Fox’s Marvel characters won’t debut in the MCU until at least 2021


The Disney-Fox deal has closed, but fans are still going to have to wait a bit longer for the new Marvel characters to join the MCU.

Following months of negotiation and finalization, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is finally done. Most comic book fans know this means the X-Men, Fantastic Four and other Marvel characters can now join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it may be a little while before they formally arrive in the shared universe.

A new report from THR has added more clarity to Disney and Marvel Studios’ plans for the newly-acquired characters. The trade reports that the X-Men and other characters won’t be added to the MCU right away. Unless Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige currently has a working script, they likely won’t arrive until 2021, at the earliest.

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Interestingly, THR also mentioned that Feige has “met with several members of the X-Men old guard in recent months.” While no specific names were given, it’s very possible this “old guard” refers to longtime X-Men producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg.

The X-Men franchise has played an integral role in Feige’s career. The first Marvel production he ever worked on was 2000’s X-Men, for which he received his first associate producer credit, courtesy of Shuler Donner. He would go on to serve in a producing capacity on various other Marvel projects including films in the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. This merger really brings things full circle for him, as he now has access to the characters he worked with and will likely be reteaming with his old boss.

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The fact that all of these characters won’t debut in the MCU for a few years is understandable, as any projects will need to go into active development. Concept artists, screenwriters, filmmakers and others need to be hired. Still, this doesn’t mean Feige doesn’t already have ideas. And based on his track record, these could be the big-screen versions of the characters fans have been waiting for.