It's finally official: the Disney-21st Century Fox merger has been approved by shareholders and is looking to take effect mid-2019. Before we dive into what this means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let's start off with a brief history of how so many Marvel characters ended up at different studios.
Back in 1996, Marvel Studios sold some of their heavy-hitting properties to Sony and Fox. Spider-Man went to Sony, while the likes of X-Men and Fantastic Four went to Fox, who has held onto their properties and made off with an 18-year string of superhero movies with relatively high box office numbers.
Then came the behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU started in 2008 with Iron Man and little post-credit scenes connect our favorite heroes leading up to 2012's Avengers; the movie that had every other studio shook. Marvel came back and came through to dominate in shared universes and comic book movies. The MCU is undoubtedly the sole reason why every major studio is working towards having its own shared universe.
Now that we'll be seeing just about all of the Marvel Comics characters under the MCU, let's talk about what we're looking forward to from this deal. Let's chat.
A Fantastic Four movie that doesn't suck
We're towards the end of phase 3 in the MCU, which will end with Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, the follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War. With Phase 4 on the horizon, OG characters like Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are being ushered out and newcomers like Black Panther, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel and the Guardians of the Galaxy are taking over.
Marvel's first family is the perfect leeway into the Fox-Disney merger.
The Fantastic Four have suffered from three not-so-great movies, with the most recent being Josh Trank's 2015 Fantastic 4 reboot, which goes down for being one of the worst adaptations of all time. The Fantastic Four can seamlessly enter the MCU with no previous explanation needed. Their PG-13 and family dynamic fits right in with the joke-heavy and happy-go-lucky formula that's worked so well in the MCU. With Tony Stark soon to be stepping down (or dying, yikes) this sets up the perfect opportunity for another genius like Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) to step up as the MCU's resident genius. I expect to see them at the tail end of phase 4.
If you know me, then you know that I am secretly a mutant waiting on Professor X to send the jet and officially make me a member of the X-Men. In other words, I am a true X-Men stan and for the most part I love what Fox has done with my all-time favorite superheroes.
That said, this is what EYE want to happen.
Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are both essentially done filming and in the final stages of post-production. IMAX confirmed that both films are slated for their 2019 release with their earnings report.
There are a number of ways Marvel could integrate the concept of mutants into the MCU. I personally would love to see the X-Men be one of the consequences of the Avengers altering time/universes to defeat Thanos. Or, after Dark Phoenix and New Mutants debut next year they could scrap the X-Men altogether, and well, I will still be there opening night. I expect to see the X-Men in the MCU in 2020, apart of the end of Phase 4 or beginning of Phase 5 at the soonest.
With the X-Men integration, one of the most obvious comic book story lines to follow would be 2012's crossover event of Avengers vs X-Men.
The story follows the aftermath of yet another Phoenix Force phenomenon that leads Scarlet Witch to wipe out mutants as a whole during battle with the exception of the X-Men. Knowing the MCU, this would be an event that the studio would lead up to with the likes of post-credit scenes like we got with Avengers.
That said the X-Men would have to already exist in this world. I can see this being at the tail-end of Phase 5 or beginning of Phase 6. I AM READY.
Let Deadpool be Deadpool
Literally change nothing. This is the perfect set-up for the type of character that Deadpool is. Known for hilariously breaking the fourth wall. This merger is a gold mine of material for everyone's favorite Merc with a Mouth.
Coincidentally, the four-year anniversary of the leaked animated footage of Deadpool that peaked fans' interest and fast tracked the movie into production was this past week!
Keep him rated R, and allow Ryan Reynolds’s Wade Wilson to pop in and out of ensemble movies as he pleases while his solo movies remain in their own bubble of a universe. It's working for Fox, and this character is a fan favorite that the happy-go-lucky MCU does not need to alter.
Tell me, what do you guys want to see in the MCU? Are we here for this deal or nah?