Surrounding the upcoming Disney & Fox deal, one that is not iron-clad as the government can still shut it down, there is a lot of rightful concern about jobs that could be lost from the merger of acquisitions as well as the competition lost in the film world. These concerns also circle around the fact that many films or shows could be sold off or canceled once Disney begins to go through all they are acquiring, which could lead to more lost jobs or loss of content.
One of those areas that could become bloated and in trouble is the currently very successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A lot of fans have long wondered what would happen if Marvel/Disney gained the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to make films.
A contingent of fans has been cheering the chance to see Marvel’s Merry Mutants and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes teaming up, something that potentially becomes reality with this deal. Currently, Marvel is rolling out three films a year with their characters within a shared universe.
Picking up the X-Men and Fantastic Four begs the question of if they’ll begin to put out more or people will just have to wait far longer between films starring their favorite characters. There is no way that Disney can put out a main X-Film every year or every other year as Fox was doing because they have a wide swath of characters to make sure get films.
Recently Kevin Feige stated that following Avengers 4, Marvel Studios has 22 different films planned for Phase 4 of their universe including a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Are Feige and company ready to cast those plans aside or add on to those plans with these other films?
Likely not, as that drags the phase out longer and adds far more work to them. There is also the question that focuses on if Feige and company would keep the X-Men films as is, or just reboot them.
That means actors that fans have fallen in love with or liked in a role will no longer be there because Fox barely was able to afford to get Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and James McAvoy back for the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix after their contracts ended with 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Bringing those actors back into the films and into the greater shared Marvel universe would not be cheap when the studio is already paying increased amounts to MCU veterans like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and others that could still be part of the MCU even after their contracts end with Avengers 4.
It is far more likely that Feige and the others at Marvel Studios if given the chance, will just ax all the stuff that Fox has already planned for the X-Men characters including The New Mutants sequels, Deadpool 3, X-Force, Gambit and any more future X-Men main series plans and just reboot everything.
If that is the plan it would potentially really hurt the films coming out next year as fans might rightfully begin to wonder what is the point of seeing the three X-Men related films next year if they’ll soon no longer truly ‘matter’ to the overall X-Men world.
There is the chance that Disney decides to leave the X-Men films under the Fox movie studio banner, whatever they decide to call it, and just have Feige working with Simon Kinberg or others to guide the line better and keep it separate from the rest of the Marvel films. In comics, the X-Men and the rest of the Marvel heroes go back and forth between having high times of interactivity and other periods where the mutants pretty much stand alone.
This allows them to keep the pieces of the X-Men plans that Fox already has and add to it and edit, but it would also mean having to oversee two giant money making superhero studios which could work or it could still lead to problems down the line.
All of this doesn’t also address the fact that more films added in, whether they reboot with Marvel Studios or remain under Fox as a separate universe, just means more Disney control over the yearly film schedule. Already the studio has Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and various other Disney related films taking up a giant chunk of the film spots throughout the year.
Next May they have the next Avengers and the Han Solo film just like two weeks apart from one another, giving them tons of real estate in just that month alone.
Having to spread out the films and when they release also means potentially losing actors over time because many won’t want to have to potentially commit more time to play a role. Also, they will begin to get older if the films are only coming out with their character every three or four or more years, depending on how many films the studio has to put on the docket.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender might very well end up actually looking like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan did in X-Men’s first film if these films are dragged out. Not that many would likely complain about that I’m sure.
There will come a point where audiences are just overly fatigued by a glut of superhero films, some would argue it’s already happening, and having so many on the schedule will just hurt Disney more than it helps it.
Seeing Wolverine and Hulk team up might be the dream of a ton of fanboys, but really, in the end, there is a giant chance that it won’t be worth the price that has been paid.