The year 2000 was a year of beginnings. We had survived Y2K and a new millennia meant a new era in entertainment. Big Brother and Survivor rooted reality TV into American culture. Dawson’s Creek broke barriers with TV’s first gay kiss. Limewire and Napster kick-started a music industry revolution. The most important beginning however, was the X-men releasing in theaters and ushering in the superhero movie era.
20th Century Fox had done the unthinkable, they took one of the most popular, and eccentric, Marvel Comics titles and produced a live action, feature length film. (I know your saying Blade under your breath right now, but let’s not put the chicken before the egg.)
This was a dream come true for elder millennials and Gen-Xer’s who had grown up on the wildly popular X-Men The Animated Series. All of your favorites were there: Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Professor X, Gamb…no, sorry, not one of THE most popular for some reason. Can you imagine that topic if today’s social media existed back then?
Hugh Jackman would have never heard the end of it because of his height and Rogue would have somehow been singled out as a product of the liberal media and woke propaganda. Sorry. I’m rambling. Please forgive me. The fact is, X-Men was an example of what an audience raised on comics, cartoons, and superheroes was craving. It gave way to a plethora of comic book based films including Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Punisher, The Hulk, and even Ghost Rider! (Don’t you even think of mentioning Daredevil and Electra! Oh No! Look what you made me do!)
Now that’s already a 5 course meal of Marvel based films and you would be forgiven for thinking that this new era in movies was coming to a close, but as we now know, it was only beginning. In 2008, we saw the release of Iron Man and the start of something akin only to one other cinematic franchise juggernaut like it…Star Wars.
Iron Man was the “big bang” of the MCU. An explosion of magic movie dust and gases that would collide and mix together in an extended universe that would see the evolution of something never seen on this scale before in the film industry. Almost 30 films and several streaming series later, the Marvel Universe is huge and all encompassing, but something is still missing, something rather important…mutants.
Up until 2019 it never really seemed like a possibility, but then Disney did what Disney does and all of sudden Fox Studios is in the hands of Mickey Mouse himself. This was big news and big deal to fans of Marvel Comics who have wanted nothing more than to see the X-Men and Avengers team up…or maybe even battle out.
Of course, introducing the X-Men or even mutants in general into the MCU is a gigantic task and a tricky proposition. How do explain where the mutants have been at all this time? I’m sure it’s something a room full of writers, producers, and other story engineers have been tackling for a while now. I don’t envy them either. It’s quite the conundrum. In this day and age you can’t make everyone happy. Whatever they choose to do will be ridiculed and infinitely dissected.
Will they start the mutants from scratch? Were they in hiding on their own mutant nation island this whole time? Will they be from the multiverse? Will time travel be involved?
There are so many possibilities and so many pieces to move and set on the chess board that is the MCU.
That fact of the matter though, is this: Deadpool 3 is confirmed and it is happening with the same creative team. According to writer Rhett Reese, the movie will not be “Disney-fied” and “they are gonna let Deadpool be Deadpool.”
Now, that’s great. That’s good news. If the tone of the Deadpool films remains the same, then that is a good sign, but there is still an elephant in that room. The X-Men exist, and are prominent, in the same universe as Deadpool, and yet there has been no news of any X-Men content being produced. This means that there are three possibilities:
- Deadpool 3 will introduce mutants into the MCU
- Deadpool 3 will not acknowledge mutants at all (Highly unlikely)
- Mutants will be introduced into the MCU BEFORE Deadool 3 (I’m leaning this way)
Where and when mutant will be introduced can be speculated, but honestly, who knows. The only glimpse we’ve gotten at all thus far is a cameo by Patrick Stewart as his iconic Professor X in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.
Now in that film is another character that could possibly be considered a mutant, America Chavez. I know, America Chavez’s comic book origins are a little different in that her powers are a product of her specific parallel universe and not a genetic mutation, but you know as well as I do that none of that means squat when it comes to the cinematic version of any character, and that would be OK, although I don’t believe that will be the case. It’s just a possibility that I am presenting.
That leaves the next best opportunities to mention some mutant material to be either Wakanda Forever (November 2022) or Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (February 2023), neither of which seem to be likely, although my fingers are crossed that Namor is a mutant in Wakanda Forever!
I could continue to come up with possibilities and speculate for another 2000 words but I’m not going to waste your time or mine with elaborate ideas, head cannon, and personal fan fiction. The only verifiable information we have on the X-Men is the return of the animated series titled X-Men ’97, coming to Disney+ in 2023.
Beyond that, all that I can say is that Marvel Studios continues to host a sizable elephant in their writing rooms and a lot of work ahead of them. Whatever they decide to do, whether it be alternate realities, different universes, films or a streaming series, it will take things to a new level in the MCU and that means the future of the Marvel fandom is looking very bright!