When Disney acquired Fox in 2019, that meant the Marvel Cinematic Universe would finally be able to add a key piece that has been missing in its first decade: the X-Men. So far, the MCU has yet to introduce new versions of the beloved X-Men characters. Still, it has brought back beloved faces like Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Hugh Jackman will return once again as Wolverine in the highly anticipated Deadpool 3, starring Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth. It’s been rumored Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and other familiar faces will also return to the MCU. On the animated side, Marvel Studios is also resurrecting the ’90s X-Men series, set to hit Disney+ next year. Marvel Studios has used the X-Men characters it now owns in an unexpected way in the wake of the Fox deal.
The MCU is in its Multiverse Saga, which has allowed Marvel Studios to play with versions from past franchises. There have also been rumors Marvel Studios can’t recast the X-Men until contracts are up. However, a proper X-Men film from Marvel Studios is coming eventually as the studio looks to meet with writers now that the WGA strike is over. With Marvel Studios set to reinvent the X-Men, bringing back the versions from the Fox film series in upcoming projects could ultimately hurt the reboot.
Fox’s Iconic X-Men Franchise Lasted 20 Years
Without a doubt, the MCU has been the most successful superhero franchise, yet it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Fox’s X-Men films, which lasted close to 20 years and predated it by eight. In that time, audiences have seen major actors play the X-Men characters in several installments. Marvel Studios has a tough task ahead of them when it comes time to finally recasting the team of mutants, and continuing to see the likes of Jackman, Stewart and McKellen isn’t doing it any favors — the returning actors aren’t getting any younger either.
The characters are always bigger than the actors, and plenty of recasts have already taken place within the X-Men universe itself, but that doesn’t mean Marvel Studios needs to keep pulling from the Fox films either. Fox’s X-Men film series had a good and long run. Given how tough it will be to recast Wolverine, Magneto, Professor X and others, Marvel Studios should now focus on what’s next instead of relying on nostalgia.
Does the Original X-Men Cast Need Closure?
Fox’s X-Men franchise featured plenty of great films, from Logan to X-Men: First Class. The series also had its fair share of duds, including X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Dark Phoenix. Overall, it never quite lived up to what comics fans have wanted to see, yet it’s something Marvel Studios will have a chance to do in the MCU with a new take. X-Men: Days of Future Past served as the biggest crossover event the franchise ever had, which saw the original and First Class cast in one feature.
The original cast never returned after Days of Future Past outside of Jackman as First Class stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult carried the franchise for two more films. Days of Future Past was a major high point for the series and wrapped the story up nicely for the original players. Logan delivered a perfect ending for Jackman’s Wolverine, who was the focal point of the Fox franchise from the very beginning.
Deadpool 3 giving the original X-Men franchise closure isn’t necessary since two films have delivered on that already. It makes sense why Marvel Studios would want to find a way to continue with Reynolds’ Deadpool, but they could also simply take the same approach as Charlie Cox’s Daredevil or what James Gunn plans on doing with the DCU by simply making them new versions. If the original X-Men stars steal the show in Deadpool 3, It could also spark a desire from fans to want more from the Fox stars when that time for more has passed.
Audiences Have Needed a Break From the X-Men
The X-Men series was going strong for a long time, and this current break has been advantageous for Marvel Studios ahead of its reboot. Reminding fans why Jackman is such a great Wolverine isn’t going to make his recast any easier, and it was already a tall order, given how long he’s played the character. There’s a hunger for the X-Men and the reboot should be what fans get next, not a goodbye to the X-Men stars from the Fox films.
Franchises taking a break has worked for Star Wars and Batman in the past and led to major box office wins. Marvel Studios can do something similar with a new X-Men franchise that takes things in a new direction. Another rumor suggests Marvel Studios won’t include Wolverine as a member, which makes perfect sense since there are plenty of other X-Men characters who fans would like to see at the forefront this time around. Fox’s X-Men franchise also fizzled at the end with Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, so giving audiences a chance to forget about those recent failures could lead to a Batman Begins-esque resurgence. Marvel Studios has been taking its time with the X-Men’s inclusion in the MCU and bringing back familiar faces defeats the purpose of building that desire.
The X-Men franchise desperately needs a reboot, given how long the first series went on and how much potential there is for the mutants. The MCU has sprinkled in some teases of the X-Men in Phase Four with a faux Quicksilver appearance, the inclusion of Madripoor, and the brief role of Professor Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, it seems the mutant saga will kick off with Deadpool 3 and Marvel Studios will use the multiverse to bring them into existence. The next X-Men film might have more excitement surrounding it than Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, and it will be a major test for the studio as it pushes toward longevity and potentially a full-on reboot. Audiences have shown, based on the box office receipts of Dark Phoenix, that they are all ready for something new with the X-Men and have said goodbye to the franchise of old. Fox’s X-Men franchise legacy will live on Disney+, and it’s time to leave it behind and finally embark on a new era for the mutants.
Marvel Studios is bringing back actors from Fox’s X-Men film series along with the ’90s animated series, and that could hurt the inevitable reboot. Read More