If there’s one thing Marvel fans would kill for, it would be the chance to have one, big cohesive superhero universe on film. Don’t get us wrong, the MCU is mighty impressive, but it remains unfinished thanks to the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four lying with 20th Century Fox.
Due to the studio’s consistent failure to produce an enjoyable movie for the latter, fans have routinely called for them to send Marvel’s First Family back home. And even Hugh Jackman has said he would play Wolverine again if the character moved to the MCU. Despite all this, though, we’ve been told by execs from both parties that there are no discussions taking place about Fox returning any of their characters.
That said, one source who should be in the know remains optimistic that Marvel will reclaim the Fantastic Four and X-Men eventually. When chatting about the subject at Wizard World in Nashville, comic book legend Stan Lee had this to say:
“Sooner or later, they’re going to get the rights back to all our characters. They’re working on it, and they’re still making X-Men movies and stuff. Don’t worry about it. You’ll get more Marvel superheroes than you’ll have time to look at in the next few years.”
You can see why Lee is so hopeful on the matter. Marvel’s number one hero, Spider-Man, finally made his way into the MCU last year after an unprecedented deal with Sony, which does suggest that something similar could happen with Fox at some point in the future. After all, there’s definitely been some exchanges of supporting characters between the two studios before.
Lee’s second point is worth remembering too, though. Even if Fox retains the rights to their superhero franchises for the time being, it’s not like Marvel Studios are going to run out of properties to introduce into the MCU any time soon. In the next few years alone, we already have solo movies for fresh faces like Black Panther and Captain Marvel on the slate. And let’s not forget the ever-growing number of Marvel TV shows in the works, like Runaways, Cloak and Dagger, New Warriors, etc.
Likewise, the X-Men franchise is seemingly in safe hands over at Fox – 2018 will deliver three new movies in the series, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Deadpool 2 and New Mutants. Even Fantastic Four could end up being saved with a kid-friendly spin-off and a Doctor Doom solo movie.
As of right now, it sounds like each studio will hold onto their respective characters, but it’s still good to hear that Lee’s so optimistic and his comments give us hope for seeing that one, big cohesive universe happen on film eventually.