As revealed, once New Mutants hits the theaters in early 2019, 20th Century Fox is all set to release three more X-Men movies in 2019 as well as 2020. After the news came out about Disney planning to buy the film and TV business of Fox, Marvel fans kept speculating about how the two separate superhero universes from Marvel Studios and Fox will merge. Although the deal is still in the works, a lot of fans expected Fox to slow down their comic book films. However, between the current film slate and FX’s Legion, it seems they haven’t come to believe that their Marvel content won’t be lost after the historic merger gets DOJ’s approval.
As of now, there are four movies, i.e., Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, New Mutants, and Gambit on the slate for Fox’s Marvel properties, there are some other projects which have been announced and are in various developmental stages. These include a Doctor Doom solo which was announced during San Diego Comic-Con last year, a Kitty Pryde solo from Brian Michael Bendis and Tim Miller, a Multiple Man movie and probably a Silver Surfer movie being written by Brian K. Vaughan. That’s apart from the X-Force spinoff which is slated to start production in October, an X-23 movie as well as another main X-Men saga film. That’s quite a sizeable number of projects to take care of the presently vacant six slots for 2019 and 2020.
The Hollywood Reporter says it is business as usual at Fox, even in the scenario of the upcoming sale. In fact, they seem to be increasing their Marvel movie output from 1-2 films a year to 3 films a year. “We actually have way more in development and production in Marvel IP than at any point in the history of the studio,” a Fox source revealed, adding: “There’s been zero slowdown on that front given Disney.”
It is obvious that things might change. If the Disney acquisition happens, Fox won’t have the freedom to defy whatever Marvel Studios wants them to do with these characters. This means that to keep developing films beyond the current slate is a risky proposition because all the above mentioned six films might just get scrapped. However, as we know that the outcome of the deal will be clear only by end 2018, the films are unlikely to have gone too far down the production or pre-production stages. It is also possible that whatever they plan to create might be merged into MCU by Kevin Feige.
The future of the present X-Men franchise depends primarily on the plans of Feige and his team. Since he has been quite vocal about wanting to own all the rights to the Marvel characters scattered around, it is almost certain that despite the uncertainty about the deal, he is already planning to introduce the X-Men into the MCU. At the same time, he had even stated that it would be many years before X-Men or the Fantastic Four debut in the MCU. There are some options available for them to continue without merging the mutants into the present canon. Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange in MCU) had suggested that there might be the multiverse route that Marvel can use to introduce the current X-Men list into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or else they can opt for a full-scale reboot.