Just a few hours ago, the long-teased deal between Disney and Fox became all but official. The Walt Disney Co. has finalized its whopping $52.4 billion stock offer and, pending the approval of federal regulators, the majority of 21st Century Fox's assets will be owned by Disney.
This is undoubtedly good news for Marvel fans who thought they would never see the day when the X-Men and the Fantastic Four would come home However, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't going to happen tomorrow. The government has to approve such a massive, world-altering purchase, and it will take at least a year or more before Disney assumes actual control over the Fox properties. But assuming that this deal is approved, we're looking at a very different Marvel Cinematic Universe when it enters Phase 4.
So what does this mean for Fox's upcoming slate of X-Men movies? In the next year, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, New Mutants and Deadpool 2 will all hit theaters. Should we care about these movies? Or has fan interest in these productions been rendered moot by Disney's new acquisition?
Say Goodbye to Fox's X-Men Continuity
The hard truth is, if Marvel Studios gains control of the X-Men, it is very unlikely that the previous X-Men films will be used as canon. Kevin Feige and his team will want to start fresh, giving their own spin on the beloved mutants. They will assuredly want to bring these characters to the screen in a way that they never have before, in the most comic book-accurate way possible to make longtime fans happy. For that to happen, they'll likely find new actors, and write organic way to feature the arrival of mutants in the MCU.
The previous X-Men movies will be inconsequential, a future that will obviously have an effect on Dark Phoenix, which hasn't yet been released. While the First Class and Days of Future Past films proved popular enough, fans were ultimately left disappointed by the latest entry in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse, a movie that could have been seen as a proper ending to the series. Before, with no other option to see X-Men-related content on-screen, we would have been looking forward to Dark Phoenix as the latest entry in the movie universe. But now that Disney and Marvel might start anew with the X-Men, Dark Phoenix almost feels pointless, a footnote until fans wait for the "real" X-Men to join the MCU.