After Disney had trumpeted its opportunity to unite X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with MCU, Bob Iger had reiterated his company’s plans to integrate these properties.
In two recent conference calls following the announcement of the deal, Iger had spoken about the franchises in broad terms. He was speaking to the shareholders and Wall Street analysts.
“With 20th Century Fox Film, we have the opportunity to expand iconic franchises for new generations of fans around the world – just as we have with Marvel and Star Wars,” he had said.
“We’re also looking forward to expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool,” Iger continued, “and to reuniting all of the Star Wars movies ever made under one roof again, which opens new opportunities for that iconic franchise.”
This is a reference to the distribution rights of Star Wars: Episode IV. Iger had returned to the subject of X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool:
“Basically Fox — 20th Century Fox Studios — has some interesting tentpole opportunities, we obviously are going to continue to support that,” he said. “What they’ve done obviously with Avatar, and what they did with Deadpool, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes is another one. We’ll stay in that business. Not all of it will be branded anything other than what it’s branded today, as a for instance. How much we will create under that banner, we’re still uncertain. It’s going to take a while from a regulatory perspective. They’ll continue to develop in that period and at such time as we close this deal and have control, we’ll take stock and look carefully at what their slate looks like going forward and how many movies it would make sense to make.”
Iger was vague and not clear because this acquisition is not expected to be complete for the next 12 to 18 months. But the comments that were made underscore any uncertainty surrounding Fox’s plans for the Marvel Comics properties. The 3 X-movies movies scheduled for 2018 (The New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix) will be released as planned.
Gambit and X-Force are currently in development, so they may move forward under Fox’s banner. But New Mutants sequels, an X-23 spinoff may be in Disney’s hands.
The Hollywood Reporter contends that there will be casualties among Fox’s superhero slate. An unnamed representative said: “[Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] is going to be asked, ‘Do you want to continue on these developments paths?’”