Disney & Fox: What’s Next for X-Men & Deadpool?

Back in 2012 Disney bought Lucas Film, and thus Star Wars, in an unprecedented and historic deal worth $4 billion. Now, they’ve done it again… this time even bigger. As you’ve probably read already, Disney bought almost all of Fox Entertainment for a whopping $52 billion! The agreement was that this included just about everything under Fox, except for their news and sports programs. While the deal isn’t finished technically, as it still needs to go through congress due to the sheer size of the money exchanging hands here, it looks like this means Marvel will be getting a huge chunk of their most beloved superhero characters back in their library for movie use. To shed some backstory on this, I’ll elaborate…

Back in the day, Marvel wasn’t doing so hot, financially. So they leased off a bunch of their brand name characters to other studios for film rights. This meant characters like the broad X-Men family, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool all became locked in at Fox. Other deals involved Spider-Man and his gallery of supporting characters and villains staying with Sony, and other characters like the Punisher, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, the Hulk, etc were all spread out among other studios like New Line and Universal. Each studio used those characters to make various movies and TV shows over the years, with varying success. It took a while, but eventually, Marvel along with Disney started making movies themselves of the characters they still had. Like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Luckily, they did well with these first few solo films. So the next step was connecting these characters in movies, to create a more colorful cinematic universe; just like the comics. After all, SpiderMan has been fighting alongside the X-Men for years… why not on the big screen? Because Sony had Spider-Man.

Team up movies like the first Avengers were groundbreaking and massively successful, and thus began the mission to bring all of those other characters back into the Marvel family, so even bigger team-ups could happen. One of the first big steps was the deal Marvel made with Sony, to essentially share Spider-Man, which so far has proven a very good move. Over time Marvel has been collecting their heroes, and this big deal with Fox is the mother of all deals because it would bring almost all of the remaining Marvel characters back together. This is something fans have been dying for, for years now. We all want to see Wolverine square off with Iron Man, or the Hulk fight Beast, or Spider-Man work with the Fantastic Four. Now, we will. But when?

That’s the big question fans have now; when are we going to see these worlds collide, and how? Deadpool was massively successful and he’s a fan favorite character, so naturally, we are all dying to see his smart ass working with the Avengers team because that dynamic would just be too entertaining. With the deal in the works for many more months, maybe even a whole year, it may be a little while. The other big question is, what happens to the existing roles? Respected actors like James Mcavoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence are now playing the likes of Professor X, Magneto and Mystique. So are we going to see those actors sharing screen time with Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo? Time will tell which route Marvel goes with. Fox has several more movies with the X-Men characters in the works, so Marvel could perhaps let them finish those up and then just re-boot everything when it’s time to bring them into their established cinematic universe. It would mean recasting iconic roles, but it’d be a clean slate. Another option would be for Marvel to utilize the established mechanic of time travel or alternate dimensions to kind of bring them all together. The X-Men movies have obviously existed in a separate fictional world than the Marvel Studios films so this could work quite well for them; it would allow them to merge the worlds without needing to recast everyone. Because we all agree, Ryan Reynolds needs to stick around somehow. And it’s worth mentioning, that recent behind the scenes photos leaked from the set of Avengers 4, tease at a plot element of either time travel or alternate dimensions, as actors were seen sporting costumes and hairstyles they haven’t had since the first Avengers movie. It appears they are re-shooting scenes set in previous events, and some of those scenes include characters who weren’t there in those movies. So if they are changing the history of things in Avengers 4, that could align perfectly with the introduction of certain heroes from another world…

In any case, these are exciting times for us comic book movie fans. Avengers: Infinity War opens in a few months, and itself will feature a huge cast of hero characters the likes of which have never before been seen in a single movie. The sheer scale of the production is crazy, and anticipation to see how it all goes down with so many characters is out of this world. Now just imagine, say 2 or 3 years from now, we get X-Men VS The Avengers… us nerds might have a total meltdown for something that epic. And the studio knows that movie would essentially print money for them.

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