Marvel’s family is getting bigger with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four returning to Marvel with Disney acquiring the rights from Fox: But is it as good as it sounds?
I love the idea of Wolverine swapping war stories Captain America, Mr Fantastic joining the Science Bros’ Stark and Banner, and Deadpool corrupting Spider-Man, but I also believe the acquisition of Fox properties by Disney/ Marvel may come at a cost. Seeing X-Men characters interact with current MCU heroes would be awesome, for a short period of time until the nostalgia and excitement wears off. Watching the House of M story line on the big screen would be amazing, but as we have seen in recent times, iconic comic imagery brought to life on the big screen doesn’t always translate to a good movie. When you look past the obvious positives you can start to see that X-Men and Fantastic 4 going back to Marvel might not be as fantastic is it seems. Marvel will never be able to produce as much content, they may not even use your favourite heroes and I doubt that they plan to make R Rated movies like Logan and Deadpool, given Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comments on the matter.
In 2018 we are getting seven comic book films, 3 from Marvel, (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Antman and the Wasp) 3 from Fox (New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and X-Men Dark Phoenix) and 1 from DC (Aquaman). If Marvel acquire the rights to the Fox properties, it is highly unlikely they will be able to produce 6 films a year, meaning that Marvel will be left with a tough choice. Either they abandon the characters we have grown to love, or they neglect most of the new characters they just bought. Now they might try and produce 4 or 5 movies a year but that isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially since Marvel pride themselves on their connected universe and continuity, something Fox has thrown right out the window. If the X-Men join the same Cinematic Universe, that means a lot more work for Kevin Feige as he oversees all Marvel films to make sure they connect and look and feel similar. Just remember, just because they have the rights to the properties doesn’t mean they will use all of the properties.
For a better example of this, look no further than Warner Brothers and how many DC movies they make. WB owns the rights to every DC property but that doesn’t mean that they will make them all into movies. We have seen large numbers of Batman and Superman movies but not a whole lot else. They could make a Martian Manhunter movie tomorrow if they wanted too, but the fact is they wont. They focus on their bigger draw cards like the characters we saw in 2017s Justice League, minus Cybrog, he was a lesser know hero. With Marvel getting the rights back, how many X-Men movies will we see, how many Fantastic 4 movies, or even the current Avengers roster. A giant team up might be on the cards but it will be an epic amount of work and cost that may never pay off.
People online often cry that Marvel should get the X-Men rights back and do it right, but if you think about it Fox has done a pretty good job with the franchise. X-Men (2000), X2 (2002) were incredible leaps forward for the genre of comic-book movies. First Class and Days of Future Past were both highly regarded and made money. Then we come to Deadpool and Logan, two movies that are extremely different, but definitely important when it comes to the X-Men and the comic book movie genre. Sure they have had their missteps, (cough, X-Men Origins Wolverine, cough) but they have also produced some of the best comic book movies of the past 20 years. They are starting to find their groove with movies like Deadpool and Logan, with the addition of what looks like a horror film in New Mutants, it would be a shame to see this blending of genres go to waste. Fox also had the courage to start making R Rated comic book movies that suited their characters. There is no way you can make Deadpool without the raunchy humour and graphic violence. You might have gotten away with Logan being less violent but you would lose so much of the impact of that movie making it PG13. Disney has claimed that they have no interest in R Rated comic book movies, though maybe that will change given the money made by Deadpool and Logan.
Perhaps one thing that could potentially happen is that X-Men will fall under a sub banner at Marvel Studios. Still owned by Disney but they have their own universe and continuity, with their own version of Kevin Feige, perhaps Simon Kinberg could take on the stewarding role. With that we could see more X-Men movies, with the possibilities of crossing over into the Avengers Universe. I think most fans would agree it would be pretty awesome to see Wolverine as a member of the Avengers, or even a House of M, or Avengers Vs X-Men storyline take place. We could also see an environment that would allow for more adult themed content in standalone movies if there were an X-Men brand. This would keep a strong momentum for what Fox has built without tarnishing the brand Disney has built. A sub company of Disney did produce Pulp Fiction back in the day, so anything is possible.
Like many people out there I was excited when I heard that the Fox properties were coming home to Marvel. Sitting back and reflecting on it, looking at the landscape of comic book movies over the last few years and how it has changed, I am beginging to see that this deal may not be the win fans initially think. It will change the landscape for sure; only time will tell if it is for better or for worse.
What do you think of the deal? Are you happy? Sad? or perhaps you just aren’t fussed by it all. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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