Ever since the Fox Disney merger was announced, comic book movie fans have been waiting to see when the Fox Marvel characters will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One article currently states that it could be as soon as 2019.
Writer Brent Andrew attended a talk with what he calls “high-level Fox production crew members” who let the cat out of the bag as to what to expect from the merger.
According to the Fox people, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be the last Marvel film produced by Fox, and the last film in that continuity. After that, everything will be packed up, shipped over to Disney, where Kevin Feige has been chomping at the bit to plug the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four. It is pretty much a done deal, all they are waiting for is the merger’s approval sometime in mid-2019. The executives at Fox in charge of the Marvel films were thanked for their time and contributions, as they will not be making the trip to Disney with the Marvel films. When they hit Disney, the Fox Marvel films will presumably start over fresh with new people and new storylines and continuity.
Andrew also states that the digital effects department had to recreate entire sets for the ones tore down after initial filming stopped for the Dark Phoenix reshoots, which led him to believe that the studio lost confidence in director Simon Kinberg’s vision late in the filming but did not have a plan in place to do reshoots in case that happened.
Now, there are a lot of red flags in this story. Andrew posted this to his blog, which only started back in January. Almost all of the posts are either reviews or think-pieces. There is no biography on the site which gives Andrew’s background, nor were any of the Fox crew members named. So this should be taken with a big grain of salt.
Also, let’s not forget these are members of the production crew, not producers or directors. Because while wholesale revamps make sense with the X-Men–with the current cast at the end of their contractual obligations and Hugh Jackman retiring as Wolverine–and Fantastic Four–because the abomination that was the last film should never be revisited–Deadpool is a relatively fresh concept where most of the success comes from Ryan Reynolds being in the title role. Doing a new cast reboot of that franchise would be a mistake.
And Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins the day after Avengers 4 is released: May 4, 2019. While it goes with out saying that the Fox Marvel properties will be part of the future phases of the MCU, giving them definite spots now before the merger is officially approved doesn’t make sense. I’d wager that most, if not all, of Phase Four is already occupied by film Disney already has the rights to, and the Fox films will be shoehorned in if/where there is an open space.
But if this is true, we have to wonder what will become of X-Force and Gambit. Both are fairly far along in their development. Will these films be scrapped entirely? Will Marvel add to whatever Fox has already done on the films? Or will they start from scratch doing everything themselves.