We can preserve the X-Men and Avengers Universes while still bringing all of the heroes together. The stingers for Avengers: Endgame and X-Men: Dark Phoenix should start setting up a Secret Wars film. Here’s how…
Disney has acquired Fox and with it comes the Marvel’s X-Men and all of the related properties. We don’t know when we’ll start seeing mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we do know it’s coming. This fact is cause to celebrate for fans who believe the MCU should reflect the comics. For others, (*raises hand*) there’s some hand-wringing as to what Disnification might mean for what’s become one of the more cinematically adventurous Universes under the superhero film genre. We’d be happy if the X-Men stayed in their own Universe (also, I’ll admit I’m one of the few people who would be totally fine with the Spideyverse staying with Sony).
We have time before the X-gene needs to start evolving across Universes. As far as we know, there are a handful of X-Men films still moving forward. After Dark Phoenix rises we’ll see a long-postponed New Mutants film in August. James Franco is allegedly still on deck for a Multiple Man film. Deadpool continues to be easy money, so Disney will no doubt be nervous about messing with the proven Ryan Reynolds superhero formula. Although Disney could scrap all of this, there have been Gambit and Kitty Pride films on the drafting board for a few years.
Of course, we have the mutant television shows The Gifted and Legion. Both of those shows are only loosely tied to the X-Men cinematic universe and could survive on their own (unless The Gifted gets canceled for simply having bad ratings, which, according to Cancel Bear, it very likely will).
On the Marvel Cinematic Universe side, Disney has been keeping Phase Four announcements close to the vest. It is possible that part of the reason is so they can make adjustments for new X-Men films in the MCU. We know the future holds films for Spider-Man, The Eternals, and, likely, Black Panther. Rumors include new films for Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy (without James Gunn) plus a solo outing for Black Widow. That doesn’t leave much room for mutants to start crossing over onto Earth-199999.
One likely side effect of the merger and an argument for keeping the X-Men Universe unique is we could start seeing fewer Marvel heroes each year. Disney was perfectly happy to compete with Fox but won’t likely be willing to compete with itself. Now Disney needs to see how all of these heroes can eat up screen time while still making bank.
Box office numbers suggest there’s an appetite for the MCU films and the X-Men films (especially films like Logan and Deadpool). It is possible Disney could make the conscious decision to leave the Universes separate and preserving the more adult X-Men tone. Doing so would lessen the fatigue we’re all starting to feel from the cookie-cutter MCU model.
The Path to a Secret Wars Film
There’s one way both sides can win. That way is through pinholes into the Beyond-Realm. This is how Avengers: Endgame and Dark Phoenix can start setting up a shared cinematic multiverse Secret Wars film. First, a little bit of Beyonder history brought to you by Enchantress’ bathwater.
A Secret Wars film could play this using the original Beyonder canon which saw the Beyonder as a single omnipotent being. Or a Secret Wars film could roll with the retconned history that has the Beyonder as a “child-unit” of an alien race known as the Beyonders. Whichever path they choose, the premise for how we get to said film is basically the same.
Obviously, Thanos wiping out half the Universe is a significant event. Our heroes eventually undoing “the snap” will be equally significant and should send ripples throughout the Universe. What if… part of the fallout of that ripple is puncturing a tiny hole between the MCU and the Beyond-Realm. This pinhole gives the Beyonder (or the Beyonders) a peek into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They decide to sit back and observe.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Phoenix could have significant repercussions on the X-Men Universe. We don’t know how it will end but it could see reality rewritten. What if… defeating Jean as the Dark Phoenix creates another pinhole between the Beyond-Realm and the X-Men Cinematic Universe. We now have two Universes being observed from the Beyond.
Secret Wars Movie
Much like the build-up to Infinity War, there will be a similar path toward a Secret Wars movie. Maybe hints that the Beyonder (or Beyonders) are observing get dropped in the stingers of the forthcoming films. Perhaps there are tiny signs dropped in here and there of the Beyonder (or Beyonders) meddling.
After five or six years of laying the groundwork, we get a Secret Wars film. The twist, this isn’t a villains versus heroes fight on Battleworld. Instead, the factions are, at first, the opposing universes. Both sides think the other side is responsible for Battleworld. The second twist, this is how we introduce the new Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom. Somehow, Reed and his family are brought to Battleworld along with Doom. Doom, of course, ends up being the unifying force as he steals the Beyond-Realm power.
At the end of the Secret Wars film, the Fantastic Four join the MCU, the X-Men go back to the X-verse, Spider-Man goes back to the Venom…err…Spideyverse, and all of the other heroes return to the MCU. We all live happily ever after.
Now, let’s talk about how we’ll make the DCEU and MCU crossover film happen…