Word broke on Monday of discussions between 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company that will begin to see the latter buy a lot of the former. Consistent with reports, Disney would buy movie studio 20th Century Fox, the company’s television production unit, and it is entertainment networks, while 21st Century Fox would retain its sports interests, its cable news channel, and also the Fox broadcast network.
While the potential of Disney holding the complete distribution rights to the initial Star Wars, National Geographic programming, along with other properties has Wall Street buzzing with anticipation, the potential of this merger means one important thing for fans of comic book movies and television shows : The return from the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to Marvel Studios.
Inside the late 1990s, when Marvel was an independent company nearing bankruptcy, Fox bought the film rights to both properties in perpetuity : So long as they create X-Men or Fantastic Four movies every couple of years, they‘ve control of these titles and associated characters forever.
But should Fox actually sell the studio to Disney, It‘ll mean a number of Marvel Comics’ preferred characters can finally appear alongside the stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and also the potential for character crossovers and story line adaptations is staggering. Here are just a couple of ways fans win when the deal goes through.
1. THE ARRIVAL OF THE X-MEN
Despite Marvel Studio’s attempts to position the Inhumans as their answer towards the X-Men, fans desperately want the Merry Mutants to fight alongside (or against ) the MCU’s roster of Iron Men, Asgardians, sorcerers, and talking raccoons. Actually, pitting the 2 groups against one another could be a thrilling method to introduce the X-Men towards the MCU. This type of battle took place in 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men. The storyline line saw the Phoenix Force go back to Earth as the Avengers and also the X-Men fought over how best to guard individual destined to bond using the cosmic entity.
Usually there are some pitfalls to adapting the storyline, because it relies on lots of shared history between the 2 groups. Wolverine, for instance, is really a longtime participant in both the Avengers and also the X-Men. But without his presence inside the MCU, those connections would need to be built anew. Going straight into the fifth phase of Marvel’s feature film story line, the X-Men will be a completely new element (possible using its own group of advantages ) unless there was a method to retroactively insert them into MCU history.
The 2015 event series Secret Wars saw Marvel’s mainline universe (mentioned as Earth-616 ) merging with numerous other alternate realities published by Marvel through the years. The storyline is epic and insanely intricate with Doctor Doom like the supreme ruler of the feudal universe. Finished result saw Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales join the most Marvel Universe and also the company’s first family (Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and the children ) removed entirely.
It is effortless to imagine, say, Legion’s David Haller (Dan Stevens ) imitating his comic book counterpart – who once ripped apart the Marvel Universe with his awesome power – to produce a new MCU where mutants are a longtime fact.
The pitfall, in fact, is that the X-Men film series’ own convoluted timeline and half-hearted reboots. Which films could be considered cannon? Can you retroactively call X-Men : Days of Future Past an opening shot from the Secret War? Maybe it may be better to possess Deadpool laugh it off and merely accept the characters are section of the MCU now. But fans would want some kind of acknowledgement of the monumental change to Marvel’s film universe whilst X-Men films suffer from a way of reboot fatigue.
Perhaps it may be easier for Marvel to start out using the comic book concept that never generated a winning film for 20th Century Fox —
2. THE RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR
As watchers from the comic book industry know, the disappearance from the Richards clan in Secret Wars was not only a story point ; it was eventually an allegedly cynical move inside an ongoing battle between Fox and Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter. Knowing the studio was prepping a brand new Fantastic Four film – the infamous 2015 reboot directed by Josh Trank – he reportedly ordered the publishing division to cease publication of it. Based on the rumor, Perlmutter allegedly considered a Fantastic Four comic book to become free advertising for any Fantastic Four film Marvel would see little revenue from.
And thus, longtime Fantastic Four scribe and Secret Wars writer Jonathan Hickman wrote the family from the prime universe.
But when all media rights towards the Fantastic Four were once again under one roof, Marvel Comics could be free to share the comic once again, while also potentially giving fans something they crave : a Marvel Studios–produced Fantastic Four.
Imagine, as much fans do, a film set inside the 1960s with Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm experiencing their original comic book origin. It may be something hip and poppy, inside the vein of A Hard Day’s Night, having a Doctor Doom who looks and sounds the part. It may be easy to elucidate away their absence inside the MCU like a plot of Doom’s to obscure the cursed Richards and his family. It might even make light of all of the silly studio politics.
Nevertheless, There‘s one problem plaguing the Fantastic Four like a film property : It’s already failed twice. Or three times in case you count the infamous and unreleased Fantastic Four produced by Roger Corman. The underlying premise of the science hero family doesn‘t sit well using the action-oriented screenwriting tropes of Hollywood studios. Even Marvel itself may need an issue adapting the concept. Perhaps it, and positively other Marvel properties controlled by Fox, would work better inside the realm of television.
