When Disney announced their $52 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox back in December, it touted that the sale would bring 20th Century Fox Marvel characters like the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but don't expect that to happen anytime soon. Over the weekend, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was promoting the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, and he was asked when fans should expect these Fox-controlled Marvel characters within the MCU. Here's what the producer/studio president had to say, when asked if the Disney/Fox merger is complicating plans for the MCU, indicating fans shouldn't be holding their breath for this to happen.
"No, because any of that deal would take a while to get going and years from whenever and if ever it happens. So, certainly it won't impact the five movies we've announced, and it probably wouldn't impact anything for a handful of years after that. Because really, we're not thinking about that. We're thinking of delivering on what we promised. Any movie, especially for any characters we don't have the rights to yet until someone tells us we do, would be even further after that."
As of now, the only movies that have been fully confirmed for Marvel Phase 4 are Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 on July 5, 2019, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which doesn't have a release date, and a Black Widow movie, with no date set for that either. There has recently been talk about an Eternals movie, and a Moon Knight movie, but those have yet to be fully confirmed by the studio. Marvel has also set nine dates for unspecified MCU movies between 2020 and 2022, all of which will presumably make up the bulk of the Marvel Phase 4 lineup.
The Disney Fox merger isn't expected to be finalized until sometime in 2019, but even after that, it will certainly take some time to figure out where within the expansive MCU is the best place for the X-Men franchise, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, Gambit, X-Force and more. Since Marvel and Disney have yet to make an R-rated movie, many have wondered how this will impact any future Deadpool sequels, since the original movie and the upcoming sequel, arriving on May 18, are R-rated. Given Feige's comments, it wouldn't be surprising if we didn't see any of these Marvel/Fox characters until Marvel Phase 5.
Another possibility is that Marvel could use these characters for the small screen, perhaps with Disney's new streaming service that will launch next year. After Marvel re-acquired the rights to several characters like Daredevil, The Punisher, Ghost Rider and others like Blade, the studio brought most of those characters to the small screen, with Ghost Rider heading to ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil and The Punisher heading to Netflix. Still, given the big-screen success of the X-Men franchise at 20th Century Fox, it would be surprising if Marvel relegated these heroes to the small screen. Kevin Feige revealed these details in an interview with The Playlist.