It isn’t likely Marvel Studios will get the rights to the X-Men or Fantastic Four back from Fox anytime soon, but if it ever does happen, they already have a plan in place to fold the super-outcasts into the MCU.
In an interview with /Film, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige was asked about the inclusion of Spider-Man in the MCU, after they cut a surprise deal with Sony to scrap the Amazing run and team up for another reboot within Marvel’s massive continuity. He revealed they already had a contingency plan in place for Spider-Man, and went on to note that they keep a few parallel contingency plans in place — just in case they manage to regain the rights to any other heavy hitters.
Check out an excerpt from his comments below:
“The short answer is: the most important thing is the standalone movie, relaunching Spider-Man with a standalone movie with a new storyline that fits into this universe – that’s job number one for us. And as is the case, the connectivity is great but it doesn’t drive the train. That being said, if I understand what you’re asking, we had… this has been a dream of ours for a long time, and we always had contingency plans should you know — which we always do anyways. Are we going to be able to make another movie with this actor? If we are then we’ll do this, if not, we’re going to do this. If we get the rights to a certain character that’d be great, then we’d do this, if not, we’d do this. So we always sort of operate with those alternate timelines available and are ready to shift if something happens.”
In the same interview, Feige described Marvel’s master plan as being written in “broad strokes,” meaning they have the major story beats in place but leave enough room to bob and weave as new characters become successful or old actors drop out due to contract deals. It’s similar to a TV writers’ room approach, where they might map out a “show bible” with major tentpole moments but leave wiggle room in how to get there.
Considering there’s always a chance the wayward properties (i.e. X-Men, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, etc.) could eventually return home, it’s fascinating to think there’s a parallel narrative arc somewhere deep inside Marvel HQ that makes room for Jean Grey and Wolverine to fit into the MCU.
We’d really love to get a peek at that whiteboard.