Disney+: Are the ‘X-Men’ Movies Available on Disney’s New Streaming Service?

The wait is over. Disney+ is up and running, despite some day-one technical difficulties. The streaming service offers a wide range of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. So chances are good it has something for everyone.

Marvel fans should be especially pleased with Disney+. After all, the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — minus a few projects still tied up with Netflix — is available to subscribers. But what about other films based on Marvel Comics, such as Fox’s long-running X-Men franchise?

The 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' global premiere
The ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ global premiere | Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images

A wealth of Marvel content

2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix marked the conclusion of the mutant saga over at Fox. And fans still have no clue when or if they’ll ever see New Mutants. With Disney’s acquisition of Fox, however, fans presumed the X-Men films — minus R-rated fare like Deadpool and Logan — would be part of the Disney+ package. But is this actually the case?

As one of the major pillars of Disney+, Marvel is offering fans plenty of programs to check out. As mentioned, the MCU films are mostly accounted for, along with shows like Agent Carter, The Runaways and even Inhumans. Likewise, a variety of specials, fan-favorite animated series, and especially Spider-Man shows are awaiting fans. Yet, fans specifically hunting for the X-Men might still be disappointed.

Where are the X-Men?

As far as Marvel’s mutants are concerned, only three programs are available. All five seasons of the popular 1990s animated X-Men are on Disney+, as are 2000s shows X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men. Yet, none of the 12 live-action films are on Disney+, begging the question: why?

Disney already owns both Marvel and now Fox. So one wouldn’t think any licensing deals would stand between X-Men and Disney+. Then again, even parts of the MCU are unavailable right now due to other streaming deals.

According to JustWatch, some of the X-Men films are currently streaming exclusively on the fuboTV platform. Others, like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool, are available to FXNow subscribers. Perhaps when the fuboTV deal runs its course, Disney will reunite the full Fox X-Men line-up on either Disney+ or Hulu, where X-Men series The Gifted resides.

Branding the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+

However, the most likely reason Disney is keeping X-Men off the platform is branding. Since the company owns Fox outright, the company could release at least some of the films to Disney+. But then again, this is a sensitive time for the brand, one which Marvel Studios is still considering.

While the X-Men films have collectively earned more than $6 billion worldwide, roughly half of these releases are not particularly well-regarded. Disney could be protecting the viability of the MCU by keeping its less popular sister franchises at bay. Notably, the Fantastic Four films are absent from Disney+ as well, likely for the same reason.

Having some animated series based on the X-Men on Disney+ is one thing. But if Marvel Studios hopes to successfully reboot the mutants in the near future, it might be wise to distance itself from the Fox side of things. Considering the X-Men are all about acceptance, it’s ironic that segregation appears to be the franchise’s best chance of survival.