Though Marvel has boasted a well-connected (and ever-expanding) ever since 2008’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, there has always been a few holes in the stories we knew to expect. Licensing is a tricky and complicated thing, especially when it comes to entertainment properties as wide as Marvel’s.
Not that it was always a bad thing. The X-Men movies have given fans a lot of joy over the years (with the exception of the oft-ridiculed X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and most of the Spider-Man movies since 2002 showed a lot of what fans wanted (once again, with the exception of Spider-Man 3). The Fantastic Four movies never received a lot of praise, but at least they tried. Hell, they even gave Ben “The Thing” Grimm pants! That has to count for something.
We’ve been seeing movies for years about characters groups we knew would never make it to the MCU. The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Spider-Man, Blade… Some of Marvel’s oldest and most successful heroes/comics. For a long time, it was fine to fans (most fans) to see very different studios covering these heroes that, in their original forms, were all part of a shared universe. Then came along the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It completely changed the playing field for television and movies and how connected they could be while still earning revenue. Except… for those left out in the cold due to licensing matters.
That started to change as well, when we received word earlier this year that Marvel’s own friendly neighborhood web-slinging Spider-Man was announced to be joining the MCU due to a deal between Marvel (and the Disney powers that now own then) and Sony. Suddenly, we were given hope that other characters could cross over into this wider universe and interact with their own kind again!
Then again, with the X-Men’s current successful bid at their own little universe, and Fantastic Four’s upcoming movies, it’s unlikely we’ll see them joining the MCU in the near future. That’s ok, we can wait. We’ve been waiting a long time. If licensing keeps them all on the other side of the fence, for the time being, what if they just played together on that side for a while? Couldn’t they start their own mini-universe in the meantime? Joining the others when they were good and ready?
That’s the possibility we’re hearing now, with Bryan Singer confirming that there is an “idea” amongst decision makers that could lead to a Fantastic Four / X-Men crossover one day.
“Those ideas are in play,” Singer told Yahoo movies. “That would be a natural match-up because they’re both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it.”
Singer also teased a little on just how that may work in-story to make sense.
“It deals with time,” Singer said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
This most likely all hinges on all kinds of things, including the success of the movies that are currently planned over the next few years with the teams in solo roles.
“We’ll have to see how the films turn out,” Singer offered. “To just say you’re going to do it would be a mistake, you have to see how the films evolve before you make that decision to completely commit to that.”
Whether it’s an actual plan that needs a few right circumstances in order to happen or it’s a pipe dream that exists only to fuel our interest in the next few confirmed movies, it’s still an interesting bit of news. It’s an interesting piece of news that points toward an interesting path. A path that could eventually see both teams (and others) take their rightful place on the big (and/or the small) screen.
Time will tell how it all shakes down. If you want to see it happen, go see the Fantastic Four (August 7th, 2015) and X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27, 2016). Fingers crossed for good story-telling! Check out the official trailer for Fantastic Four below, as well as a “First Reaction” review video that includes the entire leaked recording of the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer that was show exclusively at Comic Con (NOTE: keep in mind that it is just a cell phone recording, so not great quality, and we can probably expect some more official video footage in the next few months).