At long last, the X-Men are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and their transition is being spearheaded by none other than Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. However, their arrival also means a replacement for Hugh Jackman's Wolverine.
“That would be between Fox and Disney," longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner told /Film. "Obviously, Kevin and I started the first one. He worked for me. He’s got a great story sense. He’s got a great ability to weave each world and weave those worlds together. I trust him and I trust that he will take care of the X-Men.”
There are still two films set for release under the 20th Century Fox banner, Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, but once those are in the can, it's off to the House of Ideas.
The entire X-Men franchise, the term "mutant" and characters like Wolverine will be making the move thanks to the deal Disney made to acquire all of Fox's media properties. Those characters' film rights were sold off in the 1990s to make cash for a failing Marvel Comics, but now that Marvel Studios and Disney have been able to establish the MCU as one of the most successful film franchises in history, it's time to bring the mutants back.
The most significant aspect of Feige's involvement in the transition involves finding a replacement for Wolverine. Hugh Jackman has been adamant that Logan was his final outing as the character. However, Donner didn't rule out Jackman reprising the role at some point down the road as an older Wolverine.
"[Jackman] worked so hard to bulk up, would get up at four in the morning to bulk and eat protein meals every two hours because his natural state, they used to call him Worm when he was a kid" she said. "So his natural state is a very skinny guy. Once you reach a certain age, the body just won’t go anymore. I think he was wise to say, ‘I’m at that point. I can’t do it.’ Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as older Wolverine. You never know. Future Wolverine, you never know.”
Fan speculation has suggested the X-Men might make their way into the forthcoming Avengers: Endgame, but the timing wasn't right to make that happen. All indications are that Phase 4 will see the mutants make their MCU showing, but when that happens and in which film is anyone's guess.
“I don’t know what Kevin’s thinking honestly," Donner continued. "I don’t even think Kevin knows. I think Kevin’s still dealing with this wealth of characters and trying to make sense of them... This is all now in Disney’s playground and they get to decide. At least we know it’s in good hands. Everybody’s worked really hard up to now on the Fox side but now it’s going to be Disney’s call.”
Marvel Studios' next film will be Captain Marvel, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau. The film arrives March 8.