Earlier today Disney purchased several Fox assets in a huge $52.4 billion dollar deal. This deal included the vast majority of Fox’s holdings, the only assets not included are Fox Business Network, Fox News, and Fox Sports. It is important to note that this deal is not final. It still needs to be reviewed and approved by the SEC, if it’s found that the acquisition would violate Anti-Trust laws, it still may not go through. However, for the sake of this argument, I’m going to assume that the deal is going to go through and that Disney will be obtaining the rights to all the X-Men characters.
While it would be completely possible for Marvel to give the X-Men a reboot and merge them in with the MCU after Infinity War, I believe it would be within their best interests to keep the X-Men universe separate. The problem as I see it is a matter of continuity and canon. Admittedly, I’m all for retconning things when appropriate or straight up changing the storylines to fit a different medium, but the X-Men universe is something of a conundrum. Within the current MCU how would you explain the sudden appearance of mutants that have been around for 50+ years? In the comics, Erik Lehnsherr (or Max Eisenhardt), was born in the 1920s, which would make him almost 100 years old right now, even retconning his age a bit still would leave him, at the youngest, in his 80’s. Could you imagine the fan backlash if they changed Magneto so he wasn’t a holocaust survivor? Sure, they could come up with some explanation to keep him younger, but after a while, that sorta thing just comes off as too convenient and contrived. So, to sum up, my first point is that there’s just no logical way to reconcile the timelines without using the Reality Gem to merge universes, but at this point, while possible, to me, it just seems like a really bad idea from a story perspective.
Despite a flop here and there, the X-Men movies have done fairly well at the box office and with the recent success of Logan and Deadpool, we now know for a fact that Marvel doesn’t have to be the ones to make X-Men movies for them to actually be good (I also really enjoyed First Class, The Wolverine, and DOFP out of the more recent films). Even though there’s always a vocal outcry about how Fox is getting the X-Men wrong, overall, the most recent entries in the franchise haven’t really done poorly, while we don’t know how Dark Phoenix is going to turn out, the trailer for New Mutants is really promising and as long as Deadpool 2 is at least as good as the first one, I’m sure it will make some sort of a profit.
Speaking of Deadpool and Logan, I don’t think Disney is ready to make an R rated MCU film and both of these films proved that there is absolutely an audience for R rated X-Men films. While it would be possible to produce the R Rated films under the Fox Studio title, I think it would cause way more brand confusion, especially if they still take place in different universes; which would likely be the case. How do you explain to your kid that he can go see Professor X in PG-13 Avengers movie, but not in the R Rated X-Men team up, especially if they were played by the same actor? **(I realize this did happen with Logan being rated R, and kinda kills that argument against, but it’s more about the overall tone for me)** Even though we got Quicksilver in both the X-Men universe and the MCU due to the shared rights, I think keeping those sorts of things to a minimum would be for the best.
So, those are my arguments for keeping the worlds separate. If the MCU was to go through a complete reboot and was to start over from the beginning, I might feel differently, but for now, let them each take the characters they need, while minimizing overlap, and keep them as separate entities. The Fantastic Four, however, yeah, take them and do it right.
. . . I’m sure there’s a bunch of you out there who disagree with me. Feel free to yell at me in the comments.