The Disney-Fox acquisition means that the X-Men can finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the plans for Marvel's next phase of movies are already in motion and they don't include the most famous mutants of all time.
The rights to the X-Men movie franchise were owned by Fox for many years, but Disney now controls all of the film franchises owned by Fox as part of their acquisition, which includes the X-Men and their associated teams. The deal between Disney and Fox was only recently finalized, and the MCU is already in the middle of a huge storyline that was set up in Avengers: Endgame, which itself is setting up several new movies of its own. Dark Phoenix is intended to close the book on the X-Men movies made by Fox, which leaves the fate of the team on the big screen up in the air. The only exception to this is the Deadpool franchise, which is expected to continue as a separate entity.
Kevin Feige has finally commented on the matter of the X-Men when he was asked by io9 about the team's presence in the MCU going forward. He stated that the fans shouldn't hold their breath.
“It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”
The fans of both the MCU and the X-Men will likely be disappointed to hear Feige's statements, but keeping the mutants separate for a few years actually makes a lot of sense. The X-Men have been closely associated with the Fox movie series for a long time now, as is the pivotal role of Wolverine to Hugh Jackman. It seems likely that a lot of the original members of the Avengers will be hanging up their capes after Avengers: Endgame, so Marvel needs time to focus on new heroes. If the new team of Avengers doesn't work out, then Marvel has the X-Men as something up their sleeve in order to keep the fans interested in the long term.
It bears mentioning that Feige only spoke about the X-Men when asked, which means that there is a possibility that other properties that were owned by Fox might be making their way into the MCU sooner, such as the Fantastic Four and their incredible rogues' gallery. The X-Men and the other mutant teams might be absent for a while, but there is so much story potential for their inclusion in the MCU that their arrival will be well worth the wait.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019