Marvel Studios now officially owns X-Men and Fantastic Four as the Disney-Fox deal has finalized, and here's what it means for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The studio is currently focused on wrapping up Phase 3 of the MCU with Avengers: Endgame, but the now official deal immediately gives studio president Kevin Feige and his team of writers and producers, as well as upcoming directors, the ability to use several brand new characters.
The Disney-Fox deal has been in the works since late 2017, but Disney has been unable to legally touch any Fox film during that time. While there are several less than ideal results of the Disney-Fox deal (like approximately 10,000 losses), the one area that has continued to generate excitement for Marvel fans is the eventual possibility that the MCU will be able to incorporate some of Marvel's biggest characters. The timing of this is almost perfect for the MCU as well, as Avengers: Endgame is expected to be the final appearance by several major stars, such as Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Chris Evans' Captain America, and this influx of characters gives the MCU plenty of potential future stars.
But, before the X-Men and Fantastic Four can be introduced in the MCU, there's still some Fox-related business to take care of. Fox has Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants slated for summer releases this year, but these plans could change now that Disney is in charge. With the Disney-Fox deal officially done, let's take a look at what it means for the MCU's future.
- This Page: An X-Men Reboot Is Coming
- Page 2: The MCU Gains Access To (Almost) Every Marvel Character
All X-Men Heroes (Except Deadpool) Will Be Rebooted
One of the biggest implications of the Disney-Fox deal as it pertains to Marvel is the upcoming reboot. For the last 20 years, Fox has created a popular X-Men franchise in its own right, but one that's impossible to work within the MCU. They've already had a soft reboot before that attempted to fix the messy continuity and X-Men timeline, and even though there are fan-favorite portrayals of iconic X-Men characters packed into these films (namely Hugh Jackman's Wolverine), Marvel Studios will reboot all of these characters to fit them into the MCU. Well, almost all of them.
The lone exception here appears to be Ryan Reynolds' foul-mouthed Deadpool, as recent reports indicate that Deadpool won't be recast. With the first two Deadpool movies making over $1.6 billion at the box office combined, it's a no-brainer for Disney and Marvel Studios to keep Reynolds around as the Merc with a Mouth. He's also the perfect character to live on, as his fourth-wall-breaking tendencies will allow him to make fun of the merger itself, the new universe he lives in, and even make mention of how the MCU's own Wolverine isn't Jackman. It's unclear if any fellow Deadpool characters will survive the transition, though, or if he will properly join the MCU - or not.
Reynolds is already having fun with this new venture, too, as he celebrated the Disney-Fox deal closing with a picture of Deadpool in a school bus with the Mickey Mouse ears on. The biggest question that still somewhat lingers over Deadpool is the rating that his next appearance will have. Reynolds recently tested the waters of a PG-13 Deadpool 2 with a special cut that many viewed as a showing by him that Deadpool can work outside of an R-rating. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger has also said that any future Deadpool movies would likely maintain a R-rating and that they'll just be extra careful to communicate with audiences that this isn't the standard PG-13 MCU film audiences have seen for the last decade.
With Deadpool being the only one sticking around, this will mean that Dark Phoenix is the end of the main X-Men story Fox has been telling. Although the film was originally intended to be the beginning of a new trilogy of films focused even more on the younger heroes introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse, it will now serve as a conclusion to these characters' arcs.
New Mutants May Go Straight To Streaming
It will, however, actually be the troubled The New Mutants that will be the final Fox X-Men movie yet to be released. The Josh Boone-directed film was originally scheduled to hit theaters in early 2018 but has since been delayed twice and currently has an August 2019 release date. However, this release date was set with the thought that massive reshoots would happen late last year or early this year, and those never happened and currently aren't planned. With no reshoots done, The New Mutants is left in the same place it has been in for quite some time, and now Disney execs will be in charge of determining its future.
There have been several rumors that New Mutants could move to a streaming service, and that has been echoed in the latest report about the film's future. An eventual debut on a streaming service is the best place for New Mutants at this point, with Hulu serving as a better landing spot than Disney Plus. The latter is expected to launch this fall and feature mostly family-friendly content, which New Mutants may not mesh with its horror approach. Hulu's content is already more adult oriented and is an ideal fit. Regardless of which streaming service New Mutants ultimately calls home, this type of launch could allow Disney and Fox to reduce marketing costs on the film (maybe even making it a surprise launch to generate as much discussion as possible), while also avoiding a possible box office failure if it were to hit theaters.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019