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James McAvoy Remains Uncertain How Successfully ‘X-Men’ Can Be Folded Into MCU

With Disney acquiring Fox's film assets sometime this year, the "X-Men" superheroes will finally be able to join the MCU.

James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier

James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier

20th Century Fox

James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson are joining forces in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” this month, but the upcoming Disney-Fox merger means we could be seeing two of their most popular film characters on the big screen again in the not so distant future. Jackson’s Nick Fury is a flagship character in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will finally be able to feature “X-Men” characters once the merger takes place. McAvoy is the big screen’s current Professor Charles Xavier, having played the character in three Fox-backed films, plus the upcoming “Dark Phoenix.”

When asked by Yahoo Entertainment about the X-Men joining the MCU, McAvoy expressed some concern over how successfully the Disney team will be able to achieve the goal. “I don’t know if the X-Men could go into the Marvel universe, I’m not sure,” McAvoy said.

“Maybe they could? But I think what’s different about the Avengers universe anyway is you’ve only got a couple of superheroes in the world,” the actor continued. “There’s a good amount, but there’s like a couple of football teams’ worth, you know what I mean? Whereas in the X-Men world you’re potentially saying there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of [superheroes] and the social implication of that is different.”

In the “X-Men” franchise, superheroes have their powers because of a mutated gene. The movie franchise has often depicted mutants having to hide and conceal their identities because the world views mutants as a lesser group. The Marvel Cinematic Universe features superheroes, such as Iron Man, who have gone public with their real identities and are revered by citizens within the universe.

“In the X-Men world, [superheroes] are ghetto-ized,” McAvoy said. “They’re ostracized and they’re feared. Whereas in the Avengers world, they’re honored a bit more… and seen as heroes. We’re seen almost like immigrants that people are scared of in the world of mutants and humans. How do you resolve that [in the MCU]?”

While McAvoy may not be positive about the X-Men’s integration into the MCU, he is confident that the Marvel brain trust can figure out a plausible way to do so, should Disney want the characters to appear in the MCU. “If anyone can do it, Marvel Studios can,” the actor said.

Yahoo Entertainment asked Jackson a similar question, but the actor only responded, “There’s a way to fit it, yeah.”

Kevin Fiege made headlines in December after he told Variety that he expects Disney to begin being able to create stories with Fox-owned superheroes like X-Men and Fantastic Four in the first half of 2019. Should the MCU move forward with its own “X-Men” movie, it’s possible the roles will be recast and the film storyline starts from scratch.

Next up for the MCU are “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame.” McAvoy reprises his character of Professor X in “Dark Phoenix,” the last “X-Men” movie to be produced and distributed solely by 20th Century Fox. The film opens June 7.

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