The Disney Fox deal is one big step closer to being officially done, and if it is eventually finalized the MCU is going to look might different in a few years time.
This week reports came out that shareholders at both Disney and 21st Century Fox have approved the deal that would send 20th Century Fox and a number of other assets over to Disney. Now, it still has to be approved by regulators and finalized, but it seems the days of Comcast or other companies entering bidding wars are done.
This seems like a formality at this point, and many fans are already imagining what an MCU that includes properties like the X-Men and Fantastic Four would look like. Marvel has done an admirable job of working their way around such iconic characters with their interpretation of the Infinity Gauntlet, but having these two circles of characters back in the fold allows for a multitude of other iconic stories to be up for grabs.
The Fantastic Four have been important parts of several big-time Marvel Comics event books in the past, as have the X-Men, so not only does Marvel get those characters back for use in other films, they also get access to a multitude of storylines and areas of the galaxy that were sort of off limits.
Marvel has pivoted pretty well in the past, making deals for certain characters like Spider-Man or utilizing contract intricacies to make their own versions like they did with Quicksilver or the Skrulls in Captain Marvel.
This deal isn't expected to finalize until early 2019, which means these characters won't even be in the pipeline for an MCU movie until late 2019 and most likely won't appear in one until 2020 or 2021, as Marvel is already planning out their Phase 4 right now.
Still, that will be here before we know it, and here are some of the first movies we think we'll see from the upcoming deal.
Fox's X-Men movies have been successful for the studio, but for some time Marvel fans have longed for Marvel to get ahold of one of their most popular franchises.
It remains to be seen how they will address the subject of mutants as a whole, either saying that they've been hidden amongst us the whole time or introducing some sort of event that activates the mutant genome and kick starts mutants all at once.
The film would kick off with Xavier and his original 5 mutants against Magneto and his Brotherhood, but there would also be snippets of the other mutants out in the world, including key future X-Men like Storm, Gambit, Colossus, Rogue, and of course Wolverine.
Knowing Marvel they would also introduce a few nods to other big concepts like Weapon X, the Hell Fire Club, and the Purifiers that they'll build on for future movies, and the after credits tag would be all Wolverine.
Alongside the X-Men Marvel is getting back the Fantastic Four, and you can be sure that this will be a priority for the MCU.
Marvel is bringing back the Fantastic Four in a big way in the comics after putting them on ice for a while (ever since Secret Wars), and they will likely also be a big part of the next few phases of the MCU.
The Fantastic Four really lend themselves to a traditional Marvel origin movie, and after several efforts with the formula, you can bet that Marvel will take a more traditional approach to the team's origin. Odds are they will also drop small references to bigger concepts like the Negative Zone, and we're kind of hoping they do for H.E.R.B.I.E. what they did for Jarvis.
Some will see delaying Wolverine as a mistake, but Marvel is known to take its time with key characters, and Wolverine is as key to the future as you get.
The character would be introduced and referenced in the X-Men movie, but here is where fans really get to know him. This would be a mashup of the comics' Wolverine Origins story and the iconic Weapon X past, with a few nods to past MCU films like the original Captain America: The First Avenger, as Logan, will have been alive at the time and you can further integrate him into the MCU. We don't' even need a scene with Cap and Logan together for that to be rewarding, but we're not going to turn that down if they want to do it.
The film would also introduce or elaborate on some key X-Men characters, which could include Sabretooth, Mariko, Lady Deathstrike, Alpha Flight, and more. Ultimately the film would close out with Logan meeting Charles Xavier, leading into the first big group film for the X-Men side of the MCU.
The last piece of the overall X-Men puzzle will be introduced in Black Panther 3.
That would be Storm, who in the comics is one of the most popular members of the X-Men. In the last decade though she's also been woven into Black Panther's world, as the two struck up a relationship that culminated in a royal wedding.
Now, you could introduce her in full here, though in the films T'Challa already has a love interest in Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong'o), though who is to say Marvel won't change that in Black Panther 2.
In any case, you can build Storm out a bit here and make her central to the plot (weather powers come in handy for just about any scenario) and then she can find her way to the X-Men.
Now this concept could work in two ways.
The first would be as a culmination piece of sorts after the first two X-Men movies, giving the X-Men their Avengers film so to speak. This would be a take on Giant Sized X-Men along with some other cherry-picked ideas Marvel wants to use and would bring together the various X-Men they've shown in other films.
The other route they could take is just to make this the first X-Men film. Marvel typically likes to slow build their teams and not thrust them all together immediately, so this might seem odd. To be fair though, the X-Men aren't like the Avengers in that way, and might not need the same requirement.
The Avengers were all separate heroes that came together to fight when the time arose. The X-Men though
They would still get a Watchmen-like montage to show how the team has changed over the years, but they don't necessarily need a whole movie tied to their origin. Like we said, it seems unlikely but is possible.
The Fantastic Four are central to several big Marvel events, but one of recent memory is Secret Wars, and it could do for the MCU what Infinity War is doing now.
That would be of course blowing it all up and assembling it together again in a unique way. We all know Avengers 4 will give us back most of the heroes we lost in Infinity War, but even when we do get them back odds are the landscape and the heroes overall won't be the same, and there will most certainly be an exit or two.
The same could be said for Secret Wars, which revamped the universe in Doom's image, leaving him to be the God-like ruler of the universe. This was a heavily Fantastic Four themed event and led to several splintered books that gave weird and fresh takes on characters and worlds.
This would likely be a bit further down the line, as it would be a great Infinity War style event for a future phase.
The Nova Corps has actually already been introduced into the MCU thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, but it's still largely remained a bit player by comparison to other heroes. This new deal should lead to that changing.
The reason why is that exploring the Nova mythos opens up tons of possibilities and characters that will now be accessible thanks to the new deal. The movie would probably feature Richard Rider, but as an origin story it should mix in a bit of Sam Alexander's story in with it.
Oh, and those possibilities we mentioned before would definitely pay off in the next movie, which you'll see in the next slide!
Marvel Studios could do an Annihilation movie now if it wanted, but it wouldn't be near what it could be. With Fox's character stables in hand, it could truly fulfill its potential.
Annihilation is one of the best events and just all around
Getting the Fantastic Four characters from Fox means that Annihlus and his domain are up for grabs, as is Silver Surfer and the Super-Skrull. The other players are mostly already on the board, including Thanos, and would be a great way for the villain to make a return down the line.
This one seems like a no-brainer, and the good news is Fox already managed to do this story pretty well in their take on the story, but Marvel could probably do it even better.
This would be a bit farther down the pike for the MCU X-Men mind you, as Marvel Studios will want to establish the cast in their regular roles first. Still, once that 's done you could really show what hate towards mutants unchecked could do to the at times pristine world that is the MCU. Infinity War aside, we've haven't really seen the MCU go to too many dark places, and this story would certainly give Marvel a chance to explore more of those themes.
Seeing what they did with Civil War's various comic homages, I can't wait to see them work that similar magic on such an iconic X-Men story.
Speaking of big events, few
This storyline touches just about everyone in the MCU in some way and would provide a surreal alternate universe look at heroes like Thing, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, and more. It also would provide a compelling place to go with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlett Witch, who is at the center of the event, and more than has the acting chops to make this a story to remember.
It also could set up a number of things for the X-Men going forward, including the infamous "No More Mutants" words that changed