Kevin Feige confirms Marvel Studios won’t integrate the X-Men or Fantastic Four in any of their announced movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has thrived by turning B-list comic characters into worldwide brands. But, they may soon have the ability to introduce some of their biggest names. Disney agreed to buy Fox at the end of last year, a deal that will give Marvel Studios access to foundational pieces of Marvel comics. Considering the magnitude of the deal, it must still go through regulatory processes to be approved, and that may not happen till next year.
In the meantime, Marvel Studios will next release Black Panther, before debuting Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp this summer. They also have Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, and the Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel coming in 2019. While the deal could be approved by that point, Feige confirms they won’t be making any last minute adjustments.
Vulture spoke to Feige during the press junket for Black Panther and asked him about the looming deal and the impact it will have on the MCU. Feige said that he had no prior knowledge of the deal taking place. Additionally, he confirmed that they won’t be changing their next six films to start the integration process.
The truth of the matter as I understand it is the deal has to be figured out. There’s been no communication. We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do. … It would be years away. We’ve announced everything through 2019, so none of those would be adjusted.
This isn’t terribly surprising given the complexity of the deal, but it is nice of Feige to clear the air. Speculation over how soon the X-Men and Fantastic Four would be introduced started immediately after the deal was made. Knowing that any such introduction won’t take place until 2020 at the earliest should help keep fan expectations in check. After all, James Gunn recently confirmed that this deal won’t change his plans for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 either, so it could be even a few extra years for Marvel to properly develop and produce these titles. It also echoes what one of Marvel’s artists said earlier this month.
The lack of integration also makes sense when you look at Marvel Studios’ production slate. Infinity War comes out in just a few months, and while reshoots are still coming, the introduction of mutants or Marvel’s first family are bigger than minor rewrites. Ant-Man and The Wasp meanwhile is in a similar boat and may even take place chronologically before Infinity War. That leaves the ’90s-set Captain Marvel and the culmination of the entire MCU in Avengers 4, as well as Spidey’s sequel, to bring in these new toys. With Avengers 4 already done filming and the other two in deep pre-production, it would be nearly impossible to implement major changes.
There would’ve still been the argument that Feige and Marvel Studios already built a contingency slate should the deal go through (just like they did with the Sony/Spider-Man deal), but Feige nixes that idea in this interview, too. Instead, they’re focusing on finishing out their current vision, and will find out how to bring in the X-Men and Fantastic Four when the deal is official.
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