Last week, it was reported that Disney’s historic merger with Fox could be completed a little sooner than previously expected, with estimates placing the date around late 2018 or early 2019. Sure enough, we’re now getting reports that the deal will be closed on January 1st.
Needless to say, this is going to bring huge changes to the pop culture landscape, for better or worse, and that goes especially for Marvel movies. Online forums are already flooded with theories and fantasies of what Kevin Feige and his team could do once properties like X-Men and Fantastic Four are placed under his supervision, and this early date of closure is only going to add fuel to the speculation that Avengers 4 will lay the foundations for this future.
But before anyone gets too excited about the idea of Wolverine and Deadpool showing up for the fight against Thanos, it’s worth stressing that Feige has claimed the team currently have no plans for how best to integrate these newly acquired characters into the MCU:
“Not until we’re given the word. I have vague dreams and vague ideas. But right now, bringing to life the 10,000-plus characters that Marvel fully controls is what the game plan is.”
While you could doubt the sincerity of this statement – Feige, after all, has never been one to speak openly about his intentions – it’s at least likely that Marvel Studios has little desire to rush things with their new properties, especially when they’re already juggling so many superhero storylines as is.
For now, what we do know is that 2019 will see the dawn of a new era for franchise film and television, and that the effects of the Disney-Fox deal are going to be considerable for both the MCU and our own world.