It is no longer a question of if the X-Men are coming to the MCU, but a matter of when. The group of Marvel mutants came over to Disney as a part of the Fox acquisition that closed back in March 2019, and with the Multiverse now at play, the possibilities are endless. It seems with every ensuing MCU project, the mutant question has come up with fans pontificating about when the X-Men will finally make themselves known.
Teases for the famed mutants have made their way into Marvel projects in the past year, with many believing an X-Men character of some sort would have made their debut in WandaVision. All those hopes were for naught though, as Evan Peters (aka Fox's Quicksilver) revealed himself to be unknowing Westview resident Ralph Bohner.
Mutants as a concept are a big thing to throw into the MCU equation and will take some delicate care to get them into the franchise. Talk of a Fox character making a cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has many believing that will be the first tease of the X-Men audiences get in the MCU, and with The Mutants project and X-Men 97 in the pipeline, now would be the time to start laying those seeds.
But how much did this blockbuster buyout by Disney throw a wrench into the plans of Kevin Feige and the Marvel brass? As it turns out, not much.
X-Men Didn't Mess With the Multiverse Plans
In a recent interview with Collider, Marvel Studios Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige revealed that the Fox acquisition by Disney "didn’t change the timetable" on projects centered around the idea of the Multiverse in the MCU.
Feige emphasizes the gravity of introducing the Multiverse, saying it is something "you have to wield carefully" and that the "twenty-plus year history of the [MCU]" justifies the use of multiple realities:
“You know I think we first mention, or the Ancient One mentions it in Doctor Strange 1, when she’s taking Stephen Strange to that sort of mind-warping journey. And it was always one of the most powerful storytelling tools in the comics, one you have to wield carefully because it can get overwhelming. But one that now with obviously the sixty to eighty-year history of the comics. Now we have a twenty-plus year history of the movies, and there and enough characters that we can start playing with it that way."
He went on to iterate that the MCU has "enough characters... [to] start playing with" in the Multiverse now, and the purchase of Fox's X-Men characters merely added "toys... to the toy box:"
"I think the toys that were added to the toy box increased with that Fox acquisition. But it didn’t change the timetable on when we were introducing the idea of the multiverse.”
Feige's Toys in the MCU Toy Box
Feige puts it best here in saying the Multiverse is a storytelling device that one has to "wield carefully" and not something to throw around hastily. Noting this, it would make sense that the fairly recent acquisition of Fox would not have made the MCU big wigs shuffle their plans too much.
Surely there was some minor massaging that had to go into the long-term plans of the franchise, as the possibilities of Mutants were never something that could have happened before. But it seems the Multiverse has been in the cards for a long time.
Over the summer, it was reported that Feige and much of the Marvel Studios staff were subject to a Multiverse meeting, where the studio exec broke down the "rules of the Multiverse". So this is something that the MCU team is being very deliberate with and not something that will just shift around willy-nilly.
But only time will tell with something like this. It will be interesting to see four or five years down the line how ingrained in this Multiversal era of storytelling the X-Men and other mutants will be.
For now though, fans will get their first real taste of the Multiverse when Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17.