You know Marvel was once so broke they almost sold their rights to Michael Jackson. Yep, Mike Jack wanted Marvel, and not just because he was a good guy who loved comics. Mr. Jackson, God rest his soul, wanted to be your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! Seriously! Stop and imagine a world where Michael Jackson replaces Tobey McGuire and director James Cameron replaces Sam Rami! Alas, Marvel decided death before dishonor and sent many of their most popular franchises spiraling in many different directions. But they weren't dead just yet.
As we all know, Disney eventually got ahold of Marvel and turned superheroes, who some might forget weren't that popular, into icons. When I was a kid in the 90s I watched the Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons. Not Iron Man or Thor and certainly not that boy scout Captain America! That didn't stop the magical beast known as the MCU from forming, and my, oh my, how the tides turned! What once was on the verge of extinction rose from the ashes and became a forced to be reckoned with! And on the other side, O, how the mighty have fallen!
The superhero franchise that arguably created the genre came crashing down in the form of Andrew Garfield failing to catch Emma Stone, just like Sony failed to capture the magic of everyone's favorite web-slinger. But what about Fox? What were they up to? Well that's hard to pinpoint because the X-Men franchise has always been a bit hit and miss, while the MCU has kept a high batting average. Marvel struck a deal with Sony to get their sticky fingers on Spider-Man, because Sony hypothetically webbed themselves into a corner with the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now after the mixed reviews (an uninspiring 48% on Rotten Tomatoes) of X-Men Apocalypse, is Fox ripe for the picking?
Let's Face it, X-Men needs a Reboot
16 years of colorless costumes is enough! Fox cannot continue to fix every one of their atrocities with time travel! Not to mention, Hugh Jackman said he's not coming back after his next movie and Bryan Singer has stated he is done with the X-Men franchise. This all points to one thing! It's the perfect time for Fox to throw everything out the window and start fresh and the best way to do that would be to join the MCU and introduce an entirely new cast of X-Men! The fan excitement over the X-Men joining the MCU would far outmatch the angst and uncertainty surrounding a reboot.
Plus, It's Not Just X-Men
Fox also owns the rights to Deadpool, Cable, Fantastic Four, and the Silver Surfer franchises and all the great characters that come with them. Even if Fox is reluctant to give Marvel all of their characters, there is an opportunity for the MCU to make one of their weaknesses a strength. If a deal could be struck where Marvel could get some of their greatest villains back it would really take them to a new level. Just imagine an Avengers film with Galactus! (The little kid in me just screamed!) If you want to see exactly which characters belong to who, here is a detailed list.
Fox Would Still Have the Rights
Some say Fox shouldn't give up X-Men because then Marvel would own almost every marketable hero not named Batman or Superman. It's a fair point, however, Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man and the solo Spider-Man movies, and it would be the exact same situation with X-Men. Fox would still own the rights, the only difference would be that they'd allow some of the characters would join the MCU, which is something that everyone wants! We want to see Storm married to Black Panther, and Deadpool hanging out with Spider-Man, and Reed Richards outsmarting Tony Stark! We want it all! But we'd settle for just a taste!
Will It Happen?
In the words of Justin Bieber (and many great men before him) never say never! But in reality, it would be very hard for this to work out. Why? Fox is doing fine! They aren't in nearly as bad of shape as Sony was when they handed over one of the greatest heroes of all time. Why? Well you can thank Mr. Pool for that. Fox knocked it out of the park with Deadpool which was exactly what their X-Men movies SHOULD be. It was so good and stayed so true to the character that it has outgrossed every comic book movie this year besides Civil War! So Fox isn't exactly sitting with its hands tied behind its back begging for Marvel's help. Do they know what they're doing like Marvel? No. Are they making enough to be happy? Absolutely! What we should hope for is a deal where certain characters will be offered to Marvel, and Marvel will offer up some of its characters to Fox for crossover purposes. Make it a two way street where fans can see Hulk fight Wolverine and the Avengers fight Galactus and let the money pile for both companies. All things being equal I think it makes a lot of sense.
But what do you think? Should Marvel and Fox come to an agreement or should the franchises stay separate? Let me know your opinion in the comment section and vote in the poll!