The X-Men and Fantastic Four are Coming Home


Jenise Mass, Staff Writer

In the past week major news broke that Disney Studios and Fox Studios brokered a $52 billion deal that resulted in Disney/Marvel buying back their rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, as well as many of Fox’s other studio properties. The news came as a shock to many despite there being rumors of a deal between the two companies for a few weeks now; however, it was said the deal had fizzled out. So what does this mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what are the terms of the deal between the Mouse and Fox?

After Marvel Comics sold many of their properties back in the 90s to big movie studios to avoid bankruptcy, Fox held the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters for over two decades and have made several movies with the two superhero families – with some not as successful or as good as the others – and is currently in the midst of a new series of X-Men films. When Marvel Studios broke out as an independent company in 2008 with Iron Man – the start of their own cinematic universe – many fans have since begged Fox to give over the rights to Marvel Studios (which was bought out by Disney in 2010) so that we could see a complete Marvel Universe, however, after nearly a decade many fans had come to accept that the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four would never cross paths.

Now with the news that the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties are back with Marvel, fans of the comics and films have been very vocal about their happiness and excitement on social media at the prospect of a full Marvel Universe and new stories to be adapted on-screen. However, given that Marvel Studios was thriving perfectly fine without the existence of the X-Men and Fantastic Four in their universe, it’s understandable why people are worried about what the inclusion of so many new characters and storylines could mean for the MCU.

As far as we know, the Disney-Fox deal is not like the Disney-Sony deal with Spider-Man. The Spider-Man character and his storylines are a shared prospect of Sony and Disney/Marvel, but with the Disney-Fox Deal it seems Disney has bought back full ownership of the characters, and therefore don’t have to share them (or the profits) with another company. This has made some fans worried that they will no longer see riskier takes on superheroes because Disney is obviously known for being family friendly, and in the past year Fox has made bold moves with their superhero films such as making Deadpool and Logan rated R, and plan on releasing an interesting horror film-esque take on a New Mutants film early next year, an adaption that is nothing like the comics. However, Disney executive Bob Iger has stated that they have no plans to stop producing the rated R adaptions should there be any more.

Also, the X-Men films have had major inconsistencies and discrepancies in their timeline and the Fantastic Four films have been highly disliked and unsuccessful, with Disney/Marvel now getting them back, now might be the time these Marvel families finally get the film adaptions and portrayals they deserve, especially the Fantastic Four since they are the OG’s of Marvel. And in the next few years we’ll also be seeing more X-Men and Fantastic Four toys and memorabilia since Marvel will most likely drop the freeze on merchandise now that they have the rights back.

The deal is still fresh and there are still many things that need to negotiated and fixed so it is not actually expected to be in full effect for at least another 12 to 18 months, which should be enough time to recast much of the X-Men and for Marvel to figure how they’re going to integrate so many characters to an already packed and thriving universe. They got Spider-Man back in the midst of filming Civil War and managed to give him a proper introduction in just a few weeks, and while one character doesn’t compare to dozens, if there is one studio that can pull it off, it’s Marvel Studios.

But despite this, Marvel still doesn’t have all their rights back. Universal Pictures is still holding a few character and movie rights hostage, however, a deal this big shows that with time there is still hope at seeing a proper Marvel Universe on the big screen. But for now, millions of fans are excited to eventually see new character arcs and major storylines be adapted into the MCU.

Avengers vs. X-Men anyone?