What Does Disney’s Fox Deal Mean for Movies? ‘X-Men vs. Avengers’ and All-Female ‘A-Force’ Films are Possible

avengers-vs-xmen2
Marvel Comics

The Walt Disney Company announced the purchase of 21st Century Fox on Thursday. The deal is almost complete and is being reviewed by governmental antitrust regulators and, presumably, Deadpool and his marketing team. If its approved, Disney would acquire a host of Fox properties for $52.4 billion—including some of the most popular Marvel characters around, such as Deadpool, Wolverine, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

Many Marvel fans’ first impression of the deal is simple excitement. Hugh Jackman, after all, has said he’ll only play Wolverine again if he’s allowed to be in a film with the Avengers, which Disney owns. But there’s also a whiff of worry. The MCU was developed around the current crop of Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy because the company didn’t own the film rights to some of its most popular characters, like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Marvel is now has an agreement with Sony to use Spider-Man, and the deal with Fox will bring Wolverine, Deadpool, Storm and the rest of the company’s mutants into the fold. But Marvel built the scaffolding of the MCU ignore the presence of mutants in the Marvel universe. How will it reckon with this sudden expansion?

And what about the future of more adult, R-rated films like Deadpool and Logan? Disney’s not exactly known for violent, foul-mouthed movies. On that front, at least, there seems to be good news. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney president Bob Iger has said that Deadpool can stay as nasty and R-rated as he was in Fox’s movie—good news for those who want to preserve Ryan Reynolds’ version of the Merc with a Mouth. Even better: Maybe we’ll see Deadpool and Spider-Man develop a playful big-screen friendship like the one they share in current comic books.

So even know there are plenty of unanswered questions about the future of the MCU, there are a myriad of exciting possibilities waiting for Marvel fans post-merger, too. Here are some of our favorites.

captain america wolverine Wolverine and Captain America face-off in a popular, and rare, issue. Marvel

Wolverine and Captain America

The Avengers films have focused on the professional and emotional friction between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), but in the comics Cap also enjoys a begrudging partnership with Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman in Fox’s films). In a 1968 comic, Captain America angrily told Wolverine that he had better not piss off the X-Men because he was never going to be an Avenger. Doesn’t that sound fun to watch?

champions Marvel's 'Champions' in an early issue of the run. Marvel

Champions

In 2016, Marvel Comics rounded up their most popular teen superheroes and had them rebel against the old, weathered Avengers. The cover art featured a younger versions of Hulk and Spider-Man , Ms. Marvel, Nova and Viv Vision, Vision’s teen daughter, all burning their Avengers membership cards. By combining mutants with Inhumans with former Avengers, Champions made a strong statement on youth in America becoming disillusioned with their parents’ values. Bringing the book to the big screen would also help Disney address an increasingly glaring issue. While Marvel’s Avengers films are aimed at families and children, most of the team’s members are in their 40s. Champions could be the youthful counterweight to that aging group of heroes.

A-Force

Twitter went nuts in December when a photo of the female actresses of the Marvel Cinematic Universe appeared online. Many called for a women-only Marvel film, perhaps not realizing that that very line-up has worked well in the comics. Marvel's A-Force, a feminist comic featuring an all-female line-up, ran from 2015 to 2016. Without the X-Men, Disney couldn't have really done it justice—a number of the characters, like Domino (soon to be seen in Deadpool 2, by the way), Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde, were from the world of mutants—but now that the company owns every single woman in the superhero line-up, an A-Force movie doesn't seem all that far away. And at this moment in history, the timing couldn’t be better.

a force comic A-Force #1 from Marvel Comics Marvel

Avengers vs X-Men

As Vox points out, Marvel Comics have long used stunts, like pitting the X-Men and the Avengers against each other, to sell issues. A titanic conflict like that could now be possible in a world where Disney owns Marvel’s entire line-up. And, let’s be honest, it’s almost a sure thing. Just imagine the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War, but instead of Iron Man facing off against Cap we get Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Black Panther and Thor on one side and Wolverine, Deadpool, Storm, Jean Grey, Quicksilver, Beast, Mystique, Colossus, Cyclops, and Professor X on the other. The X-Men might have the upper hand in that fight, powers-wise, but, wow, what a fight. Start printing the money now!