The X-Men will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it might not be until Phase 6 of the MCU. The Disney/Fox merger brought a lot of titles and characters to the Mouse House, among them the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. The mutants’ storyline recently came to an end with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, so the characters are ready for a fresh start in the MCU.
During the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Kevin Feige confirmed the X-Men are coming to the MCU, but didn’t give any details. Prior to this reveal, Feige unveiled the slate for the MCU’s Phase 4 and teased two projects in development that could be part of Phase 5, but it’s unlikely that the X-Men will be included in it, with Marvel instead waiting until Phase 6 at the earliest.
Contrary to what was initially believed, the titles announced for Phase 4 of the MCU are not a first wave, but the entire Phase, as confirmed by Feige. The previous ones have covered three to four years, and if this is a new strategy from the studio, then Phase 5 will most likely run from 2022-2023, and Phase 6 from 2024-2025. With Blade and Fantastic 4 in development, they will probably be the new series introduced in Phase 5, leaving no room for the mutants to join – until Phase 6, that is.
If Marvel doesn’t announce more new arrivals after Blade and Fantastic Four, that would leave a spot open in Phase 6 for the X-Men to be the new series, meaning they could join the MCU in 2024 at the earliest. Now, supposing Josh Boone’s The New Mutants finally comes out in 2020, that would be four years between one film and the other – so Marvel could choose 2025 instead. It's better not to rush it, as the X-Men are some of the most beloved characters among Marvel fans, who have also been eagerly waiting to see them and the (remaining) Avengers in the same cinematic universe.
Of course, there’s also the casting issue. The creative teams at Marvel Studios are known for taking their time to find their ideal cast members, which has turned out very well so far, and they would want to do the same for the new X-Men. Pushing their introduction to the MCU to Phase 6 will not only give them time to find their perfect cast, but it will also give them time to prepare the ground for their arrival in terms of narrative, because everything is still connected.
Fans will most likely have to wait longer than they would want to finally see the X-Men as part of the MCU, but in the end, it will be worth the wait. The mutants deserve a new start after their not-so-good finale with Dark Phoenix (and no matter how well or bad The New Mutants perform when finally released), even if that means waiting until Phase 6.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021