As most Marvel fans know all too well, the film rights for X-Men and other Marvel properties surrounding mutant characters belong to Fox. This is the reason why films like X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, and Logan are not part of the same universe as films like Avengers. (This is also the reason why here at MCUExchange we aren’t covering Logan or the new Legion show on FX, despite the fact most of the writers watch those properties just like MCU properties.) One of the gray areas seems to be Alpha Flight, the Avengers of Canada in a way. On the one hand, Alpha Flight features a couple of mutant members and historically interact with X-Men characters. Also of importance, Alpha Flight first appeared in an X-Men comic. On the other hand, the majority of members are not mutants. The Avengers have mutant members too, but that doesn’t mean the property is at Fox. The other weird bit is that years ago Marvel did some trademark application work on Alpha Flight, at the same time they were obtaining trademarks on titles related to upcoming films like Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther.
Recently Simon Kinberg, one of the main creative people behind Fox’s X-verse, talked about new properties that they hope to develop. One of them sounded awful a lot like Alpha Flight.
We have a sense of where each of all of the existing characters go from Deadpool to New Mutants to the mainland X-Men movies to potentially even X-23…Then, there’s other characters, like X-Flight, like Exiles… There’s a lot of characters to mine going forward. We’re still sort of in this phase where now we’ve completed the Wolverine story with Logan and we begin hopefully with New Mutants and eventually Gambit and continue with Deadpool.
So what exactly is X-Flight? Several options are in play. Maybe he just forgot the name of Alpha Flight. Or maybe Fox owns the characters to Alpha Flight, but they don’t own the name Alpha Flight, meaning Marvel could make an Alpha Flight film filled with different characters (Alpha Flight’s Department H has been referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Or maybe he is talking about that rollercoaster from Six Flags. Whatever the case, it seems likely that X-Flight is a direct correlation to Alpha Flight, and it also seems the name indicates that the rights situation is fuzzy.
The overall meaning for the MCU is twofold. First of all, the talk of expanding the X-films suggests that Fox is nowhere near wanting to cut a deal with Marvel similar to the Spider-Man deal between Disney and Sony. That’s a disappointment for those still holding out hope that someday Marvel will get those rights back and fans will get an MCU, Feige-produced version of Wolverine and crew. (Who wouldn’t like an Avengers movie with a Spidey, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Cap, and Iron Man lineup?) Secondly, Marvel probably has some opportunity to work on Alpha Flight in some capacity. Given all the other properties that would seemingly be more attractive than a team of Canadian superheroes, that probably isn’t a priority.
If the connection between the MCU and X-Men is interesting to you, tune into the MCUExchange Podcast next week. (You can hear the latest episode here.) Our main topic of discussion will be the issues surrounding the rights and whether Marvel really needs the X-Men in the universe. That episode should be released on March 3rd.
What do you think? Would you like to see an MCU Alpha Flight film? Do you want to see the X-Men join the MCU? Share your thoughts in the comments below.