Comics on Film: The MCU Could Be Getting a Whole Lot Bigger After Fox Sale

Comics on Film: The MCU Could Be Getting a Whole Lot Bigger After Fox Sale

Jun 22, 2018


While a bidding war between Comcast and Disney seemed to briefly erupt over the purchase of 21st Century Fox, it seems that it's been settled: after Disney came roaring back into the fight with a staggering bid of $71.3 billion, Fox quickly answered back with "Sorry Comcast, we're going with the mouse." Disney released an amended agreement, and now the only hurdle left in front of the merger are regulatory questions from the Federal Trade Commission, which is likely to approve the deal going through.

Of course, Comics on Film isn't a finance news column, far from it. We're here this week to simply speculate on how exactly some previously inaccessible characters housed at 20th Century Fox could now be incorporated into Disney's future plans with Marvel in the future. It's something we've discussed here before, but those were in hypothetical terms, which we can now shed since there's an intent on both sides to see this deal go through. It's not really a question of "if," anymore.

It's likely pretty fair to say that the MCU is about to get much bigger.


The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four

If ever there was a superhero property that experienced some seriously turbulent times in its effort to get to the big screen, it's most definitely the Fantastic Four. When we discussed the hypothetical possibilities of bringing the FF into the fold of the MCU, we posited that the best, most reasonable thing to do would be a totally clean break from what we've seen before. On top of the practical reasons this makes sense, it also seems like the clearest path forward since every previous Fox FF film didn't really successfully manage to make something worthy of the characters

While the 2005 and 2007 films directed by Tim Story were okay, time hasn't really been doing them many favors. The sequel is generally regarded as being better than the original, but it still could've absolutely done more to truly emphasize the fact that these characters together are a family. A little too much reliance on slapstick humor and some weird ideas about how to face them off against Doctor Doom and Galactus made for some basically alright, if shortsighted, comic book movies.

The immediate benefit of bringing the FF into the Disney fold is particularly enticing this month, coming off the heels of, arguably, the best family superhero movie ever made: Incredibles 2. If Brad Bird is willing to, we can't think of anyone better to turn those CG ideas into reality with the actual basis for much of both Incredibles films.


The X-Men

X-Men: Days of Future Past

When we discussed the prospect of incorporating the X-Men into the MCU before, we felt that the powers-that-be may not end up being totally inclined to wipe the slate clean and start anew. This would likely be the easiest thing to do, but it also gets more complicated due to the fact that both X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants are as-yet unreleased, and those are two films that apparently follow upon the events of the prior X-Men movies and their established world. Of course, that doesn't make it impossible to make a clean break from what's been previously established.

Ideally, the X-Men film series will be remade into something that more closely resembles the comics the characters come from. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to do a clean break, but there's also the potential that Disney could be cutting themselves off from something potentially lucrative: the possibility of bringing back Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.


While the actor is most likely done for good after his terrific final bow in last year's Logan, Jackman has spoken in the past about the idea of returning as the ol' Canucklehead if the prospect of sharing the screen with the likes of Iron Man and the Hulk ever presented itself. These days, he still seems intrigued by the idea, but may be willing to let that honor pass to whomever the next cinematic Wolverine ends up being. He told Collider,

"It's interesting because for the whole 17 years I kept thinking that would be so great, like I would love to see, particularly, Iron Man and the Hulk and Wolverine together. And every time I saw an Avengers movie I could just see Wolverine in the middle of all of them like punching them all on the head. But it was like, 'Oh well, that’s not gonna happen,' and it was interesting just when I first saw that headline — it was just the possibility of it and who knows what’s gonna happen, obviously — I was like, 'Hang on!' But I think, unfortunately, the ship has sailed for me, but for someone else I would like to see Wolverine in there."

Not the most glowing sense of possibility, so at the end of the day it likely depends on how the currently unreleased films position the series: as a continuation or as a conclusion? We likely won't know for sure how the X-Men will be incorporated into the MCU until we actually see Dark Phoenix and New Mutants.



Deadpool 2

This one is the easiest. You don't really need to change anything at all.

The very nature of what defines Deadpool as a character for most people actually thrives in an environment where he goes to sleep one night in the Fox X-Men universe, and wakes up the next morning in the MCU while being completely aware of what just happened to him. There's likely a lot of comedic potential for Wade to comment on his change in universal residence and go with the flow, maybe even joking about all the differences he sees between the worlds.

It's also hard to ignore just how enticing it would be to see Deadpool as played by Ryan Reynolds interact, at some point, with the likes of Rocket Raccoon or Tony Stark. Hell, how would Chris Evans' Captain America even quantify someone like Wade Wilson? You also open up the possibility of Deadpool interacting with a wider swath of other heroes and villains that could fully help to realize the potential of having a character with his awareness level running around in the generally tidy collected universe of the MCU.

Here's hoping that the next film Wade's in is called Deadpool 3, clearly continuing the series established at Fox, while also dropping Wade into the middle of the best cinematic superhero world that's been established yet.

What do you think? How would you like to see Disney take full advantage of Fox's Marvel properties in the MCU? What about at theme parks? Leave a comment below, and we'll see you next week with a new Comics on Film!

Chris Clow is a comics expert/former retailer, and pop culture critic/commentator. He hosts two podcasts: Discovery Debrief: A Star Trek Podcast and Comics on Consoles. Find his column "Comics on Film" weekly at, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

Categories: Comics, Features, Geek, Editorials
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