Marvel Phase 5: Is The MCU Setting Up X-Men Vs Fantastic Four?

During San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel studio head Kevin Feige confirmed that new X-Men movies were in the works, and they will be “quite different” from what Fox has released over the past two decades. However, he wouldn’t give any details about the new direction the movies would take, and there was no mention of the X-Men in the phase four lineup, which means fans will have to wait until phase five – which will likely begin in 2021 – to see the mutants on the silver screen.

The cast of 'X-Men'
The cast of ‘X-Men’ | Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The new X-Men comics indicate a showdown with the Fantastic Four

In addition to Feige’s announcement, Marvel comics have relaunched a new X-Men line from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz. House of X #1 is the first issue in the new line, and the story focuses on Professor X and humanity’s unwillingness to accept mutants.

Professor X ends up starting Krakoa – a new mutant island complete with its own language and resources – and he is looking to acquire some weapons of mass destruction, which are the rare Omega-level mutants.

There are only 13 Omega-level mutants in all of mutantkind, and one of those is Franklin Richards, a young man who has the power to manipulate reality, travel through time, and create entire universes. And, this is where the Fantastic Four come into play.

At the beginning of the story, Richards is allied with the humans, as he is part of the Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation. The Fantastic Four are not fans of the Krakoa because the new nation essentially gives mutants amnesty for any harm they might cause. Professor X and Krakoa want Richards, and Cyclops tells his parents, “tell him when he’s ready…he has family on Krakoa waiting for him.”

Marvel has already used Hickman’s ideas in previous movies, including the Black Order and the Battle of Wakanda, so it isn’t out of the question that his X-Men/Fantastic Four battle over Richards could make it to the big screen.

X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool are now part of Marvel Studios

Neither the X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Deadpool appeared in the MCU during the first three phases because the character rights belonged to FOX. But, thanks to the Fox/Disney merger, that has all completely changed.

Disney now owns 21st Century Fox and Marvel, and that means all of the Marvel characters are finally under the Disney umbrella – for the most part – and the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Deadpool can join the Avengers in the MCU.

Since the ink is still drying on the Disney/Fox merger, Marvel hasn’t given fans any details about how these new characters will fit into the MCU, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says that they will focus on “a select group of high-quality movies” that will be a mix of theatrical releases, as well as Hulu and Disney+ exclusives.

Even though they didn’t mention these characters as being part of the phase four lineup, that doesn’t mean they can’t amend their schedule. Fans will be eager to see them introduce the characters into the MCU sooner rather than later.

It also appears that Marvel will reboot the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises with different actors and storylines to fit them into the MCU, but they will simply absorb Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool.

A new Fantastic Four Villain

According to Screenrant, the Fantastic Four in the MCU will most likely not go to war with Doctor Doom. In the two previous Fantastic Four releases from 21st Century Fox – the 2005 version from director Tim Story and Josh Trank’s version in 2015 – Doctor Doom was the villain, and both films tanked at the box office.

Neither critics nor fans liked either film. And, considering Marvel’s history, they will most likely shake things up when they bring their version of the Fantastic Four to the screen just like they did with Spider-Man.

Even though Doctor Doom is a popular character in the comics, the Fantastic Four does fight other villains, and Marvel may choose to go another way at first. There is also the possibility that Doctor Doom will get his own solo film first before going up against the Fantastic Four.

The possibilities are endless, and fans will just have to wait and see how Feige plans to fit the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters into the MCU.