Fiction

Will the X-Men and Fantastic Four Join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

A rumor gripped Hollywood earlier this month that pointed to a sale of certain 21st Century Fox assets to Disney. Among those likely assets? Deadpool, Wolverine, and Sue Storm––the Invisible Woman.

Apparently, it was more than a rumor and buzz is spreading about the sale. Disney is in talks to acquire all of Fox’s television and film properties while leaving behind the news and sports properties to current owners, the Murdoch family.

This sale is no surprise given the recent developments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the recent release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer came buzz that its sequel due out in 2019, Avengers 4, will be the final bow of this incarnation of Marvel’s storied silver-screen history. That means the death of Captain America, Tony Stark, and other Avengers. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have played the character for years and are ready to move on.

Marvel’s marquee duo are among quite a few of the original Avengers who don’t have contracts with Disney after the still-untitled Avengers 4. Between that film and next May’s Infinity War, just about all of Marvel’s movie character’s make an appearance. “There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after,” said Executive Producer and Marvel movie mastermind Kevin Feige.

Feige told Vanity Fair magazine that Marvel is wrapping up the 22 interconnected films they’ve produced and indicated that they are ready to do a soft reboot. We’ve got another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from anything that’s come before—intentionally.”

So what could those movies be? We have some ideas given the timing of Fox’s lucrative film properties being sold to Disney. How could Marvel replace its mainstage characters like Thor and Black Widow and still break the box office? One solution is to bring home its characters that were sold to now-competing studios way before Marvel decided to start making their own movies.

If you noticed, They’ve already begun in the process with Peter Parker/Spider-man and has already proved the deal to be a massive critical and financial success. The Queens-born wallcrawler made a splash in Captain America: Civil War and led to a wildly successful solo debut. Sony failed to reimagine the character with Andrew Garfield after the disastrous and franchise-ending Spider-man 3 with Tobey Maguire.

Some of Fox’s superhero solo franchise has been well-received. Deadpool was a massive hit, becoming one of the highest grossing rated R movies of all time. Financially, acquiring this property is a no-brainer especially with a sequel on the way, but will this mean a change in Disney’s family-friendlyish slate? None of the Marvel movies so far have been rated R. Their Netflix productions, however, feature sex, adult language, and plenty of violence. It’s not a stretch to say that Marvel would experiment with a rated R tentpole film like Deadpool.

Another marquee team like the Fantastic Four are desperate for a full reboot. The last attempt was plagued with an incomplete and chaotic production which lead to an almost unwatchable film starring some pretty good young actors and actresses. Kate Mara portrayed the Invisible Woman Sue Storm while Michael B. Jordan played the Human Torch, Johnny Storm. Jordan will be joining the Marvel Cinematic universe next year as the villain in Black Widow.

Before the solo reboot, There was a more comedic take on the family superhero team starring future Captain America, Chris Evans as Human Torch and Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman. The films never has a complete trilogy given their poor reception.

When it comes to the X-Men, Fox churned out hit after hit with only a few critical missteps like X-Men: The Last Stand and the first Wolverine solo outing. Regardless, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is a thing of silver-screen legend and he retired the character with the outstanding and Oscar-worthy drama, Logan.The film and his final performance were universally hailed.

Fox is completing the second generation of X-Men characters that were soft-rebooted with time travel in one of the franchise’s best films, Days of Future Past. The next film center’s on the new Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix and takes place in the 90’s. That film will come as close as possible to bridging with the original film which premeired in 2000. Remember, the X-Men cinematic universe began way before Marvel’s debut with Iron Man.

While the last X-Men film, Apocalypse, didn’t do great critically or financially, another film is in production. Given the amount of films Fox produced within the same storyline and using the same characters, it’s a safe bet that Marvel will completely re-imagine every character and cast all new stars to portray them. They can also retell stories like Civil War more resembling of the source material. In the much-acclaimed Civil War comics, Wolverine and the Fantastic Four play crucial roles in the plot. As do many, many other of the heroes.

Another thing to consider is a reboot of Marvel’s Netflix characters into some of the films being planned for the future. Both Punisher and Daredevil are well-known characters that have already had marginally successful film adaptations.

The deal between Disney and Fox is shrouded in secrecy and is reminiscent of the behind-closed-doors deals that led to Disney acquiring both Marvel and Lucasfilm. “I just want to start with a juicy rumor that is fast gaining steam in town today, that Disney is progressing speedily toward that rumored acquisition of Fox,” said Deadline’s co-editor-in-chief Mike Fleming Jr. in his popular column. “Radio silence right now from both studios, and given how Disney made the Marvel and LucasFilm deals under the cone of silence, if this happens we’ll probably only know it when it’s announced. It is certainly being talked about today.”

Photo credits: Disney/Marvel Comics

 

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