MCU is the most powerful brand in Hollywood with 19 movies and counting, that have collectively earned over $15 Billion at the global box-office, which is highest ever by any franchise ever. Marvel Studios is under the aegis of Disney group which recently acquired Fox studios for $71.3 Billion. Initially, there were anti-trust issues but subsequently, DOJ cleared the decks and now the deal is ratified by the shareholders of both Fox and Disney.
As a result, the rights of X-Men, Fantastic Four characters will be transferred to Disney and there is a possibility of a major crossover with so many amazing characters under its belt whose rights were previously owned by Fox. Fans are celebrating this development and are looking forward to how Marvel use these awesome characters in the ever-expanding cinematic universe.
The biggest question now is – Will we see X-Men or Fantastic Four in the upcoming Avengers 4? The answer is negative. The Marvel President Kevin Feige has made it clear that the deal would not have any impact on MCU Phase 3. Here’s what he said:
“I feel like with Avengers 4, because it was made before there was any response to Avengers 3, it’s really pure in that regard. The storytelling is very pure. It’s without any sort of external noise creeping in at all.”
There is just not enough time to introduce a whole array of new characters, write new storylines, cast new people and ensure that it looks seamless. Also, DOJ is just one of the regulatory agency that has approved the deal, there are other agencies whose approval is needed, which could take a while.
Hence, the best way forward is to tease mutants or Fantastic Four in the post-credits of Avengers 4. Feige is also of the view that once the deal is complete in its entirety, he will begin to develop properties. He said:
“When and how that deal with Fox finishes and comes together and we’re told, ‘Hey, now you can start working on it. Now you can start thinking about it,’ is when we’ll actually start thinking about it,”
The director of Ant-Man and the Wasp Peyton Reed has often mentioned his dream to direct a movie based on Marvel’s first family aka Fantastic Four. He even had conversations about this with top Marvel executives. Many pundits have said that it is much easier to introduce Fantastic Four characters like Reed, Sue etc. into the MCU as their stories are relatively less complicated and insular as compared to X-Men.
The X-Men are more familiar but their backstories are quite complicated. They represent a special class of people who possess extraordinary abilities. They used to live among ordinary people but then their marginalization began and they were forced to live with their own kind. Prof. X opened a school for X-Men to help them harness their powers and control them at the same time.
The closest MCU has come to introducing mutants is when it introduced Maximoff siblings i.e Quick-Silver and Scarlett Witch (their father is Magneto), subsequently Quicksilver died of wounds inflicted by AI Ultron.
In comics, the Terrigen mist is used as a catalyst to allow descendants of Inhuman blood to activate their powers. In Hickman’s ‘Infinity Arc’, Black Bolt defeated Thanos by activating the terrigen bomb that triggered In-human powers, as a result they wiped off Mad Titan’s forces. This could be teased in post-credits to introduce Mutants into the MCU instead of going on a different tangent altogether.
The strongest argument to go this route is that Marvel has done this already in its TV show ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ where terrigen mist turned Shield’s Agent Skye into an Inhuman named Quake with powers to cause high-intensity tremors at will. The MCU’s version could be slightly different.
The biggest question that fans will ask – Why nobody has ever heard of Mutants in MCU? Well, the only possible explanation of this is that the mutant gene had been laid dormant for a very long time and then the Terrigen mist caused mutants to come out in the open. This is by no means perfect way, but this seems the least controversial option.
Imagine Iron Man and Wolverine, Cap and Cyclops, Thor and Storm, Mystique and Black Widow, Jean Grey and Scarlett Witch, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fantastic Four in the same frame. Hopefully, someday this would be a reality.