Former ‘X-Men’ Showrunner on the Challenge at Bringing Mutants into the MCU: ‘I Don’t Know How Kevin Feige Sleeps at Night’

Bringing a mythos as expansive as the X-Men to life on the big screen was quite the challenge. But taking the Marvel mutants into an established Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) could be even more difficult. Now someone with experience adapting the Marvel Comics title for the screen has weighed in on the inevitable addition of the X-men to the MCU.

James Marsden in 'X-Men'
James Marsden in ‘X-Men’ | Getty Images

Marvel Studios confirmed the X-Men will hit the MCU at some point

For Marvel Studios, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” After all, Fox was able to wring a massively successful — well, mostly — movie series out of the X-Men. And with the box office clout and audience goodwill of the MCU, the mutants’ return is certain to be triumphant one. The big questions are how it will happen and how long fans will have to wait.

With Phase 4 already mapped out, the MCU X-Men likely won’t be making any more than a brief appearance, if that, until 2023. Then again, Marvel Studios probably want to let the franchise air out a bit after the back-to-back failures of Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. But fans can probably count on some familiar characters, principally Professor X and Magneto.

RELATED: ‘X-Men’ Actor Admits His Disappointment in the Fox Series: ‘I Was Gutted’

But the showrunner of the 1990s ‘X-Men’ animated series sees an issue

As fans continue to speculate and discuss what the MCU X-Men might look like, someone with experience with the characters has shared his thoughts. Eric Lewald served as the showrunner of the beloved 1990s X-Men animated series. And in an interview with GWW, he revealed he thinks bringing the mutants into the MCU is trickier than it seems.

“I don’t know how Kevin Feige sleeps at night trying to keep all these balls in the air. But for the X-Men … I always had the reverse problem. There were too many X-Men and too many villains already in the X-universe and too many connected characters. I found myself cutting half of them out and having stories about three of the X-Men. Just to keep sane and to not have to try to service all of them at once in a 22-minute episode.”

As Lewald points out, the MCU is already loaded with tons of characters and stories. So it’s unlikely it will introduce all the X-Men at once. Instead, fans suspect individual heroes such as Storm and Wolverine will pop up in other heroes’ films before uniting as X-Men. At this point though, no one knows exactly how Feige will pull it off. Or, as Lewald said, how he sleeps at all.

RELATED: ‘X-Men’ Actor Ian McKellen Just Blew Marvel Fans’ Minds By Raising a Huge Question about the Villainous Magneto

Could the mutants’ arrival be a lot closer than fans might think?

Thus far, the MCU has transformed such seemingly goofy characters as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man into box office champs. So the X-Men shouldn’t be nearly as hard for Marvel to apply its winning approach to. In fact, some fans speculate that the MCU has already begun to lay the groundwork for the X-Men’s eventual introduction.

For instance, the MCU is about to bring the multiverse to the screen. Beginning with Disney+ series WandaVision, the nature of reality will be a lot looser. This could be the perfect opportunity to integrate the X-Men into the MCU. After all, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is Magneto’s daughter in the comics. So perhaps there is a method to the (multiverse of) madness.