Wolverine, Mr Fantastic, The Thing and The Human Torch could be entering an MCU near you: all the characters are returning to Marvel after Disney (who owns the comic book company) confirmed their takeover of Fox.
In a deal worth $52.4bn (£39bn), Disney has bought the bulk of 21st Century Fox's movie and TV studio, which includes franchises like Avatar, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. The House of Mouse now also owns TV shows such as Modern Family and The Simpsons, a move the animation predicted in 1998 episode.
Marvel Entertainment had previously sold the rights to its most famous comic book characters to Fox (and Spider-Man to Sony) before the company decided to make their own movies in the mid-2000s. This left them to make films with heroes considered ‘second-tier’ at the time e.g. Iron Man and Captain America.
But now all the characters are under the Disney umbrella, meaning The Avengers and The X-Men will meet on screen, according to Disney boss Bob Iger. "We have the opportunity to expand iconic franchises for new generations of fans just as we have done with Marvel and Star Wars... We're also looking forward to expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool," he told Disney investors and financial media yesterday (via Deadline).
So, if the MCU were to incorporate the X-Men then how would it happen? Fox has still got a few X-Men films set for release (including Dark Phoenix, Gambit and next year’s The New Mutants), which could perhaps hint at connections to Marvel plotlines before a big superhero mash-up in phase four of the MCU (after Infinity War 2).
It’s also possible that the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Sophie Turner (who play mystique and Jean Grey) could return to their characters in the MCU. However, considering how the seismic events in X-Men films have had no mention in the Marvel Universe, it’s possible all the mutants could get rebooted (yes, again).
And although Hugh Jackman told Screenrant he wouldn't play Wolverine in the MCU, fans really really want to see Logan fight alongside/against the Avengers.
There’s also another fan-favourite superhero that’s just joined the MCU: Deadpool. And although you may be worried Disney will dilute the Merc With A Mouth into a more family-friendly superhero, keep calm: the company has already said Deadpool 2 will remain an R-Rated movie (certificate 18 over here).
“[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool," Iger told The Hollywood Reporter. “As long as we let the audiences know what's coming, we think we can manage that fine."
Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds also gave his take on the merger, making a joke about Disneyland's Matterhorn ride...
Plus, Anastasia has now joined the ranks of Cinderella and Snow White. The eponymous 1997 movie musical was originally released under the Fox banner, now owned by Disney.
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether the takeover means Deadpool is a Disney princess too...
So, is the merger a good move overall? Will it allow fans to see even more of their favourite characters? Or is the merger making a Disney monopoly? Twitter's not sure...