Marvel visionary Kevin Feige has admitted he's "just sitting, waiting for a phone call to say yay or nay" about bringing the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the MCU.
In December of last year, Disney finalized plans to purchase the bulk of 21st Century Fox's film and TV empire. Since then, matters have become rather more complex, with Comcast offering an unsolicited rival bid. Shareholders in Fox are due to meet on June 12 to decide whether to sell the bulk of their assets to Disney, or to consider Comcast's bid. Even if Fox chooses to go with Disney, though, there's still a great deal of uncertainty about the proposal; the reality is that the regulatory environment is rather uncertain right now, with the industry shaken by the Department of Justice's attitude to the AT&T/Time Warner deal.
Given the current situation, it's no surprise Marvel's Kevin Feige is on tenterhooks. Should Fox choose to go with Disney, and should the regulators approve the purchase, Marvel Studios will gain ownership of the film rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Feige briefly touched on the issue in a speech at the Production Guild's 10th annual Produced By conference. According to Fandomwire, Feige suggested that all he can do is wait. "I’m just sitting, waiting for a phone call to say yay or nay," he explained, "but obviously it would be nice to have access to that entire library."
No doubt most Marvel fans will agree with him. The X-Men library alone reportedly includes 400 characters, ranging from major names like Wolverine and Magneto to lesser-known characters such as Yukio and Wolfsbane. The Fantastic Four franchise, meanwhile, includes some of Marvel's most popular cosmic characters. Marvel actually had to do a deal with Fox just to be able to use Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
While Feige has frequently said he's "eager" to get his hands on the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, he's having to take a cautious, careful approach. He can't possibly know what decision Fox shareholders will make, and the current uncertain regulatory environment means the deal shouldn't be treated as a sure thing. As such, Feige has insisted that he's not actually thinking about future MCU X-Men and Fantastic Four movies. He's currently focused on delivering the films that are already in the works; "any [other] movie, especially for any characters we don’t have the rights to yet until someone tells us we do, would be even further after that." As such, we shouldn't expect to see mutants or the Fantastic Four enter the MCU until at least 2021 or 2022, at the earliest.
- 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
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019