The recent announcement of Marvel and Fox working together for a new X-Men television show has opened the possibility for the two studios to expand their collaboration to the big screen. Fans have long been waiting for the X-Men to join the Avengers and Spider-Man and it’s clearly looking like a possible dream come true. Nonetheless, while we could see all these Marvel properties together in the future, there’s just one small problem: How do you introduce mutants and the X-Men to a cinematic universe where mutants are non-existent? You can’t simply introduce the X-Men like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man or Black Panther; that would ignore the history of mutants completely, down to their long struggle to coexist with humans and their fight from oppression, meaning no Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, etc. Therefore, mutants can’t be a new discovery within the MCU. So then, how can they be introduced without ignoring their history? Let's explore some theories.
1. They Were Cured | Low Mutant Population
One possible way to introduce mutants in the MCU without throwing away their long history of struggle and survival is if they already exist in the MCU. To explain why they haven’t been mentioned for the purpose of story (putting aside Fox vs. Marvel), one explanation could be that most mutants were cured sometime in the ‘70s or late ‘80s (precisely between those decades since that time setting hasn’t been fully explored in the MCU). This would explain why there were no mutants aiding the Avengers when New York was attacked by aliens or when Ultron planned to bring mankind to extinction:
Mutants would then be a significantly small minority of the world population — a small percentage of the population so obscure even to S.H.I.E.L.D. and their Index (a list of known super-powered individuals). They could resurface after some event if the Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. find themselves in need of the help of Professor X or some other leading mutant expert.
2. Phase 4 Resets The Timeline
After the last Infinity War movie in 2019, the event could be catastrophic enough that we could see a time divergence or a time reset. This could bring the MCU to a new starting point where Phase 4 could take off from. The only problem here is that it could potentially erase the events of the previous Phases. This was done in X-Men: Days of Future Past when Wolverine changed the timeline, erasing the original X-Men trilogy from X-Men continuity. Even though Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans won’t be Iron Man and Captain America forever, it would be disappointing to see their stories erased. With a brand new MCU though, the story can once again be set in motion, this time with the inclusion of mutants.
3. The Beyonder And The Multiverse
The Beyonder is one of those comic book characters that is insanely powerful, making him difficult to explain on the big screen. Regardless, we’ve seen how even TV shows have tackled complicated concepts like a multiverse and executed them well (CW’s The Flash). The main aspect that the Beyonder brings to the table is that he exists outside space and time, so this multiverse idea can fit perfectly into bringing the X-Men and the MCU together.
Speedsters, The Multiverse And More Than One MCU:
Potentially, the MCU is just one of many MCUs that exist within the multiverse, story-wise of course. There could be an MCU that possesses mutants, and that MCU could interact with the MCU that we know, via the means of the Beyonder — a cinematic Secret Wars perhaps. Another theory in relation to the multiverse could be if the existing X-Men Fox universe merges with the MCU, forming a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. This way, the actors we’ve come to love as our favorite mutants could still be playing their roles. Story-wise, this could also be done via the Beyonder, or Quickilver?
What’s Your Theory?
Out of the three theories from above, the most plausible to occur is the first one, in some way or another. If we are ever going to see Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in a movie, theory No. 1 could be a way to connect them. From a realistic point of view, one reason there weren’t more X-Men in Deadpool was due to the film’s budget, but from a perspective of story, what if there’s really not that many mutants at all in the present time that Deadpool takes place in. Right now, that universe and the MCU are two completely separate universes, but if a deal is imminent and we see a future collaboration between the studios, could Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War have taken place simultaneously? Leave your theories down in the comments!