Marvel Studios acquired the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four at the same time, but the mutants will be a much tougher nut to crack for Kevin Feige and his team. After all, the comic book icons have already starred in thirteen movies of wildly varying quality over the last two decades, with Fox’s time at the helm resulting in the seventh highest-grossing franchise in history with over $6 billion at the box office.
On the other hand, the Fantastic Four have been the subjects of four feature films, the very best of which could be generously described as mediocre, and Josh Trank’s 2015 reboot in particular rightly regarded as one of the worst superhero blockbusters ever made. With casual audiences at least, the team just doesn’t have the same sort of name value or cultural cache as the X-Men, making them much fairer game for a reboot.
Spider-Man‘s Jon Watts is set to direct the latest stab at Marvel’s First Family, but for the time being, Feige is keeping his cards very close to the chest in regards to Charles Xavier’s students. In a recent interview to promote WandaVision, though, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer was asked point blank about the X-Men, and while he gave a typically non-committal answer, it certainly sounds as though the seeds will be sown throughout Phase Four.
“In hindsight, in five years if when we’re talking about everything that’s happened, everything can be a ramp to everything, specifically though, yes, Monica in Captain Marvel 2 and specifically to Wanda teaming up with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
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Scarlet Witch’s comic book origins place her as both a mutant and the daughter of Magneto, so there’s an easy route into the X-Men mythology already available, while speculation has also increased that Evan Peters’ mystery role could turn out to be Fox’s Quicksilver from an alternate reality. Either way, Feige will no doubt already know how he’s bringing them into the MCU, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it ends up happening.