Fox President Peter Rice has said he expects the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney to be closed by summer 2019. Announced late last year to a blaze of publicity, the deal would cement the Mouse House as the monolithic force in entertainment and grant them control of some of the most famous and popular franchises in cinema and television history. At the time of the announcement, Disney explained that they expected the regulatory approval process to take about 12-18 months, so this update is a good indication that things are progressing smoothly.
While the business ramifications of the deal are impressive – most likely involving 21st Century Fox being streamlined and renamed under their new boss, together with a complete change of management and strategy – one aspect that’s set superhero fans abuzz is the prospect of most of the Marvel Comic Universe being reunited under the Marvel Studios banner. This means, essentially, that we’re getting X-Men in the MCU.
While multiple creatives working on X-Universe projects at Fox have stated there’s been no orders to cease or change the direction of their movies, it simply doesn’t seem likely that Disney and Marvel Studios would continue to have two separate superhero universes going on at once (especially since the existing X-Universe is already pretty convoluted). I have no doubt that MCU head honcho Kevin Feige already has a number of potential plot outlines under heavy security that have worked out a way to introduce mutants to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Circling back to this summer 2019 deadline, though, and it gives upcoming Fox projects a little breathing room, with prospects like Noah Hawley’s awesome sounding take on Doctor Doom having just enough time to get into production before the slate is wiped clean. Either way, we’ve got an exciting couple of years ahead of us.
After Avengers: Infinity War, the MCU will definitely need a shot in the arm sooner or later, and what better way to signal a new era of moves than by a complete cinematic reinvention of the X-Men?