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X-Men are coming to the MCU soon – here’s how Marvel might do it

Updated Jan 20th, 2022 12:40PM EST
Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

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Marvel is widely expected to feature several X-Men mutants in the next big MCU Phase 4 movie. That’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is shaping up to be a much more ambitious film than Spider-Man: No Way Home. Considering what we just experienced in No Way Home, it makes sense to see some of the Fox mutants in Doctor Strange 2. It’s not just excellent fan service, it’s also a celebration of the Marvel characters from the Fox universe. We never expected the Fox X-Men to appear in the MCU because solving the continuity problems would be a massive headache. As it stands now, the Foxverse of mutant stories doesn’t even really make sense.

But it so happens that a crazy new Doctor Strange 2 plot leak offers an unexpected solution. Marvel might be able to merge the MCU and the Fox universes without worrying too much about the logic of it all. And now, we might be able to explain everything.

Before we go any further, you should know that huge spoilers might follow below.

The big Doctor Strange 2 and X-Men leak

A Twitter account featured several Doctor Strange 2 plot details that seem crazy when you first go through them. They claim that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) has already eradicated all X-Men from the MCU. She has apparently used the “No More Mutants” spell from the comics.

You should read the full leak before going any further in this post.

In Doctor Strange 2, she will supposedly reverse it, which means she would effectively bring the Fox X-Men to the MCU’s primary reality. The leak says only Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) will remember the events, while all other mutants are oblivious to what happened.

If these leaks end up being accurate, then Doctor Strange 2 would fix the MCU’s big X-Men problem. And some of the beloved Fox X-Men might transition to the MCU. I’m about to explain why it all makes sense, no matter how far-fetched it seems.

Wanda and Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness trailer
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Multiverse of Madness trailer Image source: Marvel Studios

Why merging the MCU with Fox’s X-Men makes sense

It all sounds crazy, and we have no way of confirming these rumors. But what if I told you that Marvel has already created all the pieces that might make this puzzle work?

Before we get started, you have to forget everything about the Fox X-Men continuity. Fox’s universe of mutant stories is incredibly complicated, and you’ll need pen and paper to figure out what happened and when.

Furthermore, there’s time travel in those X-Men stories and it contradicts the MCU’s rules for time travel. That includes Deadpool 2 time travel. But plenty of that can be retconned, and I’ll explain how Doctor Strange 2 can fix the mutant problem.

The WandaVision plot hole

One of the things I don’t like about WandaVision is that there’s no accountability for Wanda.

She’s in a great deal of pain after the tumultuous life she’s led, especially the last few years. But her grief turned into a mental breakdown that kicked off her descent to the dark side. Wanda is becoming the Scarlet Witch, but she’s still unstable. She might have redeemed herself by the WandaVision finale. But absolutely nobody intervened to hold Wanda accountable.

What if someone did? It wasn’t the Avengers or Doctor Strange. Someone else could’ve gotten to her before the Avengers: her fellow mutants. What if, somewhere in the aftermath of WandaVision, Wanda said the infamous “No More Mutants” line/spell from the comics?

Given her rage and her massive power, Wanda might have singlehandedly defeated a group of mutants that came after her in the weeks or months that followed the events in Westview.

Doctor Strange and Spider-Man in No Way Home fight scene
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in the No Way Home fight scene Image source: Sony

The No Way Home spell

How would that work?

Well, Spider-Man: No Way Home gives us the answer. When Strange completes the spell at the end of the movie, everyone in the universe forgets Spider-Man’s identity. That doesn’t mean Spider-Man was absent from previous events, including fighting alongside the Avengers. It’s just that no one remembers who Spidey is. They also forgot their relationship with Peter Parker. Spider-Man was there in Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame. But the others don’t know the person behind the mask.

What if Doctor Strange 2 does the same with the mutants. Or better said, the movie will reverse the Wanda “No More Mutants” spell that could have happened after WandaVision.

Wanda’s spell would be similar to Strange’s spell in No Way Home. But Wanda would not just make the entire world forget about the mutants. She would also strip them of their powers. The X-Men would have been acting as superheroes on Earth alongside the Avengers. They would have fought Thanos alongside the Avengers.

All of this would happen off-screen, which means we’d never see it happen. For the time being, at least.

Wanda could realize she was wrong all along and reverse this massive spell at the end of Doctor Strange 2. This would restore powers and memories to the X-Men and allow Marvel to retcon the Fox and MCU movies so they can all exist inside the same reality.

Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch
Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch in the last episode of WandaVision. Image source: Marvel Studios

The one big Fox X-Men problem left

Let’s say the new leaks are accurate and that Marvel wants to use Wanda in Doctor Strange 2 to add the Fox X-Men to the MCU.

Wanda’s spell doesn’t fix everything. There’s still a big problem that Marvel has to retcon. That’s the time travel problem from the Fox universe.

However, there might be a soft fix for that. Marvel could make the Foxverse play by the Endgame travel rules with a few tweaks. First of all, every time the mutants travel back in time, they create an alternate timeline. They never get to change the present by altering the past. They simply create a branch in the primary reality, which evolves differently, assuming the TVA allows it all to happen.

In such a case, we’d have a bunch of realities resulting from Fox X-Men time travel, including the main timeline where the X-Men exist. That would be the primary MCU reality. Obviously, in this MCU timeline, Jean Grey doesn’t die. Similarly, the timeline where Logan (Hugh Jackman) dies might not be the primary MCU reality.

The Deadpool predicament

The real time travel problem comes from Deadpool 2, a movie that includes X-Men cameos that shouldn’t even be there. So maybe Wade dreamt the events in Deadpool 2? Perhaps none of that was real.

All of that is to say that Marvel does have a way to incorporate the Fox universe into the MCU timeline. Maybe that’s the real purpose of Doctor Strange 2… to bring some of the Fox X-Men we love into the MCU.

The simpler option would be for Wanda to merge timelines into a single reality where the Fox X-Men and Avengers coexist. But that would also be a more boring option.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres on May 6th, at which point we’ll know what Marvel chose to do with its mutants.

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.

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