To say that Marvel went all out at SDCC last week would be a massive understatement. They revealed a huge amount of news regarding their upcoming TV slate, including the first trailer for The Defenders and potential plans for the rest of their most popular Netflix shows, such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
While we're undeniably hyped to see the likes of Luke Cage and Iron Fist save New York City on the small screen, it didn't take long for Marvel to draw our attention back to the Avengers with a new announcement regarding the studio's biggest players. After all, NYC is nice and everything, but if Thanos wipes out the entire universe, the Defenders might as well have just sauntered off to Vegas for the week and chilled by the pool instead.
Since we last saw the Avengers bicker amongst themselves in Captain America: Civil War, speculation about the direction that Avengers: Infinity War will take has been rife. Understandably, every theory about the team's fight with Thanos so far has revolved around the fact that Infinity War would be spread over two films. However, Marvel just changed the game by revealing that the name of the next team-up movie has dropped the 'Part 1' suffix and will now simply be called Avengers: Infinity War.
That's not all though. Rather than give the movie formerly known as Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 an official title, the project has simply been renamed as an “Untitled Avengers” film.
What Does This Mean For 'Avengers 4'?
While there's a chance that the third and fourth Avengers movies will still link directly as a two-parter, it's looking more and more likely that the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War will be a new story that deals with the aftermath of the team's encounter with Thanos, rather than a direct continuation of Infinity War.
Sure, it's hard to see how Marvel can cram the entire Infinity War arc into just one movie and still do it justice, but the idea that we could see Earth's Mightiest Heroes in another brand new story is exciting for fans nonetheless.
What Will 'Avengers 4' Be About?
It's been a long time coming, but many fans expect to see one of our beloved heroes finally snuff it in Avengers: Infinity War, following the time-honored tradition of killing comic book characters to raise sales, only to resurrect them once enough time has passed.
If that's the case, Avengers 4 will undoubtedly deal with this aftermath in more detail. It's possible we'll see the team breaking up in a fashion similar to the comic book story line Avengers Disassembled, or even assemble a new team of Secret Avengers.
What we would love to see though is Marvel finally tackle House of M, an epic story arc where Scarlet Witch lost control and altered the very fabric of reality, de-powering millions of mutants in the process. It would be an ambitious project, but Marvel will need to think big in order to top the spectacle of Avengers: Infinity War. The only problem is that the X-Men and mutants in general currently belong to Fox, which would make if difficult to adapt this particular story line. Or would it?
Could The X-Men Appear In 'Avengers 4'?
Following the Sony pact that allowed Spider-Man to finally appear in Marvel movies, many fans have hoped that Fox will broach a similar deal in the future, enabling the X-Men to fight alongside the Avengers in the MCU.
So far, this has appeared rather unlikely. After all, Fox has found huge success recently with the likes of Deadpool and the studio is keen to expand the franchise further with upcoming spin-offs such as Gambit and New Mutants, so why would they want to strike a deal with Marvel?
Well, it looks like the deal may have already happened in secret. Marvel recently announced a whole new host of heroes who will soon be introduced into the MCU on their official web page and surprisingly, the list included the upcoming Fox show Legion, which stars a young mutant who also just so happens to be the son of Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men.
How Would An Avengers/X-Men Crossover Work?
If Legion is now officially part of the MCU thanks to a deal between Fox and Marvel, there's two ways that the X-Men and mutants in general could be incorporated into the MCU that will still make sense, even though neither side has acknowledged the other in past movies.
First of all, Marvel could take the House of M route and use Scarlet Witch's reality-altering powers to combine the two universes into one, perhaps even to resurrect her dead brother Quicksilver, who is alive and well in the X-Men universe. The cinematic version of Wanda Maximoff hasn't displayed power of this magnitude yet, but she's certainly grown stronger already over the course of just two films. If Thanos pushes her hard enough, there's a chance that Scarlet Witch could lose control.
Alternatively, Dr Strange's arrival in the MCU has also introduced the concept of multiple realities and once that's been established, a gateway could be formed between Fox's X-Men universe and the MCU, bringing the two teams of heroes together to take on a threat even larger than Thanos. Not only would this approach work on a practical level, but it also means that none of our favourite heroes would need to be recast, so we could see the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan Reynolds share banter as Iron Man and Deadpool.
Admittedly, we last saw our mutant heroes in X-Men: Apocalypse, which was set during the '80s rather than the present, but Bryan Singer has expressed interest in reuniting the original cast, so they could be the ones to appear in the MCU instead. Failing that, Fox have plenty of other X-Men related characters in present day at their disposal, including Deadpool, Gambit and perhaps even the New Mutants, whose film is currently in pre-production.
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Whether you think that the X-Men and the Avengers should cross over or not, the simultaneous timing of the Legion announcement and Marvel's reshuffling of the Avengers franchise is certainly suspect. After all, why else would Marvel keep the title of Avengers 4 a secret?
Do you think the X-Men could appear in Avengers 4? Will we see a House of M adaptation finally hit the big screen on May 3, 2019? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.