Marvel Studios is in the early days of figuring out their plans for the X-Men and Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the 11-year run of the MCU, Marvel has turned supposed B-level comic characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor into some of the biggest names around, and have struck gold with obscure properties like the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was only a few years ago that they got access to Spider-Man for the first time thanks to the incredible deal with Sony, but they were still without two of their biggest IPs: the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
These characters are now back home with Marvel Studios after Disney acquired Fox assets for $71.3 billion earlier this year. The deal brings most of Fox under Disney’s umbrella, but the Marvel characters they previously controlled have been redirected to Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige will be overseeing the expected relaunch of these properties, and fans are eager to see how they will be incorporated in the MCU.
This has led many to wonder when the X-Men and Fantastic Four could be introduced into the MCU. During an interview with Fandango, Feige was asked about the planning process to bring them in, and he confirmed that they are still in the early stages. As of right now, it sounds like Marvel is busy with a lot of meetings and pitching possible ideas.
It’s still early days, but it’s been a fun exercise, and it’s one, by the way, that we’ve been doing for years. Every development meeting starts with cool ideas and fun ideas, and our wheels are always turning in terms of what if… to use a Marvel publishing term. What if we did this? What if we did that? What if we had access to such and such characters? That’s how Spider-Man: Homecoming came together in the first place, and it’s fun to now be in this position with the Fox characters, too, because if we come up with a great “What If” we can actually do it.
If it wasn’t clear before, Feige and the rest of Marvel Studios are in no immediate rush to introduce new versions of the X-Men and Fantastic Four. He previously said that it might be a long time before either entity debuts in the MCU. This could be because Marvel was already planning a Phase 4 storyline without them and don’t want to rush such a significant moment. But, the slow approach for them may also be because Fox still has another X-Men movie in The New Mutants to release that won’t be part of the MCU. In either case, previous reports pointed to 2021 being the earliest possible landing spot for an MCU movie using either the X-Men or Fantastic Four.