A simple cameo appearance by a hero or villain from one studio franchise in another would generate enough buzz and interest to make the cameo worthwhile for those involved – think of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) showing up in New York and taking photos of The Avengers in action. The viral marketing from such teases alone would help promote all of the Marvel movie franchises and lay the foundation for that distance future possibility where studios could work together on something epic.
For Marvel Studios, once Phase 3 and Phase 4 are out of the way, rebooting their universe isn’t an appealing option, and they’ll likely continue returning characters, rotating rosters for The Avengers, recasting, etc.
By that time however, the heroes from Fox’s X-Men (the original trilogy) will be too old, and the younger cast from First Class will still be stuck in the past. Since the Fantastic Four are getting a fresh start in 2015, a few months before The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks off the summer season, it’s possible that Fox also takes advantage of the timing to start fresh and truly reset the timeline. Since the confusing, yet convenient plot device of time travel is being introduced in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past next summer for the studio, they could even reboot the entire franchise – as we’ve theorized about before – and keep it within the same continuity, even keeping Hugh Jackman around as an aged Wolverine as they introduced an entirely new cast (young Wolverine included).
We’ve already heard Fox’s recently hired consultant Mark Millar talk frequently about crossover potential between the Fantastic Four and X-Men, and X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner is very much interested in the prospect of teaming with The Avengers. On the Sony side, where we see the beginnings of a potential universe with spinoffs (see: Venom) and a group of villains beginning to form (Sinister Six), director Mark Webb sees a crossover as a “fantastic” idea but shares concerns over the established rules in each studio’s franchise, namely the fact there are loads of mutants in the X-Men and the world is aware of them. Maybe that can be fixed with time travel to.
In the meantime, look forward to the X-Men franchise potentially getting a new direction after next year’s Days of Future Past and look forward to seeing where Fox takes their own cinematic universe after re-introducing the Fantastic Four. On the Sony side, The Amazing Spider-Man‘s second chapter debuts next summer as well and that’s where we’ll have better idea of what the plan is for its two confirmed sequels/spinoffs. Each studio, like Marvel, is just in the beginning of planning things that are bigger (and hopefully better) than we’ve seen before, so once that is all out of the way and they’ve introduced all their characters, told their big stories, then crossovers will be an even hotter topic, and perhaps even a logical way to go.
On the Marvel side, Thor: The Dark World releases November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
On the Fox side, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2014. Fantastic Four opens March 6, 2015
And on the Sony side, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 releases May 2, 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 releases June 10, 2016, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 is scheduled for May 4, 2018.
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