When Disney’s Fox merger news broke out in 2017, Marvel fans around the world rejoiced in the homecoming of some of the most popular characters – the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool along with Mutants. While fans are anticipating X-Men to debut as soon as the upcoming Phase 4, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige has better plans.
Disney’s purchase of Fox’s TV and Movie assets for its Marvel franchise doesn’t come as a surprise. Right before the acquisition in May 2019, the house of the mouse had announced 65 films over the next eight years, including Marvel, Star Wars, and live-action Disney films. The plans have since shifted when Disney+ exceeded the studio’s expectations with its first-quarter result after the pandemic struck.
The Fate of the Fox Characters
Surely the characters are back home, but there’s dissonance for them to find their place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last in Fox’s X-Men series, The New Mutants has found its fifth release date during the Comic-con@Home. Deadpool 3 is long in making without any official confirmation so far. The big question with the foul mouthed mercenary is how Disney will handle the R-rated content issue.
Watch: 10 Ways The Disney Fox Merger Will Change The MCU
The Fantastic Four, Marvel’s first family, is also widely anticipated by the fans. With X-Men, the situation complicates further with the mess that Fox made of the timeline and faces already associated with the characters.
Over the years, Fox kept trying to reinstate the glory of its X-Men franchise. While some characters are etched into the minds of an entire generation, others miserably failed to make any impression. During the same time, Kevin Feige spun the MCU with rather smaller characters and created the most profitable and only successful comic book franchise in Hollywood.
Now it’s again on his shoulders to incorporate the mutants into his universe. While closing the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Feige did name drop the Fantastic Four and Mutants. However, he explained “’Mutants’ and ‘X-Men’ are interchangeable. I just said ‘mutants'”. About the studios’ approach towards the Mutants, he said, “Whatever we do will be quite different than what’s been done before.” Ever since there have been numerous rumours and reports about this new generation of mutants.
Watch: Kevin Feige on X-Men, No Avengers Movie in Phase 4
What Marvel is up against is a not-so-satisfactory X-Men Franchise. Its last iteration, the retelling of Dark Phoenix with Sophie Turner in the lead, tanked big time! But the movie has cemented some characters vividly into the viewer’s mind. Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for more than 13 years with a cameo as recent as the Deadpool movie – will the recast work for the fans? With a very strong portrayal of Magneto by both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender and of Professor X by Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy – the bar is set very high for any actor or director.
Call It Marvel Cinematic Mutant-verse
Marvel Studios Phase 4 & 5 slates are already filled with many new character introductions and sequels lined up till 2022. Experts believe an X-Men movie is too far away in the future. Now with virus-created uncertainties more so! But that doesn’t mean that mutants can’t be seen into the MCU sooner.
According to Marvel scooper Mikey Sutton, the studios’ plans for the mutants are in its earliest stage. Marvel plans them to be introduced Avengers’ like in other character’s movies. He further claims that the studio is looking at the characters that Fox didn’t touch. Marvel’s X-Men line up includes Thunderbird, Havoc, and Sunfire along with familiar names like Cyclops, Marvel Girls aka Jean Grey and the Nightcrawler.
Watch: X-Men MCU Debut Lineup Revealed
Another interesting bit is the presence of Storm who will hail from Wakanda. There are a lot of rumours about Storm making her appearance in Black Panther sequel movie. In the comic, Storm and T’Challa get married and their split becomes the reason for the big Avengers Vs X-Men storyline.
But the scoop gets even more interesting with its next bit. According to Sutton,
Kevin Feige wants an all new, all different approach, at least somewhat compared to what Fox did for so long with the X-men. The president of Marvel Studios is focusing on the team as a school with some students joining Professor X on missions while others still studying and training (essentially a Hogwarts for mutants). The seriousness of what professor Xavier’s school does and what the X-men do is brought to the surface when spoiler alert Thunderbird is killed during a trip to Krakoa.
So A Hogwarts For Mutants Then
The leak does make sense in bits and parts. Marvel’s plan to introduce Mutants like Avengers sounds plausible since that’s what they know works. Further, there are very strong rumours about Storm debuting in BP2. Whereas actor Patrick Stewart confirmed that Kevin Feige met him for reprising his role as Professor Charles Xavier.
When coupled with Disney’s love for streaming platforms, the possibility of a Hogwarts like scenario seems plausible. While experts rule out the possibility of an X-Men movie a series isn’t out of question. With major Infinity Saga characters coming back on Disney+ platform like Falcon, Winter Soldier, Loki, Wanda and Vision. A mutant school series might give Marvel the room to build a new Mutant verse.
The Xavier School For Gifted Individuals is a big part of both Marvel comic-verse and X-Men plotline. Introducing the older generation with the new breed and alluring the new generation simultaneously works in Marvel’s favor. As the editor of X-Men novel Xavier Files and podcaster Zachary Jenkins, discussing X-Men mentions in a podcast, “Since X-Men comics are serials, sequential stories that will never really end, it’s easier to assign them to a TV show.”
While rumors should always be taken with a pinch of salt, the information in the leak seems pretty plausible.
We’d like a Hogwarts For Mutants, wouldn’t you?