Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that after the Disney/Fox merger is complete, that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios will be the guiding force behind the X-Men franchise.
When asked how the X-Men would fit into Marvel’s plans and if Kevin Feige would be overseeing everything he responded:
??“I think it only makes sense. I want to be careful here because of what’s been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn’t be two Marvels.”
Iger was then asked if that meant that Deadpool could become an Avenger and he gingerly replied, “Kevin’s got a lot of ideas. I’m not suggesting that’s one of them. But who knows?”
Iger did not comment if the X-Men would one day become an addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or if it would continue existing as its own separate film franchise.
The second option is a possibility since the X-Men stable of characters and stories are so rife with potential that they have already spawned eleven Fox films and two more (Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants) that are still yet unreleased. Let’s also not forget that the X-Men comics are currently celebrating their 55th anniversary which means that Marvel has over half a century of stories to adapt into more films and television shows.
Iger also did not comment if Feige’s supervision of the X-Men franchise would also come with any kind of reboot.
A clean slate makes sense for narrative’s sake and would also follow in the softly rebooted footsteps of Spider-Man, another Marvel character who was sold off to another movie studio but eventually made its way back to the creative control of Marvel Studios.
Regardless if we’ll ever see the X-Men meet the Avengers or if we’ll ever get to hear someone in the MCU referred to as a mutant instead of “an enhanced” or “Inhuman”, this news is cause for celebration for X-Fans everywhere. The X-Men franchise has proved to be too vast and too unwieldy for Fox who tried to connect the initial trilogy, the First Class prequels, the solo Wolverine films and two Deadpool movies together with varying levels of success/continuity.
Given Marvel’s track record with megafranchises that are focused on a team of superheroes that all have their own stories worth telling, they’ve proven that when it comes to their characters the safest hands are still their own.