Hours after the announcement that Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox, the internet was inundated with speculation about what this means for a variety of franchises. One certainty that fans can rely on is that X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool will be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
During a conference call this morning, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the acquisition and specifically cited what this means for the future of the MCU.
“We’re also looking forward to expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool,” Iger confirmed.
The important distinction about Iger’s comments is that it sets to rest the concept that, in the future, there will be two universes within Marvel’s live-action continuity, given that the series of X-Men films is still alive and well, in addition to a Deadpool sequel hitting theaters next year.
Between Marvel’s theatrical releases, TV series on ABC and Netflix series, everything is considered to be involved in the MCU, yet fans know quite well that these properties all remain relatively separate.
Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) debuted in Marvel’s The Avengers before becoming the main character in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the years since the series’ debut, it has often referenced the events from the films, but rarely does the show see any actual characters from the films making appearances.
Similarly, Netflix’s slate of Marvel shows make references to larger events in the MCU, but with these series being much more R-rated in tone, we don’t expect to see Iron Man show up to prevent the Punisher from murdering criminals.
2015’s Deadpool bucked a trend in most superhero movies, taking the violence and sexuality to heightened extremes, resulting in the film being a huge success. Disney’s family-friendly outlook seemed to prevent the possibility of the character leaning into those R-rated exploits, with Iger’s comments confirming that he will be integrated into the MCU.
It’s unclear as of yet how all of these properties will be handled and when they’ll debut under Disney’s umbrella, but with films like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU has shown that it can explore a variety of worlds and dimensions in this shared universe without necessarily needing all of their characters to cross over. The Fantastic Four can embark on cosmic adventures while Deadpool can continue his madness and mayhem, while they can all potentially make appearances in team-up films.
Deadpool 2 will be landing in theaters June 1, 2018.