Though Disney owns a majority of the Marvel properties, and is sharing Spider-Man with Sony, they don’t own the rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four. Those two belong to Fox.
While Disney and Marvel can expand on characters through films and televised series connecting them to the MCU, Fox doesn’t share that luxury, and are confined to their own universe. It only makes sense that they build their own version of the MCU using what they have, all culminating in a mega crossover event between the two superhero teams al a Marvel Studios’ The Avengers.
A few months back, there were rumors that Fox would be bringing X-Men and Fantastic Four together. These reports fueled speculation that a crossover was coming when Simon Kinberg was hired by Fox to expand their Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I have a lot of ideas on how to build those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel. I want to be able to build stories over multiple movies.”
Now X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer is sharing his thoughts on the idea, saying that it is “in play.”
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo, Singer tells the site:
“Those ideas are in play. That would be a natural match-up because they’re both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it.”
It’s not quite clear what Singer means when he says “natural mechanism,” but he did tease something that might indicate that such a film is coming. “It deals with time,” he says. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Now time travel isn’t a new concept to X-Men films and comics. In Days of Future Past, Wolverine’s consciousness was sent from the future to a help convince a younger and defeated Professor X to continue his good work or else the future of human and mutant kind would be eradicated. If a crossover event were to happen once more, the X-Men might have to find a way to time travel once more as Apocalypse is set in the 1980s, whereas the Fantastic Four reboot is set in present time. Unless Reed Richards finds a way to build his own time machine or maybe his inter-dimensional traveling machine finds a way to transport the team into the X-Men universe. It should be interesting to see what the writers come up with.
However, Singer fully admits that the two superhero teams cannot unite just yet:
“We’ll have to see how the films turn out. To just say you’re going to do it would be a mistake, you have to see how the films evolve before you make that decision to completely commit to that.”
While the success of the X-Men film franchise continues, the Fantastic Four reboot remains in question. Response has been mixed, and even a panel at SDCC didn’t get quite the rousing reaction the studio was hoping for. Still, if Fantastic Four is a hit, expect Fox to make some major announcements or at least surprise us with a crossover tease during the post-credits of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters August 7, while X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters on May 27, 2016.