While the MCU's Phase 5 is bright on the horizon, one team's debut that is eagerly anticipated is the X-Men. Now, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige himself dropped more hints on when this may come to fruition.
The X-Men joining the MCU has long been teased by the studio. Several projects such as She-Hulk already hinted at their arrival, with the show's finale being the first MCU project to even mention the X-Men.
Of course, the appearance of Patrick Stewart's Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness only fuelled the hopes and dreams of fans further, with many now looking to former Charles Xavier actor James McAvoy to return.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently provided fans with an update on when they can expect the beloved mutants to finally cross over into the MCU.
Kevin Feige Teases X-Men MCU Introduction
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige appeared at a Q&A alongside the cast of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and toward the end of it, he was asked if the X-Men will finally be appearing in Phase 5 of the MCU, which begins in 2023.
Feige initially joked that he misheard the question:
“It’s too loud in here, I can’t hear you. It’s so loud! What?"
The Marvel Studios boss continued by mentioning Tenoch Huerta's Namor, a stand-out character from Marvel's most recent blockbuster, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, had already been introduced, while also teasing "more to come:"
"No, look, we’ve already met a few. There’s a new Mutant named Namor that you might’ve met recently. So, more to come.”
These comments come after Marvel Studios' Vice President Nate Moore already weighed in on the topic.
Last month, Moore discussed that Marvel "might be a few years out" from creating an MCU project focusing on Mutant heroes.
Moore also commented that the X-Men character Storm, who has close connections to Wakanda in the Marvel comics, may also be introduced later in the MCU:
“Well, Storm’s relationship with Wakanda in publishing is pretty interesting. Obviously, we might be a few years out from the X-Men, so I’m not sure we’re there yet. Who else from Wakanda have we not introduced? I mean, there’s a pretty deep bench, actually. And especially, I think, Ta-Nehisi’s run introduced a lot of key characters that would be fun to export. Even characters like Vibraxas, which are more Fantastic Four characters. But yeah, it’s a pretty deep bench. I think there’s a lot more stories to tell on Wakanda for sure.”
Why the Delay for MCU's X-Men Debut?
It certainly seems that while the X-Men are almost certainly arriving in the MCU in the future, Marvel already has a full slate of projects in the meantime. Both Kevin Feige and Nate Moore seem to caution that it could be some time before the mutant team arrives in the MCU.
Unlike Spider-Man's ongoing licensing mishaps, which Tom Holland does doubt will cause another problem ahead of Spider-Man 4, The X-Men are owned by 20th Century Fox, which was bought by Disney in March 2019.
This should mean that it will be easier to export the beloved characters into the MCU, but Ryan Reynolds commented that there is still "a lot of red tape" and "moving parts" when bringing an X-Men character into the MCU, as his effort to bring Hugh Jackman's Wolverine into Deadpool 3 was no easy feat.
Even without the paperwork and legal challenges, Marvel will not want to rush any eventual introduction of these highly anticipated characters. Fans are surely going to have high expectations for the mutant team's debut.
More references and build-up to the X-Men's eventual appearance in Phase 5 should be expected, as Marvel is clearly setting up for something special.