Just a few years back, comic book movie fans wouldn’t have dared to dream that Marvel Studios gaining access to the characters of Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four was a real possibility. After all, Sam Raimi’s Sony-produced Spider-Man trilogy was one of the franchises responsible for the initial rise of superhero films to top-level box office contenders, and the studio seemed bent on recapturing that magic with their rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series. Over on the Fox side, the X-Men film franchise had hit a few potholes, but got back in the good graces of audiences with entries like X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine.
That perception of an inter-studio Marvel alliance being unlikely to happen was suddenly shattered by the 2015 announcement that Sony had agreed to allow Spider-Man to swing his way into the MCU. This move came not too long after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to impress either critics or fans, and signified that the web-head needed a cinematic reinvention. With this first wall busted down, many fans naturally began to wonder just how long it would take for Fox to make a similar agreement with Marvel, especially after the colossal failure of last year’s Fantastic Four reboot.
For his part Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has always downplayed suggestions that any such deal between his company and Fox was imminent, with his most recent dismissal of the idea coming just last month. When once again asked about the subject in a recent interview with Variety, Feige has just taken this stance to a new level, offering his most unequivocal denial yet that any progress has been made toward Marvel Studios gaining use of X-Men or Fantastic Four characters:
“It’s an impossibility at this juncture. We certainly have enough films to keep us busy for a number of lifetimes.”
Obviously, Feige’s use of the phrase “at this juncture” doesn’t preclude a Fox/Marvel Studios collaboration from happening at some point in the future. Still, it’s hard to think of a more blunt way to say that something is not happening any time soon than to call it an “impossibility.”
While Hollywood’s standard protocol is of course to deny that corporate talks of this nature are ongoing until the contracts have been signed, one assumes that if anything was even remotely in the pipeline that Feige would choose his words a lot more carefully. With that in mind, it would appear that fans will just have to keep dreaming of big screen encounters between Wolverine and Captain America, or Thing and Hulk.