When Sony and Marvel Studios came together earlier this year to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe following months of rumors surrounding an agreement between the two studios, fans instantly began to question if a similar deal could be made between Fox and Marvel. These hopes only continued to grow as rumors surrounding talks between the studios began to hit the web, with some sites even going as far to state that a deal was already in place between the two. Add in the fact that it was recently revealed the two had worked together in order to bring Ego into Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, and well, you can understand how fans began to see this as a potential door opener for the two studios. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In a recent interview with Variety, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige was asked about the possibility of teaming up with Fox, much like Marvel is with Sony, only to outright state it isn’t happening – at least, not at any time soon.
Variety: Fox controls the film rights to “The X-Men” and “The Fantastic Four.” Could you partner with them on a movie as you did with Sony?
Kevin Feige: It’s an impossibility at this juncture. We certainly have enough films to keep us busy for a number of lifetimes.
Now, just because a deal doesn’t look like it’ll be made between the two studios, that doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see the Fantastic Four join the Marvel Cinematic Universe… down the line. After all, following the pitiful box office of last year’s reboot, it’s hard to imagine Fox has plans to continue forward with potential sequels. Assuming they hold off on rebooting that franchise and allow the rights to expire, those characters could very well end up back at Marvel. (i.e. Daredevil, Ghost Rider) With the X-Men, however, while profits have dwindled with recent films, that franchise is still a big one for Fox, so it’s understandable that they’re reluctant to give it up.
And yeah, while it’d be great to see the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact of the matter is that neither Marvel or Fox need one another like Sony needed Marvel. That’s the biggest thing to remember when trying to comprehend why Fox and Marvel don’t seem interested in working together. In the case of Sony, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 needed to reach $800-Million worldwide to pull in a theatrical profit. The film ultimately completed its box office run with $708,982,323. That’s a difference of $91,017,677. The film was seen as a failure for Sony and between both the poor box office results, as well as the now infamous Sony hack, the studio needed to figure out a way to turn one of their biggest franchises into their golden child again. Enter the deal with Marvel, which would see their former competition produce the movie, allowing them to use for their character within the MCU, while still helping to generate much-needed profit for their own business. It was a win-win for both studios. A deal between Fox and Marvel for the X-Men, however, would be the exact opposite.
Depending on how you view the X-Men movies, either you like what Fox has done with them, or you generally hate how they’ve brought the much-beloved heroes to life on the big screen. Either way, we can all agree that the studio has had their fair share of missteps along the way. Still, every now and again, they manage to produce something that’s at least decent with the X-Men, and the films are still profitable for the studio. With the Fantastic Four, though, that’s an entirely different issue. Fox has failed at two attempts now to launch that particular franchise, and while I’d love to think they’ll allow the rights to expire and revert back to Marvel, it’s hard not to think they’ll incorporate the Fantastic Four into an X-Men movie before attempting yet another crack at trying to turn Marvel’s first family into a profitable franchise.
For now, the only thing that is certain is that any potential deals between the two rivals are still pretty far off.