Monday afternoon, paparazzi photos from the set of Marvel's WandaVision surfaced online, revealing to fans the space-faring SWORD organization would be making its debut in the upcoming Disney+ show. While it's not a member of the X-Men or the Fantastic Four, SWORD was still a Marvel property that had live-action rights formerly belonging to 20th Century Fox. That means yes, it would appear Marvel Studios has started to integrate the properties once sheltered at Fox into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As fate would have it, former Marvel filmmaker and writer Joss Whedon created the organization — the Sentient World Observation and Response Department — when he was writing the Astonishing X-Men comic series in the mid-2000s. Because of that, many have expected the live-action rights to reside with Fox. At one point, many thought Agents of SHIELD would be adapting the organization for the television series. After SHIELD didn't go that route, it's expected there were some legal roadblocks in the way.
As box office bombs in both Dark Phoenix and Josh Trank's Fant4stic, it's evident Marvel Studios isn't in a hurry to introduce the bigger-name characters to its interconnected universe. It's entirely plausible — perhaps increasingly likely, for that matter — Marvel will continue introducing some of the smaller parts of the X-Men and Fantastic Four mythos before too long.
Though traditionally quiet in interviews about potentially big reveals, Marvel boss Kevin Feige said earlier this summer he's ecstatic to have hundreds of new characters to work with. "I'm extremely excited about those characters and about bringing Marvel's First Family up to the platform and the level that they deserve," Feige said.
"The truth is, I'm excited for all of them. I'm excited, and it's not just the marquee names you know — there are hundreds of names on those documents, on those agreements," Feige said at the Golden Globes. "And the fact that Marvel is as close as we may ever get now to having access to all of the characters, is something I've been dreaming about for my almost 20 years at Marvel. And it's very exciting."
WandaVision is expected to hit Disney+ Spring 2021.
Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.