MCU Phase 4: The One Thing That Kevin Feige Regrets Can’t Happen

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is finally, truly, at last in Phase 4. Originally meant to kick off in May 2020 with Black Widow, the next phase of the massively popular omni-franchise has instead had to wait for the recent premiere of WandaVision on Disney+, due to the extensive delays caused by COVID-19.

Phase 4 of the MCU is set to be the first one to truly bridge the films and TV shows in meaningful ways and seems poised to run through 2023. One of the potential films in this slate is the much-discussed reboot of the Fantastic Four, set to be directed by Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

[Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the end of Avengers: Endgame ahead, but hasn’t everyone on the planet seen it by now?]

Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner attend Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Endgame" Cast
Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner attend Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” Cast Place Their Hand Prints In Cement. | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

RELATED: Marvel Star Anthony Mackie Hasn’t Been Able to Watch Chadwick Boseman in his Final Role

Speaking with Cinema Blend, MCU producer Kevin Feige admitted a feeling of regret that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) won’t be able to meet Reed Richards (aka, Mr. Fantastic) in any future team-up adventures. As two of the smartest heroes in the comics, Stark and Richards often work together to tackle the latest calamity threatening the world.

“Yes,” Feige said when asked about the crossover not being a possibility on film. “I mean, as the comics always have done, you inherit the continuity that is the point in time that you’re about to tell a new story. And that’s where we are (in the MCU), so yes.”

Stark famously and tragically departed the ongoing MCU at the end of Avengers: Endgame when he used the Nano Gauntlet to destroy Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his armies once and for all, sacrificing himself in the process. While the possibility remains open for the character to cameo in prequel stories, the door is shut for future stories, unless Marvel Studios ever decides to undo the death and lessen one of their most poignant moments.

Feige isn’t too broken up about it, though

RELATED: Marvel Confirms More ‘Avengers’ Movies Are on the Way, But When?

Despite admitting that it wasn’t ideal, Feige didn’t overall seem to be too broken up about the situation. He followed up by saying that any regrets about the past are outweighed by the promise of the future.

“I spend more time thinking about being excited about seeing things than I do sad about not seeing things,” the producer said.

There is currently no timetable for the Fantastic Four reboot. That said, the fact that it has a director signed-on is a good sign that things are moving forward at a healthy pace. Given Marvel’s stacked slate of projects, it’s likely that the film will land in 2024, or maybe 2023 at the absolute earliest.

The same Disney acquisition of Fox that has allowed Marvel Studios to bring in the Fantastic Four also includes the X-Men. That reboot will take even longer to arrive, Feige and others at the studio stressing their desire to take their time getting things right and to give the public a break from mutant mayhem.