In contrast to his own comments from late last year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said in a new interview that “it will be a very long time” before the X-Men are brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige cited the existing five-year plan they have in place post-Avengers: Endgame — internally termed as “Phase Four” — which was finalised much before its parent company, Disney, successfully acquired Fox, the previous owner of some Marvel Comics properties in X-Men and Fantastic Four among others.
“It’ll be a while,” Feige told io9 upon being asked when the X-Men will appear in Marvel films. “It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really, it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.” As we mentioned, this statement contradicts an earlier one given by Feige himself.
Marvel Studios executives continue to be coy about their future plans, claiming that it could potentially be a spoiler for Avengers: Endgame, which has been billed as the culmination of the ‘Infinity Saga’ that includes the first 22 Marvel movies. But thanks to talent reports, it’s known that Marvel has several projects in the works.
There’s a standalone Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Cate Shortland (Lore), expected to begin filming in June; The Eternals from director Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and possibly starring Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani, expected to begin filming in August; a Doctor Strange sequel from director Scott Derrickson; a Black Panther sequel from writer-director Ryan Coogler; Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first Asian superhero from director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) and writer Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984); and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with writer-director James Gunn back at the helm after a months-long controversy.
“The slate that we’re building over the next five years [is] not apples to apples,” Feige added, without delving into specifics. “It is two very distinct things and I hope they’ll feel very distinct. But there is a similar mentality going into it, which is, ‘How can we continue to tell stories with some of the characters that audiences already know and love in a unique way, in a different way, in surprising way, of which we have a lot of plans and ideas and work already going into it?’ [Then,] ‘How can we introduce new characters that even hardcore fans, comic fans, have barely known or barely heard of?’ That’s really exciting too.”
On the X-Men side of things, writer-director Simon Kinberg recently said that the upcoming Dark Phoenix — to release June 7, 2019 — will be “the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies”. X-Men fans will also get a horror spin-off in The New Mutants, out August 2, 2019. Fox had multiple X-Men projects in the works before it got acquired — including a much-delayed Gambit, an X-Force film with Deadpool at the centre, a Logan spin-off based on Dafne Keen’s Laura/X-23, and a Multiple Man film with James Franco among others — but they have reportedly been put on hold during the transition period to Disney.
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