To clarify, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the 20th Century Fox film studio won’t be complete until sometime in mid-2019, so until that happens, Disney will not be developing any projects with Fox’s current properties, which include ‘Alien’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Predator’, but the fandom gold medal is definitely the ‘X-Men’ and (to a lesser degree) ‘Fantastic Four’ franchises, which comic fans are hoping (or dreading) to see woven into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disney will release all planned ‘X-Men’ movies as they have been set, meaning the completed (or mostly so) ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’, is still due on February 14, 2019, with ‘New Mutants’ on August 2, 2019. As you may recall, both movies were supposed to come out this year but were bumped so as not to detract from ‘Deadpool 2’. Speaking of ‘Deadpool’ Fox will continue developing the movies it already has in the pipeline and that includes a likely third ‘Deadpool’ and ‘X-Force’.
As one Fox executive said, “We’re doing the only thing we know how to do, which is put one foot in front of another.” Things are business as usual at Fox for the time being. But that’s existing business. Reportedly, agents are no longer sending new projects their way because of the uncertainty about what will happen when the merger is finalized and thousands of jobs at the studio are lost.
Some eager fans were hoping that there would be some reference to the X-Men in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ but that was presumptuous as the buyout hadn’t been finalized yet. (And still hasn’t.) While for some fans the idea of the X-Men and Fantastic Four joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a dream come true, there are others with reservations. First of all, there is the fact that Fox has been more experimental with the ‘X-Men’ brand, allowing rated-R films like ‘Logan’ which earned an Academy Award nomination and the super successful ‘Deadpool’ movies which would be nothing without the crude language, ultra violence, and nudity. For others, the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ brands are tainted for lack of a better word. The first two ‘Fantastic Four’ movies were mostly forgotten and the third was a dismal failure. ‘X-Men’ has been recast and rebooted, with several inconsistencies and a convoluted history that rivals that of the comic books. For instance, the ‘Dark Phoenix’ saga has already been adapted in a film and is about to be depicted a second time. Granted there were some time travel shenanigans… do you see my point?
Then again, it’s possible that Marvel Studios is about to reboot. Nothing is known about ‘Avengers 4’ and very little is known about what will come after. But after ten years and many expiring contracts, some sort of reboot has to happen to account for the likely departures of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans for starters. If Marvel has to reboot anyway, that could make it easier to introduce new versions of Wolverine and the rest in a clean, streamlined way.
We’ll have to wait and see, but at this point, don’t expect any news about the Fox characters switching over to Disney until at least sometimes later next year. Then again, if things fall into place neatly, there could be an announcement at San Diego Comic-Con in July. Just a year until we find out!
Source: Wall Street Journal