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The MCU’s first X-Men movie will come after Avengers: Secret Wars

Published Apr 5th, 2024 7:41PM EDT
(L-R): Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Gambit (voiced by AJ LoCascio), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Bishop (voiced by Isaac Robinson-Smith), Beast (voiced by George Buza) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97.
Image: Marvel Animation

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Disney controls the film rights to the X-Men after its acquisition of Fox. That’s why movies like Deadpool & Wolverine are possible. It’s also why we’ve seen other mutant cameos in the MCU and why there’s an X-Men ’97 animated TV show streaming on Disney Plus.

However, in the five years since Disney purchased Fox, we have never had an original live-action X-Men movie set primarily in the MCU. Put differently, Earth-616, where our beloved Avengers reside, does not have mutants. Well, it doesn’t have many original mutants, anyway. And they haven’t been called X-Men designation yet.

Marvel will eventually reboot the X-Men franchise, just like it’s doing with The Fantastic Four. But it’ll take a little more time, considering the current plans for the MCU.

A leaker now claims that Marvel won’t move on to the new X-Men production until Avengers: Secret Wars concludes the Multiverse Saga.

Before I tell you why, I’ll warn you that some spoilers will follow.

X-Men production rumors

Well-known Marvel insider Daniel Richtman reacted on X to a leak that claimed Marvel would start production on the first live-action X-Men movie in the fourth quarter of the year:

If you’ve been following MCU rumors for as long as I have, you might remember reports that said Marvel wouldn’t release any new X-Men movies until it finished up the current MCU saga. That’s probably what Richtman is referring to.

I’ll also say that the timeframe for rebooting the X-Men seems incredibly optimistic, considering all the movies and TV shows still left in the MCU. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars saw delays themselves. If that happens, the first X-Men will be delayed.

Whether the leaks are correct, it makes sense for Marvel not to hurry on this project. Retroactively fitting the mutants into the MCU’s main reality would be problematic. Rather than try to explain where the mutants were all this time, Marvel would be better off waiting for Secret Wars as a potential catalyst event for the arrival of the X-Men.

Marvel’s plans for the old X-Men team

Not to mention that the current MCU is crowded enough that I don’t know if there’s room for so many heroes. Maybe some of them have to die along the way, and The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars would ensure that.

Then there’s the clear desire from Marvel to connect all the different movies based on Marvel characters, no matter whether they’re MCU projects or not. We saw it happen with Spider-Man: No Way Home, which bridged the Sony universe and the MCU.

Deadpool 3 first look photo shows off Deadpool and Wolverine in costume.
Deadpool 3 first look photo shows off Deadpool and Wolverine in costume. Image source: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Marvels, and Deadpool & Wolverine will do the same for the Fox mutant movies.

Reports also say Marvel doesn’t want to pick its MCU mutants before giving the old gang a proper send-off. This could happen in Secret Wars, with Deadpool & Wolverine likely helping that setup. On that note, Deadpool 3 will reportedly feature a large number of mutant cameos from Fox’s X-Men movies.

The MCU’s first original mutants

I’ll remind you that Marvel has already introduced MCU original mutants. These are Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). This sets the stage for future mutant gene discoveries in the not-too-distant future.

Finally, I’ll also say that opening the MCU Phase 7 with an X-Men film, as this leak indicates, would be amazing. It could be the best way to give us a fresh start, especially after the likely suffering we’ll experience in Secret Wars.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.