With the Disney-Fox merger officially complete, the Marvel Cinematic Universe now has the chance to incorporate popular “X-Men” characters such as Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, and more into its movies for the first time. However, comic book movie fans looking forward to Captain Marvel and Wolverine taking down bad guys together shouldn’t hold their breath. Speaking to i09, Kevin Feige said the current plan for the next five or so years of Marvel movies does not currently include X-Men characters.
“It’ll be a while,” Feige said when asked about bringing the X-Men into the MCU. “It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”
Marvel’s upcoming “Avengers: Endgame” is being positioned as the grand finale to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans expect story threads to pop up in “Endgame” that will indicate where the MCU goes next in what is being called “Phase Four,” although Feige and other Marvel executives will not speak about the next wave of films until after “Endgame” premieres. Titles in the works include a “Black Widow” standalone movie, “The Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi,” plus sequels to “Captain Marvel” and “Black Panther.”
“The slate that we’re building over the next five years [is] not apples to apples,” Feige said when asked how the next phase of MCU titles compares to the past. “It is two very distinct things and I hope they’ll feel very distinct. But there is a similar mentality going into it, which is ‘How can we continue to tell stories with some of the characters that audiences already know and love in a unique way, in a different way, in surprising way, of which we have a lot of plans and ideas and work already going into it?’ [Then] ‘How can we introduce new characters that even hardcore fans, comic fans, have barely known or barely heard of.’ That’s really exciting, too.”
As for the “X-Men” franchise, the upcoming “Dark Phoenix” will be the last time the characters grace the big screen without Disney’s involvement from the beginning. While it’s not confirmed yet, Disney is expected to recast all of the X-Men superhero roles when the time finally comes to introduce them into the MCU. “Dark Phoenix” was repeatedly referred to as an ending to the current “X-Men” film franchise at last week’s CinemaCon.
“Dark Phoenix” opens in theaters July 7.