Fox’s X-Men franchise has unceremoniously come to an end with the release of New Mutants, but Disney definitely shouldn’t scrap it completely if it wants to compete with its rivals.
Whether it’s Michael Keaton returning to the Batman mantle or Jamie Foxx reprising his Electro role, it seems like the multiverse is the natural next step for comic book movies.
Every past continuity seems to be canon now, and it’s both satisfying and intimidating. Fans can be happy that their favorite version of a certain character is out there somewhere while it can easily get convoluted.
The upcoming The Flash and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seem to be the movies that will introduce the complex multiverse to its audiences. While Flash is already promising multiple Batmans from the past and present, what’s Disney/Marvel’s angle?
Jamie Foxx returning as Electro as well as J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home already seems to be teasing a live-action Spider-Verse. But whether its spin-offs like Venom or Marvel Studios films like Homecoming, they are all still under Sony’s umbrella.
So how is Disney/Marvel going to respond to all this multiverse madness via the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Since Disney bought Fox, they now have the rights to everything X-Men related and they will no doubt introduce their own version of the beloved mutants. Logan seemed to be the big finale for the Fox X-Men continuity, with most mutants dead and the younger mutants running off into the sunset. But should that be the end of Fox’s X-Men universe?
Right now it’s going to be tough to fill in the hole that Captain America and Iron Man filled. So who or what can get fans excited for the next 10 years of Marvel?
Deadpool can Be the Key
There are already rumors of Ryan Reynolds being in the middle of negotiations to reportedly get the biggest Marvel Studios contract à la Robert Downey Jr. Whether those are rumors are true or not, Disney/Marvel has to be figuring out some way to integrate Reynolds’ Deadpool.
While Reynolds’ Deadpool is part of the Fox X-Men continuity, Disney would be fools let him go for simple reasons. Both Deadpool films were incredibly cheap to produce compared to most comic book films and they were both insanely profitable. Cheap and profitable is a dream combination for any studio and another Deadpool film could easily provide that.
And the beauty of Deadpool is that he’s a fourth-wall-breaking character who is able to traverse time and space just because he’s Deadpool. He could be the key to connect the MCU to the X-Men universe.
WandaVision and Doctor Strange
WandaVision already promises to be a showcase for Wanda Maximoff’s powers. It’s clear that she broke reality and it will be interesting to see where that goes.
There’s the elephant in the room that Wanda in the comic books is a mutant. And of course, her brother Quicksilver not only existed in the MCU but also the Fox universe as well. Imagine in Wanda’s exploration of the multiverse she not only gets in contact with her Quicksilver, but Evan Peters’ as well, and she finds out that in another universe she’s considered a mutant. It’s all fanboy speculation, but anything is possible.
There’s also Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which explains everything in its title. Wanda will be a major player in that film, with WandaVision providing some set up for it. Doctor Strange already can traverse the multiverse, so him being paired with Wanda will only cause more chaos. Sam Raimi, best known for helming the original Spider-Man films, will be directing this film as well, which can’t be a complete coincidence.
Strange, Wanda, and Deadpool are the three characters Disney owns that can connect its current franchise to the legacy franchises it now owns from the buyout.
The MCU is 12 years old, but it stills feels relatively young, with barely any nostalgia attached to it. The only aspects of nostalgia it has now are Iron Man and Captain America and for the time being, they are out of commission. This is something DC has over Marvel since it’s hard to ask audiences to feel nostalgic for something that releases 2-3 films a year for the better part of a decade, with barely any room to breathe.
The Fox X-Men franchise is now considered a legacy franchise with a nostalgic fanbase. Fans would lose their minds if any past actor from those movies interacted with the current MCU heroes. And since nostalgia has been proven to be able to sell tickets, this is something Disney should at least consider.
A part of Disney’s identity is nostalgia, with its many remakes of beloved animated classics. Disney is most definitely aware of how excited fans are about Keaton’s return to Batman. Old fans are now interested in watching The Flash because of that, and it is now one of the most anticipated superhero films on the horizon.
And it doesn’t just have to be the X-Men characters.
Imagine if Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider, Ioan Gruffudd’s Mr. Fantastic, or even Wesley Snipes’ Blade crossed over? Disney owns the film rights to those characters and most likely is able to use those versions of those characters if they wanted to. The possibilities would be endless.
DC and Sony have smartly decided that nothing from the past is off the table when it comes to approaching their future installments. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe still feels young, with Disney’s expansive library of old IP they now own, why not use it to their advantage? Doctor Strange, WandaVision, and possibly Deadpool all feel like a gateway to infinite possibilities.
Yes, Disney will make its own versions of mutant characters, but keeping some of the past versions around will provide some opportunities to attract nostalgic audiences. And bringing back some of the legacy IPs with the multiverse in play could be set up for a crossover event that could be larger than Endgame and The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths combined.
Would you like to see Fox’s X-Men return in the MCU? Let us know in the comments below!