Marvel fans found themselves salivating at the reveals surrounding MCU Phase Four at SDCC 2019, but when it comes to the franchise, there's still bigger fish to fry. Kevin Feige closed out the conference by namedropping both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, hinting that, with Phase Four set to end in 2021, Phase Five could potentially be twice as pivotal.
Fans have been busy racking their brains over how Marvel may potentially introduce both the Fantastic Four and X-Men into the MCU ever since Disney completed their takeover of 21st Century Fox, and with plans now firmly in place to make both introductions a reality, what seemed like a pipe-dream five years ago is now on the cusp of being realised. It's tremendously exciting (if not a little disconcerting, given the manner of Disney's takeover), but given Marvel Studios' track record, audiences can be forgiven for getting a little carried away.
At least for the moment.
Anyone who knows and loves the X-Men knows that they're one of the most unique properties in the superhero genre, a team unlike any other that boasts a powerful message, dynamic and - "duh!" - fashion sense. They were Marvel's premier team until the MCU came around, and one that can't really be mimicked or altered without something important invariably giving way. That's why it was a little concerning to hear Infinity War and Endgame writer Christopher Markus advocate Marvel mimic their Phase One strategy with the team just the other week, and introduce each character film-by-film during an interview with MTV.
Published on the weekend of Comic Con but picked up by Discussing Film over the weekend, the interview sees Markus and fellow writer Stephen McFeely address the fallout surrounding Black Widow's arc in Avengers: Endgame and their own personal hopes for Phase Four, but also more interestingly their thoughts on the X-Men. The team are widely suspected to launch into the MCU come Phase Five (post-2021), and while Markus isn't involved in any creative capacity with the X-Men at this stage, he did offer some strange advice to Marvel on how those famous uncanny mutants should be introduced.
"I'd go slow. And, if you wanted to, you could conceivably take the 'Avengers Model.' You could make solo movies and then bring them together as the X-Men. We’ve had so many models of the school… and while that is canon in the comics, maybe there’s another way to think about it.”
Markus followed up his comments by saying that they should still stay away from just straight up being the Avengers, but that they shouldn't be "like the movies that already came out." McFeely then also stated that, with Feige involved, you can "guarantee" the new X-Men films won't be done "like you've seen it done already."
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