Long before the Disney/Fox deal came into effect last March, Marvel fans were speculating and fantasizing about the possibility of X-Men in the MCU. Sure enough, at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige dropped a couple of vague teases for plans to bring “mutants” into the superhero saga. But while there’s no doubt at this point that Marvel intends to make use of their newly acquired characters, a new piece from ScreenRant argues that they may steer clear of using the term “X-Men” for a while.
The article’s first point is that the X-Men name no longer has the commercial clout that it once did. Even before the box office disaster that was Dark Phoenix, it was clear that a good portion of the filmgoing public was beginning to tire of Charles Xavier’s team, and when Marvel Studios eventually reboots these characters, they may want to downplay any connection to the recent Fox films.
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On top of that, it’s worth noting that during his SDCC announcement, Feige never actually used the term “X-Men,” but did refer the characters as “mutants” twice. With that in mind, you have to wonder if the MCU might take a very different approach to Fox, and initially focus on the individual mutants instead of rushing to assemble the famous team. Let’s not forget that the existence of mutants in Marvel’s pre-existing cinematic universe could take a long time to establish, and Feige and his team are known for playing the long game when it comes to setting up their more elaborate storylines.
Of course, none of this is to say that the MCU won’t bring us a full on X-Men movie somewhere down the line. After all, filmgoers still have plenty of fond memories of Wolverine and the rest of the gang, and may just need a few years to forget the property’s recent missteps. Either way, it’ll likely be a long wait before any mutants are given a prominent role in the Marvel franchise, but in the meantime, the MCU’s Phase 4 kicks off with the release of Black Widow on May 1st, 2020.