It definitely feels like ever since Marvel Studios worked out their deal to get Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that anything is possible. For most fans, "anything" means working out a similar deal with Fox to also allow the X-Men to join up with The Avengers at some point. Some recent news has suggested that this may be the case, with the mutants fighting in Avengers: Infinity War. But Captain America: Civil War co-director Joe Russo has just dashed our hopes and dreams.
The director recently spoke with Comicbook.com about the upcoming Blu-ray release of Captain America: Civil War. During the course of the chat, the subject of the X-Men joining up with The Avengers came up, and unfortunately, Joe Russo didn't seem overly optimistic about the prospect. Here is what he had to say.
"As far as we know, right now there isn't talk regarding the X-Men. I don't know if behind-the-scenes there were conversations or if there are conversations happening but we certainly haven't heard of any."
Granted, he isn't exactly saying it is never going to happen or that it can't happen, and he is simply saying that he hasn't heard anything. However, given that he and his brother Anthony Russo are currently a massive fixture in what Marvel has going on, they would likely know if such conversations were happening. For those thinking that since Marvel Studios was able to make it happen with Sony, they should be able to make it happen with Fox, Joe Russo had some insight as to why the Sony situation was different.
"Sony and Marvel had a relationship through Kevin [Feige] and Amy [Pascal] and through us and Amy. That's really how Spider-Man came about. It requires a certain alchemy and a very special situation for studios to share properties."
The relationship between Fox and Marvel has seemed a bit more stressed in recent years than the relationship between Marvel and Sony ever was. Marvel has been pulling X-Men and Fantastic Four merchandise from shelves, and they have been slowly moving away from comic book titles related to those properties for a while, since Fox owns the rights to them. However, a few recent developments have led to speculation that the possibility of reconciliation and crossover from the studios was possible.
Firstly, the TV side of Marvel and Fox are working together on some projects, perhaps most notably FX's upcoming show Legion. Recently, Ben Morse posted an article on Marvel.com detailing some characters that are making their way to the scren, both big and small, following announcements made at San Diego Comic-Con. What was most surprising is that Legion was listed among other MCU characters from upcoming titles such as Captain Marvel, Luke Cage and Doctor Strange. This doesn't seem to be an accident either, given the way Morse decided to intro the article.
"You followed our coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2016, you know that when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the likes of Iron Man and Captain America have got to make room for a new wave of heroes and villains set to seize the spotlight."
So, that led to some very reasonable speculation that Legion might be a signal that Fox and Marvel may be working things out. The other possible hope fans had was the confirmation that Doctor Strange will be introducing the concept of the multiverse into the MCU. For those who may be more of a casual fan and may not understand exactly what that means, the multiverse is a collection of various timelines and universes, which can allow for alternate versions of characters and story lines to co-exist. So basically, that would present Marvel Studios with the opportunity to say that whatever had gone on with Fox in the X-Men universe before took place in an alternate universe, and thus, they could bring new versions of the characters into their current movie universe.
Unfortunately, even though some of the groundwork appears to be laid out, it doesn't look like The Avengers and X-Men crossover we desperately want is happening anytime soon. However, if anyone can make it happen at some point, it is The Russo Brothers. For now, we will just have to enjoy Phase 3 of the MCU as is, and hope that Fox can make some more X-Men movies as enjoyable as Deadpool. Captain America: Civil War comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on September 13.