With the deal to include Spider-Man in its cinematic universe, Marvel Studios checked a major box on a lot of fans’ wish lists and proved it had the clout and raw pop cultural power to convince other studios to join in the hit-making. Even after that success, though, one other studio continued to hold onto its own Marvel characters.
Yeah, we’re talking about 20th Century Fox, which helped launched the 21st century superhero boom with the X-Men franchise and the less-successful Fantastic Four films. For years, fans wondered aloud what might happen if the X-Men were someday able to join the MCU, but they often lamented that it wouldn’t happen because Fox just kept finding ways to reinvent its mutants, churning out films like Logan and Deadpool after the main X-Men continuity started to peter out.
Then in 2018, rumblings began that Disney was considering buying all of Fox’s entertainment assets, which would include the movie rights to all of the studio’s Marvel characters. In March 2019, after months of talks, the deal was closed, and the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were brought back into the Disney fold. As of this writing, only a Fantastic Four film has been announced, and there’s no release date attached. Still, the day the deal closed will no doubt be remembered for years as a key moment in MCU history, no matter what Feige and company choose to do with it next.