5 Ways Fox’s Marvel characters can be brought into the MCU

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Wong (Benedict Wong) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018
Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Wong (Benedict Wong) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018 /
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Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Wong (Benedict Wong) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018
Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Wong (Benedict Wong) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018 /

Here are five ways Disney can integrate the Fox-owned Marvel characters they are planning on acquiring into the existing MCU via established comic book continuity. 

Earlier this week, it was announced that shareholders for both Disney and 21st Century Fox came to terms on their companies’ proposed merger. As part of the deal, Disney will acquire 20th Century Fox’s media assets. And among those assets, the ones that are likely most appealing to the producers of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are the film and TV rights to the X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four.

Pending regulatory approval, the merger is set to be finalized by the first half of 2019. That means Marvel could announce the integration of some of its most popular properties into its cinematic universe as early as next year. But the question would then become how significant integration would be handled. While the Fantastic Four intellectual property hasn’t had the best luck with transmedia adaptation in the last few decades, the X-Men and Deadpool franchises are thriving.

While it’s already been established that the MCU exists within a multiverse in which different realities operate independently, I’m guessing Disney won’t be going that route with their new acquisitions. As with Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Spider-Man, they’ll ignore previous media adaptions and introduce new iterations of the characters into the MCU in the next few years.

And as Marvel Comics has had no legal barriers preventing crossovers in the past, several MCU mainstays have established histories with Fox-owned Marvel characters. And in at least five cases, those stories behind those relationships could be adapted to the big screen fairly easily.