The Road Kevin Feige Will Take to Incorporate the X-Men into the MCU: The Most Likely Path

How and when will the X-Men join the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Such has been the question at the heart of Marvel-themed discussions since the Fox/Disney merger placed Wolverine and Professor X under the Disney umbrella. While imagining the X-Men in the MCU isn’t necessarily difficult, a certain attention to detail is mandatory — an attention to detail that ensures the utter avoidance of fox mimicry, as well as a narrative logic that fits within the MCU’s current complex timeline and the soon-to-be multiverse. 

Kevin Feige Marvel Studios MCU
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Determining how Kevin Feige will introduce the X-Men is two-fold (at a minimum), as you must account for the manner in which they will appear — sprinkled one at a time or en-masse — and who he will choose to carry the mutant torch. So, let’s start with the first question. 

1. The X-Men will come to play one at a time 

Considering Disney just gained access to the X-Men, the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t dropped hints concerning their existence. In other words, where have the mutants been this whole time? Where were they when planet earth (and other planets) were in crisis time and again? 

If Marvel Studios introduces mutants sparingly (and does not imply a huge mutant race in-tandem) — devising an origin story that explains a particular character’s absence at each turn is feasible. Origin stories can be tinkered and toyed with to merge with the MCU’s landscape.

Not to mention, leaks already suggest this turn of events with rumors that Doctor Strange will turn to Professor X to form the Illuminati and Captain Marvel will come to face Rogue in her second installment. In other words, an X-Men mash-up, though destined to be highly entertaining, will likely not come to fruition until sometime after phase 5 or 6 (when multiple mutants and multiple backstories have provided the foundation for an entire mutant species to be in operation on-screen together). This X-Men mash-up idea brings us to the next plausible expectation: the mutants destined to be at the center of Disney’s iteration. 

2. Kevin Feige will ensure that less popular mutants carry the X-Men torch in the MCU

As Marvel insider, Mikey Sutton explained when discussing Rogue’s entrance into the MCU, Disney may do all in its power to avoid shining a spotlight on characters suffering from Fox burnout: Magneto, Wolverine, etc. In other words, Magneto may not even be the leader of the brotherhood, and a different group of mutants — previously underserved — may represent the mutant race under Marvel Studios. 

Meaning, mutants that fans know from the comics but didn’t get enough of on the silver screen may be the focal point. This way, the MCU would guarantee a degree of separation with Fox, creating an X-men world with character dynamics all its own. In other words, the love triangle between Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey may not make it the silver screen this time around, or may not be at the center of the X-Men story.