The Disney/Fox merger is now complete. The closing of that deal brought Fox-owned Marvel franchises like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool back to Marvel Studios. Now that they are under the existing MCU, reboots of these properties are inevitable.
Well, it turns out that 20th Century Fox had the idea to create its own MCU. Back around 2011, Fox apparently wanted a massive crossover film that utilized all the Marvel characters. And they had the rights to at the time. According to the screenwriter on the project, they even had a script in place. Obviously never came to fruition.
Fox’s MCU plans
Screenwriter Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) appeared on Kevin Smith’s podcast Fatman Beyond. When asked about films he’s written that won’t come out he responded with the following:
“My ex-partner and I, when we were working at Fox and working on X-Men: First Class, we did a secret movie for them that, I can’t tell you what the plot was, but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011.
It used the X-Men. Fox had the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It even used Deadpool. Daredevil was still at Fox at the time. And it was a really cool freakin’ script. We almost had Paul Greengrass directing it, which would’ve been so cool, but he had another project to do instead. It didn’t end up going, but it was a script I was really proud of and it would’ve been really good.”– Zack Stentz, Fatman Beyond
What could have been
We need to remember that the building blocks of the MCU, as we know it now, was only a few years old by 2011. Solo films establishing characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America were establishing the groundwork, but the culmination of those movies, 2012’s The Avengers was still a year away.
Obviously that film was never made and Fox instead made another attempt to reboot the Fantastic Four in 2015 with disastrous results. However, with the help of Ryan Reynolds they did find a hit with Deadpool in 2016. While it never happened, I would have liked to have seen if Fox could have successfully created a Marvel crossover universe in the same vein as the current MCU.