Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is officially in control of the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool properties, which were inherited as part of the studio's massive $71.3 billion merger with Fox. Not that we needed any further confirmation on the matter, but it's just been made a little more clear by Disney. While it still may be a while before we see these characters show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it puts things one step closer.
This news came as part of Disney's recent quarterly investor call which was, overall, something of a mixed bag. The merger with Fox hasn't been all peaches and cream. Most of the releases Disney got stuck with as a result of the merger have failed to deliver at the box office. Chief amongst those releases being Dark Phoenix, the final Fox era X-Men movie that was produced by the studio ahead of the merger. The results were disastrous, as critics were not kind and the box office, or lack thereof, followed. That movie, and others from Fox, contributed to a less-than-stellar quarter for Disney.
With that having been said, it makes every shred of sense for CEO Bob Iger to confirm that Kevin Feige, one of the studio's most trusted and proven creative minds, is in control of properties that have the potential to be major hits in the years to come. The rights to the X-Men (which includes Deadpool) and Fantastic Four) have been owned by Fox for two decades. As such, those characters were never allowed to be part of the MCU alongside The Avengers. That all begins to change now. Or, at least the wheels are in motion.
It had previously been confirmed by Kevin Feige during Marvel's San Diego Comic-Con presentation that reboots of the X-Men and Fantastic Four were on the way. There was no mention of Deadpool at that time. However, few details were given, which left us with many questions. Emma Watts, a major Fox production executive who has stayed on with the studio through the merger, had previously been in control of those particular Marvel properties. It wasn't totally clear how that transition was going to be handled. Were Watts and Feiger going to share duties on that front? Clearly, Disney is going with the hot hand on this one.
Since kicking off with Iron Man in 2008, the MCU has grossed an astonishing $22.5 billion worldwide. Success has only increased ever since Kevin Feige was named President of Marvel Studios. Point being, if there is one person to entrust with the future of these two beloved franchises, it's Feige. Unfortunately, Phase 4 of the MCU, which runs through 2021, has already been fully announced, so we won't see any of these titles folded into the MCU until at least 2022, but likely later. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety. Concept fan art for Marvel's X-Men comes from Super-Frame on Deviant Art.