As soon as the news broke that Disney might buy Fox‘s entertainment assets, superhero fans began wondering about what that could mean for the Marvel franchise. Would Fox’s X-Men join Disney’s MCU? Would it precipitate a total reboot of Fox’s Marvel characters, or would we see crossovers between, say, Ryan Reynolds‘ Deadpool and Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man?
With a deal expected to go through as early as next week, here are the three biggest questions on every Marvel fan’s lips. The first two are fun speculation, but the last is a great deal more troubling.
1) Will the X-Men and Fantastic Four join the Avengers universe?
This seems like an obvious “yes.” Marvel Studios wants creative control of as many Marvel properties as possible, which is why it negotiated so hard for Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming to be a crossover. Fans have been clamoring for years for the X-Men to join the MCU, and there’s no reason for Disney to keep the franchises separate.
The only hiccup is how Disney would integrate the MCU and the world of the X-Men. Disney previously introduced the Inhumans with an X-Men-like narrative in the TV franchise, but that didn’t pan out. Could they use the same concept for the X-Men, with mutants appearing spontaneously in the MCU? It might come off as a little repetitive. Otherwise, Disney would either have to reboot the whole Marvel franchise or maybe smash the two universes together like in the Marvel event comic Secret Wars. (Hey, it’s possible!)
We won’t be surprised if Marvel producer Kevin Feige already has a plan for how to do this. He worked on the first X-Men movie in 2000, so he’s had plenty of time dream up a smart way of merging the two franchises.
However they figure out the logistics, we can expect Disney to recast the main X-Men characters and hire a different creative team. This means the end of the X-Men franchise as we know it, which—given Bryan Singer‘s fall from grace—may not be a bad thing.
Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four would be much easier to add to the MCU. They don’t need any complicated worldbuilding like the X-Men, and the most recent Fantastic Four reboot was widely loathed. Most fans will be excited to see these characters back in Marvel’s capable hands.
2) What about R-rated superhero movies?
Deadpool is massively popular, but does he have a home at Disney? He isn’t exactly family-friendly, and many fans are concerned that Disney just won’t want to make any more R-rated Marvel movies like Logan and Deadpool. Not just fans, actually. Actors, too.
If this is true, I wonder how the fudge it would affect Deadpool? https://t.co/66RNUDU80S
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 6, 2017
This is a complicated question, and ultimately impossible to predict. However, there is a ray of hope for fans of adult superhero movies. Disney is a massive company, and while “Disney movies” are always family-friendly, you can’t say the same for every Disney subsidiary. For instance, Disney owned the Weinstein Company from 1993 to 2000, during which time it released Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.
With Marvel movies playing to a diverse audience of adults and kids, this could provide an impetus for Disney to make more adult-rated movies. Deadpool and Logan were critical and commercial successes, and if Disney restricts the entire Marvel franchise to PG-13 ratings, it may alienate some adult fans.
3) What does this mean for the comics industry?
In recent years, Marvel Comics put the Fantastic Four on the backburner and attempted to give the Inhumans a more X-Men-like role in the comics universe. The Disney/Fox deal may lead to a resurgence in Fantastic Four and X-Men comics, but that’s where the good news ends.
Amid all the superhero speculation, it’s easy to lose sight of what this situation actually is: an encroaching monopoly in the entertainment industry. Disney controls the future career of anyone working on those media properties at Fox. The studio will likely prioritize heavy-hitters like Marvel and Star Wars, which could mean phasing out some former Fox franchises that provide direct competition. You don’t want to compete with yourself, after all. To use Marvel as an example, just think about how long it took Disney to launch a female-led franchise. Between Captain Marvel and Fox’s plans for Dark Phoenix and Mystique, we would’ve seen two or three female-led franchises at the same time, plus others waiting in the wings. Will that still happen now? On a more serious note, the same could happen for smaller Fox projects whose subject-matter clashes with Disney’s ethos, or are too similar to existing Disney properties.
Then there’s the matter of online streaming services. Disney is launching its own service, and that means you could see a lot of those old Fox movies disappear from Netflix and Amazon. Instead of seeing most of your favorite movies on one or two streaming services, you’ll soon be encouraged to pay for another.
It’s important to remember that while Disney is responsible for some of your childhood faves, this corporation is not your friend. Just last month, Disney attracted backlash for blacklisting the L.A. Times, a decision made to punish the Times for publishing an article about Disney’s unsavory business practices in Anaheim.
Outside Marvel, the Disney/Fox deal could have a negative impact on the comics industry in general. Fox also owns the rights to a ton of other geek culture properties including Aliens, Predator, and The X-Files. Many of these have tie-in comics published at Dark Horse Comics, which previously suffered a blow when Disney bought Star Wars. After decades of Star Wars comics being published by Dark Horse, Disney moved the franchise in-house to Marvel. The same could happen with these Fox-owned titles, taking a lot of business away from Dark Horse—one of Marvel’s competitors. Once again, this is starting to sound a lot like a monopoly. Oh, and Fox owns a minority stake in the indie comics publisher Boom! Studios. That means Disney could get first-look rights to Boom! Studios adaptations too.
