Jeremy Lasky, a co-founder of Perception - the company that redesigned the logo and opening animation for Marvel Studios releases - shared a phoner interview he had with Kevin Feige and in it they discuss the hopes for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And yes, there's a big desire to get all of Marvel's characters back under the Marvel Entertainment umbrella.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 representing the 15th movie in the MCU Feige says when it comes to the legacy of what this franchise is and will be for the long-term future, he hopes it can "stand the test of time," and see if their projects can inspire future generations the same way the movies of the '80s (specifically, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Back to the Future) inspired him.
The more interesting, and perhaps obvious, answer came from the next question at the end of the interview. We know when Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, their leadership didn't love the fact that many of their key film licenses were held by competitors due to deals made in the '90s. Fox had the X-Men, Daredevil, and Fantastic Four; Sony had Spider-Man; and there were other studios holding rights to characters including Ant-Man, Iron Fist, Blade, Punisher, etc.. Many of these have since returned under the ownership of Marvel, and Spider-Man is in the MCU thanks to a partnership deal with Sony, but yes the "grand plan" is to bring it all back under one studio.
When asked about Hugh Jackman's quote - which by the way, came from our own interview with him at the Logan junket - about only coming out of retirement to play Wolverine again if it was in an Avengers movie - Feige first said Jackman finished on the perfect note with the last Wolverine movie made with director James Mangold, but that he'd of course want to see X-Men with The Avengers.
"Yes, of course! My goal is to replicate the experience that comic book fans have reading the books up on the screen and we've been able to accomplish that beyond my wildest dreams over the last ten years. And certainly, including Spidey in Civil War, in the upcoming Infinity War, is yet another dream that I didn't even dare to talk about publicly because I thought the odds of it were very slim. So, no plans beyond that for the few remaining characters that aren't already in the MCU but never say never. Who knows what can happen in the future?"
That is, if the X-Men and Fantastic Four were in the MCU, we may still have more Hugh Jackman Wolverine appearances to look forward to. Interestingly enough, Feige got his career start with the Donners working on the original X-Men movie, something Hugh Jackman told me about on the set of The Wolverine when talking about how nice Kevin Feige was to him personally, way back then.
It's arguably inevitable that one way or another, these characters will all share the screen together at some point. Sony and Marvel are working together to make Spider-Man relevant again, and Fox is already working with Marvel on multiple television series, even co-producing them, while also sharing some movie characters (e.g. Ego in GOTG 2). And how do you top what's going to happen in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 when Phase 3 comes to end, concluding the entire MCU saga so far? You've got to bring in the Fantastic Four and some of their villains and other cosmic entities that Fox currently holds, right?
Maybe that's the plan for Phase 4.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018