MCU is the biggest brand in Hollywood with 19 movies under its belt earning over $15 Billion at the global box-office, making it the most profitable franchise ever. Marvel Studios are now under the aegis of Disney group which also recently acquired Fox studios for $71 Billion. There were anti-trust issues earlier but DOJ cleared the decks and the deal is now complete.
As a result, the rights of X-Men, Fantastic Four etc. will be transferred to Disney and we can hope to see the crossover of so many amazing characters whose rights were previously owned by Fox. Fans are over the moon and are looking forward to how Marvel use these wonderful characters in the larger cinematic universe.
The director of Ant-Man and the Wasp has often talked about his dream to direct a movie based on Marvel’s first family and revealed that he even had conversations about this in the halls of Marvel building with top executives. Many analysts 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.
Although, mutants are more familiar to masses their backstories are pretty convoluted. They represent a special class of people who possess extraordinary abilities and used to live amongst ordinary folks. But then their marginalization began and they were forced to migrate to their own communities. Prof. X opened a school for mutants to help them understand their powers and control them at the same time. This kind of narrative fits well with the Marvel’s overall tone.
The closest MCU has gotten to X-Men is when it introduced Maximoff siblings aka Quick-Silver and Scarlett Witch (their father is Magneto), of which Quicksilver died of wounds inflicted by AI Ultron.
When the rivalry between Fox and Marvel was at it’s peak, Fox came down heavily against MCU to phase out the possibility of bringing mutant characters onscreen. But then Marvel was attempting to replace mutants with In-humans who are far less superior and compelling in terms of storytelling. Let’s not discuss the pros and cons of that approach right now…let’s move forward.
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 was able to beat Thanos through a Terrigen bomb as every In-human gained its powers and wiped off Mad Titan’s forces. This could be an effective way to introduce Mutants into the MCU instead of going on a different tangent altogether.
The strongest argument in favor of this approach 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 need not be exactly similar, and it incorporates different changes as per the script.
The biggest question that will be asked of writers is – Why nobody has ever heard or referenced Mutants ever? Well, the only appropriate explanation of this is that mutant gene has been laid dormant for a very long time and then the Terrigen mist plot could be used to introduce slew of X-Men characters. This is by no means perfect way, not even close but this seems to be the only rational way to go about this thing.
In 2008, when MCU began with Iron Man, nobody in their right mind could have imagined that one day Marvel will have the rights to X-Men. The Avengers are Earth’s mightiest heroes who have saved the mankind whenever a bad guy threatened its existence, but X-Men have a different kind of appeal. Together, they are a formidable team which can take on anyone and everyone.
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 hanging around in the same frame. It does’nt get bigger than this.
Hopefully, Marvel will make it happen in the near future.