Both Marvel Studios and Twentieth Century Fox are filming (and are about to film) the next installments for the next phases in each of their respective Marvel cinematic universes. While speculation and questions still surround the idea of characters from the X-Men trilogy sharing the screen with the cast of X-Men: First Class in X-Men: Days of Future past, there's potential, however slight, for an even a larger crossover with an even larger roster of Marvel superheroes.
If The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and all the new character to be introduced in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe weren't enough, how about Fox's X-Men?
Crave Online chatted with X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner and husband Richard Donner where the success of The Avengers was brought up, along with the question about the potential of a cinematic crossover to which Lauren responded:
"I would love it. I would love it. I personally have close ties to Marvel because of Kevin Feige, because Kevin worked for me. But to take our characters and mingle them in the way that they were written, yeah, absolutely."
Joss Whedon wrote 25 issues of the Critically acclaimed relaunch of Astonishing X-Men. He'd love it. Fox's new Marvel consultant Mark Millar wrote Marvel Civil War, Ultimate X-Men and The Ultimates (Ultimate version of The Avengers), so he'd dig it too.
Money talks and since The Avengers is now the biggest comic book film of all-time, why wouldn't the other studios with Marvel properties try to take advantage of that brand appeal, at least for marketing purposes. In the comic books, all of these Marvel heroes share the same space, fight together and against each other, and for the films, the only thing holding similar events back is the fact that the licenses to different characters are spread among multiple studios (that and money).
Donner has been name-dropping X-Men 4 & 5 along with New Mutants as properties she had in early development for years and it wasn't until recently with the confirmation of X-Men: Days of Future Past did we see this ambition manifest itself into an actual greenlighted project with a release date, thanks in large part due to Bryan Singer's return to the franchise. Could Donner's "close ties" with Kevin Feige be something she's taking advantage of or is this just excitement and a faint glimmer of hope, much like the exec producer Avi Arad saying Spider-Man in The Avengers 2 is possible?
After all, Sony was almost able to get a reference to The Amazing Spider-Man inserted in The Avengers by Marvel Studios including the Oscorp tower along with the Stark Tower in the New York skyline but the timing of post-production visual effects didn't allow for it. The fact that it almost happened means that Marvel Studios is at least willing to co-market their flagship comic book characters they don't even own the film rights too.
That being said, Marvel Studios has their own growing roster of characters along with plans in place which will seemingly cover at least the next half-decade. The sad truth is that there is absolutely no chance of a major crossover or team-up outside of Easter Egg references or perhaps even a cameo. Compared to the current franchises run by Fox and Sony, Marvel Studios' adaptations are the truest to the source material so the desire to merge cinematic universes with a rebooted Spider-Man with slightly different origins or a convoluted X-Men franchise is minimal at best.
If circumstances were different and Marvel Studios owned the rights to all of these characters, it's too bad they can't go back in time and have Hugh Jackman's Wolverine show up with Captain America in World War II and have Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker taking photos during The Avengers final battle in New York. Technically, Jackman could show up in flashbacks in Captain America: The Winter Soldier - It comes out the same year as X-Men: Days of Future Past, and less than a year after The Wolverine. But a major film crossover like the latest Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event in Marvel Comics isn't in the cards, as awesome as the idea may be. Although if "Phase Three" of Marvel universe were to explore the Civil War stories from the books, such a large crossover would be required to do it justice. For now, The Avengers have that Thanos problem to deal with for years to come.
The Wolverine hits theaters July 26, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.
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Source: Crave Online