After weeks of teasing the public with reports of false starts and stops, Disney and Fox have settled on a massive $52 billion deal in which all of 21st Century’s film rights are being sold to the House of Mouse. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is about to get a whole lot more, well, fantastic.
News of the deal comes after early reports that Fox proper was looking to unload 21st Century Fox in favour or focusing more on news and sports, its two other largest business endeavours. For Fox, this deal means a rather hefty payday but for Marvel, it’s more of a long-overdue homecoming.
For years now, some of Marvel’s most iconic characters that first put the comics publisher on the map back in the 70s have been locked out of the MCU because of deals made during the 90s in which Marvel sold off the film rights to properties like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Deadpool. Now, that Marvel can get to work on changing that, but it doesn’t mean that it will or even should happen any time soon.
While Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four movies weren’t always particularly good, the studio was finally in the process of beginning to carve out a rather distinctive and honestly refreshing voice in the superhero movie space with films like Logan, Deadpool, and The New Mutants. The sequels to the latter two movies are still due to be released on schedule (no word on the X-23-focused Logan followup) but there’s no telling what Marvel plans to do with its new toys now that it has them.
Given how far along the MCU is at this point, the most obvious choice would be for the universes to remain separate as they build towards a version of the second Secret Wars with a little Avengers vs. X-Men thrown in for flavor, but who knows?