There's been a lot of talk about 20th Century Fox as of late, as discussion of the studio selling some or all of its assets to a new distributor has taken the industry by storm. Just a day ago we got word that Fox has resumed talks with Disney, with a deal in sight. That's gotten our imaginations racing, once again.
With Disney owning the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Fox in possession of the X-Men and Fantastic Four movie franchises, there is indeed a lot of potential to see fans' wishes for a truly complete Marvel Cinematic Universe to come to pass. Here is What a Disney and Fox Deal Could Mean for The Avengers and X-Men franchises:
This is the biggest reward that fans want from an Disney/Fox deal: a Marvel Cinematic Universe that sees The Avengers (and the world) dealing with revelation that mutants exist, and that there are X-Men to protect them.
Avengers vs. X-Men is the type of event film that would bring people out in droves - especially since both franchises have already achieved mainstream appeal, drawing large numbers of viewers who have never read a Marvel comic book. As for hardcore fans, the character interactions and star power would make this an event definitely worth seeing.
It's been a poorly-kept secret that Marvel has been influenced by what has been happening on the film front the last few years. With Fox holding tight to tis X-Men and Fantastic Four properties and refusing to play ball with Marvel Studios, Marvel has downplayed selling merchandise related to X-Men or Fantastic Four .
However, if Fox and Disney were to work out a deal, then the doors would be open for some new Fantastic Four and X-Men merchandise to hit store shelves. It would be a big deal for younger fans wanting a complete MCU to play with in their action figure games, with older fans having a chance to get their hands on even more collectibles like the one pictured above.
As with the merch, Marvel has been limiting the amount of exposure that the X-men and Fantastic Four have gotten in the comics. Moves like retiring the F4 from superhero service, or substituting the Inhuman race for the mutant race has always been seen as a contrived and questionable move by fans, and in truth, The Marvel Universe has needed to repair that schism.
As the MCU has inevitably influenced Marvel Comics, seeing how the X-Men and F4 would be influenced on the page by their respective MCU adaptations would be intriguing for longtime fans, while providing all the incentive that new fans needed to jump onboard those same books. In short: a united MCU provides opportunity for a united Marvel Comics Universe to also shine brightly, and give fans a 100% complete multi-platform experience.
Marvel Cinematic Universe movies aren't the only place where fans have been missing the presence of the X-Men and other Marvel mutants: the TV landscape of the MCU has been missing them, as well. Without the full character rosters of the MCU at their disposal, shows like Agents of SHIELD have had to try to work very "X-Men-esque" themes (like racial intolerance) around characters like the Inhumans.
Not only would a Fox/Disney deal finally allow characters like the X-Men or Fantastic Four to exist in Marvel TV series like AoS, it would give any character(s) from those Fox properties the chance to step out into their own series, secure in Marvel Studios' creative backing. While X-Men spinoff like Legion are great being standalones, other shows like The Gifted would only benefit from having connections to the larger MCU, and its film releases (including any new MCU X-Men movies). The possibility for great new X-Men animated series is also something worth rooting for.
It's clear by now that Marvel Studios has developed a successful brand for their Marvel Cinematic Universe films, with a varying mix of action, adventure, and comedy. However, Fox has been making its own pathway by introducing darker and/or R-Rated superhero films, such as Deadpool, Logan, and the upcoming New Mutants.
If there is one really exciting prospect of the Disney/Fox deal for film fans, it's that we could see more Marvel characters getting darker, bloodier, or outright R-rated film releases. With the right deal, Marvel could release such projects under the 20th Century Fox banner, thereby protecting the main MCU film brand from being tainted by the more adult material. It's a tactic that's worked out well for the Marvel Netflix brand, so we're eager to something like a "Marvel MAX" imprint on the movie screen.
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 4, 2018. Thor: Ragnarok is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include; Black Panther on February 16, 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.
The X-Men Movie Universe continues with The New Mutants on April 13th; Untitled Deadpool Sequel on June 1st; and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2nd.