3. SILVER SURFER AS A TV STAR (AND PROFESSOR X FOR LEGION )
As the Fantastic Four may make a far better television program, one among their supporting characters practically screams for any TV adaptation. The current run of Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Mike Allred stars a human character named Dawn Greenwood that is whisked away from the Surfer on the psychedelic trip over the universe. Like the two journey among the many stars and help people from jams, Dawn shows the often aloof and spacey Surfer – real name Norrin Radd – the worth of consideration and compassion. Additionally they fall in adore, but their relationship is challenged when she learns how Norrin became the Silver Surfer.
Like Doctor Who infused using the adore story between Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery ) and Matthew Crawley (Stevens ), this winning TV premise is unlike anything Marvel or Fox have produced with comic book properties thus far.
In fact, having the majority of Marvel in one place may also clear up the way in which shows like Legion and The Gifted dance around their feature film cousins. Currently, the layers of bureaucracy between Marvel and also the web of Fox film and TV production and distribution companies cause it to be difficulty for either show to relate towards the established X-Men film series or one another. If Marvel’s television division was the only real authority, Professor X could possibly be revealed as David Haller’s father while Polaris could announce to her friends inside the Underground that she‘s Magneto’s daughter. Imagine if both of those shows suddenly took to heart Marvel’s edict that “it’s all connected. ”
But before we think about the potential for character crossovers, let’s go to the Silver Surfer for any second and his possible place inside the MCU. Whether he received his own series or popped up inside an Avengers movie, his debut inside a Marvel film or television project could herald the MCU’s next big bad.
4. GALACTUS OR DOOM AS THE PHASE FIVE ANTAGONIST
Since the very first Avengers film, Thanos the Mad Titan is teased like the group’s ultimate cosmic antagonist. But once his defeat comes inside the fourth Avengers, who‘ll pose any major threat for them inside the MCU’s fifth phase?
How about somebody who eats planets for breakfast?
Though the traditional and eternal devourer of worlds appeared in Fantastic Four : Rise from the Silver Surfer, the film re-imagined him being an amorphous alien death cloud. The character, with his thrilling Jack Kirby–designed head gear, living spaceship, and next-level intelligence, could possibly be the kind of opponent even the combined strengths of Tony Stark, Thor, the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and Ant-Man would find overwhelming.
Alternatively, the Fantastic Four property has one villain who can be worth more to Marvel Studios than anyone else inside the Fox-controlled library. Imagine the sudden appearance of Latveria upon the MCU scene and also the arrival of their absolute dictator, Dr. Victor Von Doom. Facing nearly every character from Luke Cage to Reed Richards to Squirrel Girl (as well as in one instance, Superman ), Doctor Doom is extremely much the best antagonist. All of us have a bone to pick with him and each Marvel fan laments his absence inside the MCU.
Either would make worthy adversaries from the combined Marvel Studios and Fox libraries. Actually, Doom’s ubiquity like a Marvel Comics villain underscores the foremost thrilling aspect from the potential Fox sale : the character interactions.
5. CHARACTER CROSSOVERS TO MAKE FANS WEEP
Hulk and Wolverine’s first meeting hasn‘t be realized in live action or perhaps cheekily referenced in a film. In Avengers : Age of Ultron, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver’s real parentage isn‘t discussed because Magneto is really a 20th Century Fox property. After which there’s a story line like World War Hulk, which requires the presence of Professor X and Reed Richards to finish a counsel of power characters like Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Black Bolt.
Because Marvel Comics has always enjoyed crossing characters over into its various titles, the MCU is somewhat poorer for lacking the X-Men and also the Fantastic Four. A perfect example is Scarlet Witch, who first appeared in early X-Men stories before spending decades inside the Avengers ranks. However that emotional tie is blunted in her own MCU form. Imagine an Avengers film during which the veil is lifted and she remembers who her father is. Imagine a Secret Wars–style mashup during which she meets her father (as Michael Fassbender or Ian McKellan ) and also the Evan Peters version of her brother. Imagine the drama and also the confusion for any character who has got had little to carry out inside the MCU thus far.
And that’s just one example. Think about the potential for laughs should Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds find a good way straight into the MCU. Relish the potential of Chris Evans and a brand new Johnny Storm made a wink-and-nod reference to his own Fantastic Four past. Imagine the connections between Legion, The Gifted, and also the upcoming Cloak & Dagger (coming in 2018 towards the Disney–ABC Television Group’s Freeform ). Then there will be Wolverine’s constant guest appearances in each and every Marvel title clearing the way in which for him – once he’s recast – to venture everywhere to Avengers films and Hulu’s Runaways.
Provided, in fact, the merger involves pass. And though it may be sad to discover one among Hollywood’s oldest studios disappear straight into the Disney banner, the return of significant Marvel properties to Marvel is simply too exciting for fans from the characters. So, here’s hoping Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, Wolverine, and all the remainder result in the move from 20th Century Fox’s Century City studio towards the Burbank home of Disney.