Marvel Studios will soon need to figure out how to bring the X-Men into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are plenty of ways to potentially retcon mutants into having been around for years, but the best way to make it happen could come in flipping a popular comic story on its head. That's right, Marvel Studios' adaptation of House of M is the way to bring the X-Men into the MCU.
Since 2008 - and in particular since 2012's The Avengers - the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building towards a major event. Avengers: Infinity War is (unofficially) the first part of the conclusion. Previously titled Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, the upcoming sequel is still just known as Avengers 4. Whatever the movie is called, it will be the culmination of the MCU to this point as the heroes look to defeat Thanos and reverse the snap.
Marvel Studios is currently focused on wrapping up their first saga, but still has an eye on the future, and there are almost certainly plans being made to make the X-Men part of that future. Since Marvel loves to borrow elements from known comic storylines but do them with a twist, their take on House of M could be how mutants are brought into the MCU for Phase 4 and beyond.
- This Page: The X-Men Are Joining The MCU
- Page 2: House of M Can Explain The X-Men Without Ruining Continuity
Marvel Will Regain X-Men Rights & Add Them Into The MCU
The X-Men joining the MCU in the future is only possible now because of a major deal Disney is working on. It was revealed late last year that 21st Century Fox was for sale, and that Disney was the top suitor to acquire it - which is exactly what happened. The two studios are currently in the final stages of closing the acquisition. When the deal does officially go through early next year, Marvel Studios will add the X-Men and Fantastic Four to its library of superhero characters.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has yet to reveal his plans for the X-Men - because he legally can't work on them yet - and is instead waiting for a phone call that says otherwise. Disney CEO Bob Iger on the other hand has already indicated on numerous occasions that all of the Marvel properties Fox previously had control of will fall under Feige's umbrella. Disney is acquiring Fox for more than just the Marvel characters that are packaged in the deal, but the higher-ups at the studio will likely want these new, expensive toys utilized as soon as possible. Feige is a bit more cautious with revealing how quickly it could happen, but that stance could change once he can actually use them at his will. Either way, the X-Men are coming to the MCU somehow.
The Problems With Bringing X-Men Into The MCU
This may sound like a simple task on paper, but it's complicated by the fact that the MCU has already built up a thorough in-universe history that doesn't include mutants. The X-Men were first introduced in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and have been foundational pieces of Marvel comics in the decades that followed. As shown in the comics, animated series, or movies, they come with their own expansive history, which could make it difficult to bring the X-Men into the MCU and keep their usual meaning. The X-Men are usually a metaphor for social justice, but that may not work in a post-Black Panther MCU.
The fundamental problem with the X-Men's introduction is the question of where they've been for the MCU's entire history. There is almost no way to explain a large roster of mutants being on Earth this entire time and not being active that will be satisfying. Marvel could look to change this up by embracing the cosmic side of mutants first, but what about Wolverine's long life adventures, or Magneto's ties to the Holocaust, or even the rift that forms between the super villain and Professor X? Losing these aspects to the characters would be huge. Some have theorized that there could be just a few mutants who are actually around. They could be active independently and in the shadows, not even necessarily knowing they are mutants.
But even then, how does the MCU go from having just few mutants to hundreds if not thousands or millions of them? That is a giant leap to make, and potentially a difficult task to achieve. Cosmic events or other blasts of energy could make it possible, but one solution could come in a reversed telling of House of M. Elizabeth Olsen is onboard for an adaptation, and it could make Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch an even more important figure in the MCU.
- 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 02, 2019