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No one actually expected Marvel Studios to strike a deal with Sony that allowed Spider-Man to shift between studios... until such a deal actually happened! Now Sony and Marvel are teaming up on Spider-Man: Homecoming, while the updated version of the classic hero was able to make his MCU debut in this summer's Captain America: Civil War. The point being, no deal is impossible, which makes today's news exciting -- albeit it, very tentative.
On an episode of Collider Heroes, Fatman on Batman podcast producer Matt Key weighed in on what he has heard regarding a possible partnership between rival studios Fox and Marvel. While nothing is set in stone, and a deal is still years away, at the very least, it sounds like a possibility, as Key said on the show:
I've heard from a few of my sources, my little birds, that Fox and Marvel have kind of talked. But not really. But there's interest from Fox. We're years from that ever possibly happening, but I think that's what it would take, is Fox joining hands with Marvel.
What's probably happening is that Fox may be paying attention to the fan reception of this deal between Marvel and Sony, which has allowed Spider-Man to change studios (while also keeping a foothold in Sony), and they may be looking at their options. I don't think that Fox would ever give up its mutant properties. Even though X-Men: Apocalypse didn't make Days of Future Past money, it's still a hit, and a base that the studio can build on for New Mutant, X-Force and Wolverine stories. Where does that leave Fox? There are three deals I think the studio can make that would greatly benefit Marvel, and earn some brownie points from Fox in the eyes of comic-book movie fans, everywhere.
Release the Fantastic Four
Fox has taken two stabs at Marvel's first family, and neither has really connected. Tim Story delivered two Fantastic Four movies, but that was so long ago, current Captain America Chris Evans was actually the Human Torch. Now that Michael B. Jordan is moving on to Black Panther, I'd be very surprised to see Fantastic Four 2 happen, using the cast of the most recent reboot. Which means the team could transition over into the MCU in a similar way to how Spider-Man moved over.
Here's what you do. You pretend that the Fantastic Four has been part of the MCU already, just as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) was aware of the presence of Spider-Man. You introduce the new team in one of the Avengers: Infinity War movies, likely the first one, as the existing Marvel heroes are preparing for the arrival of Thanos. Then, the existing team is poised for a standalone film, like Homecoming, if Marvel audiences take to the new iteration. You don't need a third origin story. You just get a new FF.
Make Doom The Next MCU Villain
No Marvel character has suffered more from Fox's repeated attempts at adapting Fantastic Four than the team's main antagonist, Doctor Doom. In the pages of Marvel's comics, Doom is a powerful force, a global threat whose villainous reach stretches beyond our world into the cosmos. Doom could be a brilliant villain... though his on-screen iterations have lacked that scope, and have made Doctor Doom into a bit of a punchline.
That's unfortunate, but a partnership between Fox and Marvel that sends Doom to the MCU might be just what both studios need. After the Infinity Wars, Marvel is going to need a new villain who's "large" enough to threaten the MCU and bind the heroes together in a common quest. Phase Four is a mystery right now, but Marvel likely plans more galactic stories, with a third Guardians of the Galaxy, a Captain Marvel movie, the sorcery of Doctor Strange and a possible Inhumans movie all on the radar. Could Doctor Doom be the next major threat that Marvel develops, over time, to sustain the MCU? He'd be an outstanding choice.
Let Deadpool Have Fun in A Crossover
Yes, I understand that Deadpool is now the Crown Jewel of Fox's Marvel stable, and to give him up would be insane. Fox currently plans a Deadpool 2, and the hero easily could be part of an X-Force movie, if that's able to get off the ground. But what if, while filming these movies for Fox, the studio also allowed the Merc with a Mouth to show up in rival Marvel properties. Part of the joy of a team up in the comics was when it was unexpected, and more than a little surprising. Deadpool could show up -- unannounced -- in a Spider-Man movie, team with Daredevil on a Netflix show, trade insults with Rocket Raccoon in a Guardians sequel, or fight The Hulk on screen.
Deadpool showed that the hero works really well when he's guided by writers and directors who understand his voice, and who get why fans like his humor. You could unleash Deadpool in the MCU without disrupting Fox's traditional mutant universe, and it'd bring some much needed edge to Marvel's Phase Three, and beyond. It's a long shot, but that doesn't mean we don't want to see it happen.