Marvel’s First Family are homeward bound.
In six short weeks, Disney and Fox have reached a so-called mega-merger that will see the Mouse House gain control of 21st Century Fox, who originally secured exclusive film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four in the ’90s. Now, those costumed crusaders are circling back to Marvel as part of a $52.4 billion deal.
Because despite reports to the contrary, the Fantastic Four IP has been included in the Disney-Fox merger, which, once its finalized, will allow for the likes of Wolverine, Reed Richards, Sue Storm and the Thing to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And, well, let’s just say the MCU is about to become much more fantastical in 2020 and beyond.
Such a mind-bending crossover will likely remain on the back-burner until Marvel’s Phase 4, long after the Thanos-centric Avengers sequel touches down in 2019. Nevertheless, here’s confirmation of that licensing agreement, courtesy of Disney:
The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds.
The official statement from the Mouse House continues as so:
Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora—The World of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film franchise that opened earlier this year. And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic—whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.
And though some have voiced their concerns about a media conglomerate controlling so many film properties, Disney’s handling of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm (Star Wars) leaves us quietly confident that its high-ranking executives won’t interfere with those films already in development.
With that in mind, don’t be fooled into thinking that Deadpool is at risk of becoming a family-friendly series. Moreover, as news begins to trickle in of an R-rated Marvel movie, perhaps the Powers That Be will take the plunge on an adult-oriented version of Fantastic Four? One can dream.