Ever since Disney and Fox completed their merger in March 2019, fans have been impatiently waiting for the newly acquired X-Men and Fantastic Four to make their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Speculation reached a fever pitch last year at San Diego Comic-Con, when Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wrapped his Phase 4 release slate announcement by cheekily teasing the arrival of the Mutants and Marvel's First Family.
While the tease did not offer any tangible news, it was the first time the Marvel president publicly referenced the previously 20th Century Fox-owned intellectual properties being in early development for the MCU. After months of theorizing when Reed Richards, Professor X, and beyond will debut in the MCU, there might finally be a lead as to where the new heroes will first pop up.
From Civil War to the Infinity Gauntlet, Marvel Studios has never been shy to adapt the most popular storylines from the page to the big screen. Now, it is being reported that another fan-favorite run could be making its way to theaters soon. According to MCU Cosmic, Marvel Studios has begun early development on the Marvel Ultimate storyline "Ultimatum", a popular comic run that features the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, and Magneto in integral roles.
WHAT THIS MEANS
There are two major uncertainties in the MCU right now: When will the Fantastic Four and X-Men debut, and what will be the next major crossover event? An adaptation of the Ultimatum storyline answers both.
In the comics, Ultimatum follows the mental descension of Magneto after the deaths of his twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Magneto's rage requires the ultimate team-up of the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and more to defeat the metal manipulator. To make matters even more interesting, Doctor Doom is the man pulling the strings behind the scenes, and a certain sub-mariner makes his presence known.
While Marvel storylines have not always been adapted completely true to their comic source material, most notably the absence of secret identities in Captain America: Civil War and Hulk substituting for Silver Surfer as the one to warn of Thanos's impending arrival, this storyline is directly interlinked with the First Family and the Mutants. Marvel does not necessarily have to use their newly-acquired Fox characters; however, this storyline practically demands their inclusion. If Feige wants his new toys to make a big splash right out the gate, this seems like the perfect opportunity.
There is no telling when the Ultimatum storyline is planned to begin, but it now might be the storyline that drives one of the next major MCU crossovers.