Despite their prominence in Marvel Comics, many fans were disappointed that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were not included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since their film rights were owned by 20th Century Fox. However, with Disney's purchase of the rival studio, Marvel has regained access to the two franchises, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige couldn't be happier.
"The specifics of what it means remains to be seen, but overall it's wonderful and it feels like these characters have come home", Feige said in an interview with Variety. "It will be nice to have what every other [intellectual property] holder that I can think of has, which is access to all their IP. Imagine if Donald Duck was at another studio. Imagine if Goofy or Moana were someplace else and you didn’t have access to them even though they are yours."
Given how the X-Men property is one of Marvel's most popular franchises and the Fantastic Four are the characters who launched the Marvel Universe, it's no surprise Feige is glad to be able to use them for future projects. While he's confirmed the X-Men won't appear in the MCU for a while, fans can still look forward to a future where characters like Wolverine, the Thing and Deadpool can share the big screen with the likes of Spider-Man and Captain Marvel.
Marvel Studios' next cinematic adventure is Avengers: Endgame. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 26.