The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to enter a new chapter. The studio has promised that things will look dramatically different after Avengers 4, but they’ll look even more different once the Disney purchase of Fox goes through.
Marvel Studios will soon have the rights to dozens of new characters that Fox previously owned, opening up the doorway to some pretty crazy storylines.
Here’s a look at some of the ways that the MCU could change after Disney buys Fox, including the one we’re most excited about (page 5).
1. Doctor Doom can be an overarching villain
When the Avengers presumably defeat Thanos in Avengers 4, the MCU might need another overarching villain. After the Fox deal, Marvel Studios will have a great one: Doctor Doom.
Many comic fans feel that Victor Von Doom is the best Marvel character of all time, yet there hasn’t really been a good version of him on screen yet. Perhaps the through-line of Phase 4 can be the Skrulls, which we’ll first see in Captain Marvel, but after that, Doctor Doom can become the “big bad.”
This can eventually lead up to a film where the Avengers take him on, maybe as the culmination of Phase 5.
Next: These characters will likely be incorporated.
2. The X-Men can enter, potentially from another dimension
The X-Men have been at Fox in their own little bubble for years, but now, they can enter the MCU, presumably with a whole new cast and a rebooted continuity. How will Marvel Studios go about this, though? It would be difficult to explain that the X-Men always existed in the MCU’s universe but we just never knew about them.
One theory is that the X-Men will actually cross over into the MCU from another dimension. Considering the MCU seems to be heading down this path of exploring alternate universes, this would make perfect sense. Alternatively, some fans have speculated that the X-Men will only start existing in an upcoming movie, maybe due to some Mind Stone shenanigans.
Next: Once the X-Men are introduced, this exciting thing can happen.
3. The Avengers can fight the X-Men
One of the most exciting things about the X-Men entering the MCU, though, is the fact that they can actually interact with the Avengers for the first time. In fact, perhaps they could even fight them.
In the comics, there was a crossover event in 2012 called Avengers vs. X-Men. This would be perfect for a major crossover movie in the MCU similar to Captain America: Civil War.
For this to work, Marvel would need to build up the X-Men in the MCU for some time first, but it could potentially happen near the end of Phase 5 or in Phase 6.
Next: This character can also interact with the Avengers.
4. Deadpool can meet the Avengers
Marvel Studios will also be getting Deadpool once the Fox purchase goes through. You might have trouble imagining Deadpool actually meeting up with the Avengers. But in the comics, this happens all the time. Wade Wilson has even been a member of the Avengers.
Because the Avengers movies are PG-13, though, Deadpool would probably need to censor himself during these crossover events, something he will inevitably make a meta-joke about. Deadpool meeting Spider-Man, in particular, is something fans can’t wait for.
Let’s just hope that Marvel Studios will be smart enough to keep Ryan Reynolds in the role.
Next: We’re most excited about this.
5. There can finally be a good Fantastic Four movie
One of the most exciting parts of the Fox purchase is that finally, the rights to the Fantastic Four are in the hands of people who can do some justice to the characters. We’ve already gotten three Fantastic Four movies, and each of them has been fairly terrible. But with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios has demonstrated an ability to take characters who had recently been in several bad movies and give them new life.
Perhaps Marvel can first introduce the Fantastic Four in a different MCU movie, only to spin them off into their own film, similar to what they did with Spider-Man.
Additionally, the Fantastic Four are such key characters that with Marvel appearing ready to usher out many classic heroes in Avengers 4, it wouldn’t be surprising if going forward, the MCU is structured largely around them.
Next: Marvel will also get the rights to this character.
6. Super-Skrull can be introduced
The Skrull rights are a bit confusing. Even though these shapeshifting aliens were first introduced in a Fantastic Four comic, they’re going to join the MCU in Captain Marvel.
However, according to James Gunn, Marvel still doesn’t have the rights to some specific Skrull characters, the most notable of which is Super-Skrull. Also known as Kl’rt, this character has all of the powers of each member of the Fantastic Four combined.
Although he’s a Fantastic Four character, Super-Skrull has also fought other heroes like Spider-Man and the Avengers in the comics. So once the Fox deal goes through, Marvel will be able to introduce this character, potentially in a Captain Marvel sequel.
Next: Could the Fantastic Four have been set up in Spider-Man: Homecoming?
7. The Avengers tower could become the Baxter Building
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, there was a subplot about Tony Stark selling the Avengers Tower and moving everything to the upstate facility. At the time, fans debated who might be buying the tower, but the movie never revealed it.
One cool theory is that this was actually setting the stage for the Avengers Tower to become the Baxter Building, a.k.a. the Fantastic Four’s headquarters.
This would be a way for the Fantastic Four’s presence to have been seeded in from a 2017 movie, and fans can just imagine the image of the “A” on the Avengers tower becoming a 4.
Next: The Russo Brothers say this would be an interesting aspect of the Fox deal.
8. Marvel can do the full Secret Wars storyline
One storyline that could really be done justice in the MCU after the Fox deal is Secret Wars. In this comic book event, a cosmic entity teleports a variety of Marvel superheroes and supervillains to another planet and has them fight. In the comic, characters from the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four are all chosen to go to the planet; villains associated with all three groups are chosen as well.
There was also another Secret Wars storyline in 2015 in which the Marvel universe merges with several alternate universes on Battleworld. Doing this after the Fox deal would be crucial since this storyline involves Dr. Doom in a significant way.
In an April 2018 interview, Infinity War director Joe Russo said that after the Fox merger, “It would be interesting to do something like Secret Wars.”
Next: Marvel’s release strategy could soon change.
9. Could they start releasing four movies a year soon?
Marvel Studios currently releases three movies a year, but they only started doing so in 2017. From 2013 through 2016, there were only two Marvel movies a year. And before that, there was often just one.
So could the studio soon upgrade to four per year? Kevin Feige was asked about this once, and he said, “I think it depends. It depends on what happens with big corporate deals, it depends on how we’re feeling as a studio to grow.”
The Fox deal would give Marvel so many characters that it seems inevitable that they will at some point begin releasing four movies a year.
Next: When will we start seeing these changes take effect?
10. We could start seeing Fox characters as soon as 2020
So when will we actually start seeing Fox characters enter the MCU? The deal would go through in 2019, but Kevin Feige says that it “probably wouldn’t impact anything for a handful of years.”
However, while it’s true that some of these more involved projects, such as a new Fantastic Four movie, wouldn’t come out for some time, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if we saw Fox characters in other movies before then.
After all, the Spider-Man deal with Sony was announced in early 2015, and Spider-Man ended up in Civil War just a year later. So while the bigger plans will take some time, don’t be surprised to see a Fox character pop up in 2020 or 2021, even if just in a post-credits scene.
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