Does Inhumans Movie Being Removed From Schedule Mean X-Men Are Coming To Marvel?

With Marvel's Inhumans no longer officially on the schedule, some fans are speculating that it [...]


With Marvel's Inhumans no longer officially on the schedule, some fans are speculating that it could mean the X-Men franchise will have a "homecoming."

The film, which had previously been on the schedule for July 2019, was replaced by Indiana Jones 5. When Indy was announced, studio executives acknowledged that it would require moving Inhumans, but with no new date to present, it was officially pulled off of Disney's schedule yesterday. Kevin Feige at Marvel maintains that the movie is still happening, but with no script, stars, or director locked down yet, anything could happen. While Marvel movies have been moved around the schedule before, none have been bumped around as much as Inhumans, and the idea of completely removing a Marvel Studios film from the slate at a time when Marvel is driving much of Disney's revenue seems like a vote of no-confidence.

With the X-Men franchise in the hands of Fox, it's long seemed that Inhumans were being positioned to take on the role of the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A broad class of characters gifted with their powers (mostly at birth) and facing a hostile world, discrimination, and more, The Inhumans have started filling in for the X-Men in some ways in the comics, particularly as the X-Men are shunted into stories that have little to do with the broader Marvel Universe.

In some ways, that's been great for the X-Men in the comics. Allowed their own little "corner" of the universe to play in, Marvel's merry mutants can do whatever stories they want with less worry about fitting into what's going on in the rest of the world. At the same time, it feels to some fans like the characters have been ghettoized, penalized for their movie rights being at Fox.

That's similar to the movies: they've been doing increasingly well for themselves, with stellar reviews for X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Deadpool and strong box office performances as well...but without the backdrop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans continue to wish for more.

When The Amazing Spider-Man franchise was cancelled after only two of the planned three films were made, Sony ultimately made a deal with Marvel that saw Spider-Man join Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man join Spider-Man: Homecoming.

So...with Inhumans similarly without a home at the moment, does that indicate Fox and Marvel could be talking?

Some fans certainly hope so, but it seems pretty unlikely.

The Sony deal was kind of a perfect storm of circumstances, not least of which was the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a critical failure and a commercial disappointment. Making a sequel would have been fraught with risk, and rebooting right would have been just as potentially dangerous.

Meanwhile, if Sony had waited to reboot, they would run the risk of trying to launch a superhero franchise two or three or five years from now. Even assuming that the "superhero bubble" didn't burst by then, you'd have a bunch of franchises on their third or fifth movies while Sony was trying to make their first. Even with a character as popular and profitable as Spider-Man, that's bound to take some wind out of your sails.

That's not entirely unlike where the X-Men franchise was before First Class. A few years ago, if Marvel were the juggernaut it is today, maybe Fox would have been a lot more likely to jump on the Cinematic Universe bandwagon...but it seems like right now it would be a hard sell.

Certainly with Fantastic Four disappointing fans for the third time on the big screen and disappointing Fox for the second at the box office, that franchise could use a little pick-me-up from Ben Grimm palling around the Star-Lord or something...but in order to get that, Fox would likely have to surrender more control than they want to over the X-Men franchise.

Following the twin critical misses of X-Men: The Last Stand (which, by the way, was a massive financial success) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the franchise seemed to be in free-fall. After readjusting its trajectory, the X-Men franchise got a soft reboot with First Class, a loose adaptation of a specific comic book story featuring a radically different team of X-Men. It made less money at the domestic box office than any previous X-Men film, but did alright worldwide and gained strong reviews. The Wolverine came next, earning another franchise low at the U.S. box office but kicking ass overseas to make it the second-biggest X-Men film to date globally.

Then came Days of Future Past. The sequel to First Class united the original and "rebooted" X-Men casts to created a one-of-a-kind movie that demolished previous outings at the global box office, and missed unseating The Last Stand as the biggest domestic hit of the series by less than half a million dollars. Strong reviews and the return of X-Men and X2: X-Men United filmmaker Bryan Singer helped build a narrative that the series was being revitalized.

And now, Deadpool. Blowing away all previous installments at the domestic box office by more than $100 million, the film has outpaced Days of Future Past at the worldwide box office by $12 million or so, obliterated expectations, become the most profitable (by percentage) superhero movie in recent memory (possibly of all time), and set up a whole new X-franchise.

Basically, where Fox is right now with Fantastic Four, they'd love some Marvel Studios help. And, yes, producers have said that it would be "fun" to cross over the mutants with the rest of Marvel. But the X-Men films don't need Marvel Studios any more than Marvel Studios needs them. Besides having a huge list of characters and stories to pick from, Marvel can always pick up Inhumans...which, as far as we know, isn't actually dead-dead.