Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe aka. the MCU. As previously reported, Disney's much-anticipated acquisition of 21st Century Fox has finally been confirmed, with the Mouse House shelling out billions for a sizeable chunk of Rupert Murdoch's television and film assets. This essentially means that any properties that previously belonged to Fox are now in the hands of Disney - and crucially for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this includes both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises.
Prior to the advent of the MCU, Marvel sold off a number of its key characters to other studios including Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. This prevented any of the associated superheroes appearing in Marvel's own big screen output. In 2015 however, Marvel Studios reached an agreement with Sony to bring Spidey back into the fold, resulting in the web-slinger's appearance in Captain America: Civil War and a solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Related: Disney Didn't Buy Fox for the X-Men
The deal between Disney and Fox has now ensured the rights to all of Marvel's main players are back within the company's own grasp and CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four will soon be joining the MCU. Speaking on a call to investors this morning (via Deadline), Iger stated:
“We have the opportunity to expand iconic franchises for new generations of fans just as we have done with Marvel and Star Wars... We’re also looking forward to expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool."
While this development has been widely expected ever since the deal was announced, official confirmation that the likes of Wolverine and Mr. Fantastic will soon be fighting evil alongside Iron Man and Thor is very reassuring indeed. The fact that Iger includes Deadpool in his claim is even more of a pleasant surprise, as Mr. Pool's potty mouth and penchant for gruesome deaths doesn't exactly gel with the Disney ethos. Nevertheless, the studio has already declared itself willing to continue with a R-Rated line of Marvel movies.
For many fans of the MCU, this acquisition will come as welcome news. Fox had two attempts at building a Fantastic Four franchise and neither was particularly successful. It will surely be fascinating to see how Marvel Studios themselves bring the iconic group to the big screen, particularly given their prominence in a number of landmark comic story-lines. Although Fox had far more success with the X-Men franchise, its primary series of films has been on somewhat of a downward trend - and with the excellent Logan bringing an end to Hugh Jackman's popular incarnation of Wolverine, the time could be ripe for Marvel's Mutants to be given an MCU makeover in the next few years.
With all that said, there is an element of concern regarding Disney's continued acquisition of other studios, as Hollywood could soon find itself in a position where the Western movie industry is dominated by a single company. Although Disney's purchases have yet to negatively impact the quality and diversity of movies such as those within the Star Wars and MCU franchises, it could eventually stifle filmmakers' creativity if so many huge movie properties were to be gathered under a single Mouse-shaped roof.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019