Marvel Studio’s epic, sprawling cinematic universe is closing a chapter at the end of the month when Avengers: Endgame finally hits theaters. It will effectively conclude a 22 movie story arc, featuring dozens of characters, that has spanned over the last 11 years. Yes, there’s still another Spider-Man movie coming later in 2019, but Endgame is pretty much the end of Phase 3.
So what’s next?
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave us some hints recently. They include a “five-year plan” which presumably Phase 4, and will likely introduce fans to a new batch of Marvel heroes and villains. The biggest question, though, was what will happen now that Disney has completed its purchase of 20th Century Fox. Valuable properties like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool were all owned by Fox and are now back under the same parent company as The Avengers (Spider-Man is still a Sony property, but that’s a little bit murky right now).
When will the X-Men pop up in a Marvel Studios movie?
“It’ll be a while,” Feige said according to i09. “It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”
Phase 4 doesn’t have any officially announced projects yet, but it’s likely to include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Black Panther, and Black Widow. Other rumored additions to Phase 4 are The Eternals, Shang-Chi, and Doctor Strange 2. Feige was quick to point out that the next batch of MCU movies will have a different feel, as many of the long tenured actors and actresses like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans will be moving on to new projects.
“The slate that we’re building over the next five years [is] not apples to apples,” Feige said. “It is two very distinct things and I hope they’ll feel very distinct. But there is a similar mentality going into it, which is ‘How can we continue to tell stories with some of the characters that audiences already know and love in a unique way, in a different way, in surprising way, of which we have a lot of plans and ideas and work already going into it?’ [Then] ‘How can we introduce new characters that even hardcore fans, comic fans, have barely known or barely heard of.’ That’s really exciting too.”
That being said, it wouldn’t surprise us to see some X-Men cameos, maybe in post-credit scenes, in the next few years. While it may take them a while to form a full-fledged plan how to work the X-Men into the MCU, Marvel sure does love to tease audiences.