadpool and Cable into another movie seems like a smart idea.

Now, how can we get Deadpool to cross over to the MCU? Maybe that door can be left open in the writing of X-Force. Get to it, Goddard.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.