When it was announced that Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox had begun to play nice (nice enough to get ‘Legion’ made, at any rate), comics fans the world over couldn’t help but get excited. And this wasn’t just for the ‘Legion’ series itself, as promising as it looks. No, the real excitement was at the prospect of further cooperation between the two studios, especially given their notoriously strained relationship they’ve had for some time now. In particular, the news brought to mind echoes of the earlier announcement that Sony would partner with Marvel Studios on future Spider-Man films, thus allowing the web slinger to take his rightful place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hopes understandably ran high that the X-Men might soon do the same.
Especially after the release of this summer’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, rumors began to circulate that the Children of the Atom would be coming to the MCU, either as part of a crossover or through a full-blown MCU reboot. As appealing as the prospect of a crossover between the two venerable superhero franchises might be, however, it’s important to be mindful that we’re not taking the wishful thinking of excitable fans as gospel. This was underscored recently when Marvel’s Kevin Feige remarked in an interview with Collider that the relationship between Fox and Marvel is “the same as it has always been’, adding “We all get along and I see them occasionally. There’s no change in any dynamic”. This state of affairs was further confirmed by Brian Singer’s earlier insistence that ‘Legion’ would be “part of the X-Men universe” and by ‘Captain America: Civil War’ directors the Russo brothers, who this summer noted that had been no “talk regarding the X-Men.”
Beyond the state of the two studios’ relationship, let’s not forget that there’s another factor to consider in any discussion of crossovers, that being that despite occasionally having an entry that doesn’t live up to expectations for one reason or another, the ‘X-Men’ franchise is by and large a healthy one, and a fairly consistent money maker for Fox, especially considering that it’s been running for nearly two decades. Sony’s ‘Spider-Man’ films, by contrast have been in a state of chaos ever since the disappointing performance of ‘Spider-Man 3’ and Sam Raimi’s subsequent exit from the property. Whatever one thinks of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, it didn’t have nearly as much riding on it as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ did, to say nothing of the fact that the other ‘X-Men’ film released this year (a little movie called ‘Deadpool’) made money hand over fist.