The X-Men and Fantastic Four can officially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe now that the Disney/Fox deal is done, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen anytime soon. While there are a great many things that came/will come as a result of Disney purchasing most of Fox, some good, some bad, one of the key elements for Marvel fans is that the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four wound up back in the hands of Marvel, since Disney also owns the comic book publisher. That means those characters can and will eventually join the MCU fold. But it's going to be a while.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who is the man at the top of the food chain when it comes to the MCU, has started to make the press rounds for Avengers: Endgame. During a recent interview, he was asked when we might be able to expect the beloved mutants to get in on the fun. Unfortunately, his answer wasn't terribly encouraging for those who are feeling a little impatient. Here's what Feige had to say about it.
"It'll be a while. It's all just beginning and the five-year plan that we've been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it's much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they're home. That they're all back. But it will be a very long time."
Kevin Feige had been asked multiple times about this before the Fox deal officially closed. But this is the first time he's really addressed it since the deal wrapped up. He's not a man that likes to put the cart before the horse. And as frustrating as his answer may be, it makes a lot of sense. The MCU has largely succeeded through careful planning, with the ability to be flexible. Feige further elaborated on the studio's plans beyond Avengers: Endgame.
"The slate that we're building over the next five years [is] not apples to apples. It is two very distinct things and I hope they'll feel very distinct. But there is a similar mentality going into it, which is 'How can we continue to tell stories with some of the characters that audiences already know and love in a unique way, in a different way, in a surprising way, of which we have a lot of plans and ideas and work already going into it?' [Then] 'How can we introduce new characters that even hardcore fans, comic fans, have barely known or barely heard of.' That's really exciting too."
While the studio hasn't officially announced any titles, we know Black Widow, The Eternals and Shang-Chi are all in the works. There are also sequels such as Doctor Strange 2, Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on deck. That's enough to fill at least two years worth of movie releases. And who knows what secrets the studio has hidden up its sleeves.
Point being, it's easy to see why it may be tough to make room for the likes of Wolverine or Reed Richards right now. That said, there is no reason they couldn't start laying breadcrumbs in some of these other movies while we wait for an actual X-Men movie that takes place in the MCU. Meanwhile, Dark Phoenix is set to arrive in June and will conclude that version of the franchise. This news was first reported by io9.