X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner has expressed interest in working alongside Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige to bring the mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Donner - who's known for producing each installment in the long-running X-Men franchise and operating The Donners' Company alongside her husband and Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner - has been busy expanding Fox's mutant franchise over the past few years on both film and television.
The original X-Men characters saw their stories end with Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014, with Wolverine and Professor X's stories concluding in James Mangold's Logan earlier this year. Now, with Deadpool 2, The New Mutants, and Gambit on the way, as well as X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Multiple Man, not to mention the continued success of Legion on FX and The Gifted on FOX, the X-Men franchise is stronger than ever. Although Marvel's mutants don't need to crossover with the Avengers, connecting both universes would undoubtedly be welcomed by millions of fans who've waited years to see Marvel's top heroes fight alongside each other on the big screen - and it's actually something that Donner wants to see happen as well.
Vanity Fair quoted Lauren Shuler Donner in their cover spread on Anthony and Joe Russo's Avengers: Infinity War. When asked about potentially working alongside Feige again (Feige co-produced X-Men and X2: X-Men United under Donner's tutelage) on an X-Men/Avengers movie, Donner candidly said: "Well, I wish. I would love it, I would love it. But it’s not for me to say." Feige, on the other hand, was more pragmatic in his response: "Well, the problem is whenever I say anything about it, it becomes 15 headlines. So would we like to? Yeah, of course. Is there any movement toward it at all? No. Same thing. Same status."
Up until recently, The Walt Disney Company was mulling over the idea of acquiring 21st Century Fox's movie and TV divisions, namely 20th Century Fox (one of Hollywood's Big Six studios). By doing so, Disney-owned Marvel Studios would effectively reacquire the film rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, thus enabling them to include the mutant superhero team into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although acquisition talks initially fell through, it seems they've been reignited. Unfortunately, there's no telling how far talks will go this time around or if either studio is even interested in sharing their characters - but at least it seems the heads of both franchises are interested in working together again.
Singer's original X-Men movies were groundbreaking for their time, and seeing both producers work alongside each other again to potentially bring the mutants back into Marvel's fold would certainly be interesting, though the X-Men films - especially audacious spinoffs such as Deadpool, Logan, and The New Mutants - would arguably lose some of their creative freedom (i.e. R ratings and horror themes) in favor of adhering to the MCU's somewhat strict, yet highly successful formula, should the mutants join the MCU.
Source: Vanity Fair
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018