When you’re talking about something like internet service providers, it’s not hard to see why monopolies are bad. Disney’s Marvel assets add a fun twist to the Fox acquisition news, but ultimately, this kind of media empire will have worrying repercussions.
Here’s the Marvel movie watch list you didn’t know you needed
“A Marvel cinematic universe fan made a list of the correct order to watch the long catalog of superhero movies along with some brutally honest commentary.
It has gone viral, for all the right reasonsmostly because its so accurate.
It began when Victoria Aveyard, the New York Times-bestselling author of the book Red Queen, was asked by her roommate to create a checklist of theperfect order in which to watch the films.
From thatrequest, this beauty was born.
when your roommate asks for a Marvel watch list with commentary pic.twitter.com/a4v91EQGvW
— Victoria Aveyard (@VictoriaAveyard) March 16, 2019
The advice is brutally upfront, and gives potential viewers a sense of the films before they even get started.
She calls Iron Man, the granddaddy of them all, while Iron Man 2 is trash.
And for Thor, well she advises to just ignore Natalie Portman, who played Thor’s love interest Jane Foster in the first Thor movie. She appeared later inThor 2: The Dark World, which Aveyard calls “silly.”
She goes on to call the Guardians of the Galaxy fun, and describes Doctor Strange as if House was a Wizard.
Oh, and if youre thinking of watchingIncredible Hulk at all…just don’t.
Aveyard wrote that her comments were intended to guide her roommate, who doesnt like war.
But other Marvel fans stand behind her list.
This is outstanding.
— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) March 16, 2019
skip incredible Hulk’s the best advice pic.twitter.com/O8KluT7QCc
— Leo Oliveira (@souoleoedai) March 16, 2019
IF HOUSE WAS A WIZARD.
IT CANT GET MORE ACCURATE THAN THIS https://t.co/zKHeWmPTNu
— Tri #Bye (@hamsterkookie) March 16, 2019
This list is made valid by “Michael Keaton is BDE” https://t.co/ky3wZTEvuI
— Kiara Bermudez (@QueenKiara20) March 16, 2019
‘ignore natalie portman, x2 attention tom hiddleston’ yoooo https://t.co/miScGdHKcx
Superheroes and freaky cats: how Captain Marvel rewrote the rules
From the story behind Nick Furys eyepatch to the rehabilitation of the Skrull, the latest Marvel film has altered comic-book canon in fruitful ways
“If theres one thing we should have been primed for, prior to viewing Captain Marvel, it would be to expect the unexpected. Marvel is a studio that, time and again, has chosen to twist comic-book canon to suit new needs, rather than deliver overly faithful adaptations of the original work.
The addition of the Skrull, a race of alien shape-shifters, to the Marvel universe, prompted predictions that we may ultimately see storylines riffing on the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, in which various members of the Avengers are replaced by extraterrestrial interlopers. In the comics, the Skrull are usually evil and often bent on invading Earth and taking it for themselves. So the fact that Captain Marvels trailers showed Skrull disguising themselves as human while fighting Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) naturally led observers to suspect they were up to their old tricks.
To twist that narrative on its head and make the Skrull the victims of a race of fascistic alien warriors, the Kree, was the kind of masterstroke that only Marvel could pull off. Any other studio would have faced accusations of subverting canon, but the Disney-owned studio has done such a great job of creating its cinematic universe that it has credit in spades from fans.
We trust that if Marvel has chosen to alter the way the MCU works for the big screen, there must be a good reason. And here, there is: it is the involvement of the Skrull, and the revelation that they are not the bad guys after all, that allows Danvers to escape her straitened existence as a sort of Kree pet and achieve her destiny as Captain Marvel…………………………………………………………….”
Doom Patrol Extended Trailer | DC Universe
DOOM PATROL reimagines one of DC’s most beloved groups of Super Heroes: Robotman aka Cliff Steele (BRENDAN FRASER), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (MATT BOMER), Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (APRIL BOWLBY) and Crazy Jane (DIANE GUERRERO), led by modern-day mad scientist Niles Caulder aka The Chief (TIMOTHY DALTON). Each member of the Doom Patrol suffered a horrible accident that gave them superhuman abilities, but also left them scarred and disfigured. Traumatized and downtrodden, the team found their purpose through The Chief, coming together to investigate the weirdest phenomena in existence. Following the mysterious disappearance of The Chief these reluctant heroes will find themselves in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg (JOIVAN WADE), who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse. Part support group, part Super Hero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of superpowered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them.
Based on DC characters originally written and drawn by Arnold Drake, Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani #DCUDOOMPATROL premieres February 15.