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No matter how far into its deep catalog of characters Marvel Studios goes, they will always be missing some very key characters. Prior to producing their own movies, the company would sell off the rights to their characters to other studios for a good chunk of cash. That's how Spider-Man ended up at Sony and the X-Men and Fantastic Four ended up at Twentieth Century Fox (along with other lower level superheroes). Because the rights belong to other studios Marvel Studios can't include those characters within its Marvel Cinematic Universe, excluding them from future projects like The Avengers 2.
But since Joss Whedon's superhero team came out earlier this year, we've seen some inklings that the walls could start coming down. There were rumors a few months back that Marvel and Sony were talking about having Oscorp Tower (a building from the Spider-Man universe) appear in the New York skyline in The Avengers; and more recently there was a story that said Marvel and Fox were talking about rights deals involving characters like Daredevil, Galactus and Silver Surfer. Now there is news that one of the key people behind the X-Men movie franchise would be totally on-board with an X-Men/Avengers crossover.
Lauren Shuler Donner, who has produced every X-Men movie from Bryan Singer's 2000 original to next summer's The Wolverine, recently sat down to speak with Crave Online and responded enthusiastically when asked if she would be interested in seeing a combination of worlds. "I would love it," Donner said. "I would love it. I personally have close ties to Marvel because of Kevin Feige, because Kevin worked for me. But to take our characters and mingle them in the way that they were written, yeah, absolutely."
And who could fault her for her interest? The Avengers is the third highest grossing movie of all time and there's a lot of money to be made by being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The problem at the larger studio level, however, is that it runs the risk of diluting big, potential money-making brands and would require splitting profits. That said, I will always cross my fingers and hope that one day they will all get together for a meeting that will end up putting all of the heroes within the same world, and having a name like Lauren Shuler Donner in favor of it is a good thing.