One of the biggest headaches for fans of Marvel comics is the rift between 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios. While all of DC's characters have been consolidated and can exist within the DCEU, Marvel's rights are a bona fide mess. The X-Men are still nowhere near joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that's become a huge point of contention for comic book industry insiders. X-Men writer, Chris Claremont, explained:
That has nothing to do with comic sales, that has everything to do with the fact that the film rights are controlled by a rival corporation. I guarantee you that if 10 years ago, when Marvel was approached by Disney, if the X-Men film rights were owned by Marvel Studios and not Fox the X-Men would probably still be the paramount book in the canon. The reason for the emphasis on the other titles is because Marvel / Disney control the ancillary film rights whereas all the film rights for the FF- the Fantastic Four -- and the X-Men are controlled by Fox who has no interest in the comic books. So I think the corporate publishing attitude is: 'why would we go out of our way to promote a title that will benefit a rival corporation's films when we could take that same energy and enthusiasm and focus and do it for our own properties?' Hence the rise of the Inhumans as the new equivalent of the mutants. I could wish for something else but it ain't my 5 billion dollars.
During a recent appearance at New York Comic-Con (via Bleeding Cool) X-Men writer Chris Claremont opened up and provided his candid feelings towards the rights disputes between 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios. One of the biggest problems that this rift has created is the fact that X-Men comics have suffered as a result of the silver screen mutants not belonging to Marvel Studios. 20th Century Fox has no interest in promoting the X-Men comics because the money generated by those sales will go directly to Marvel, and not FOX.
While this dispute has created problems for X-Men writers like Chris Claremont, it has become far less of an issue for the folks at Marvel. Rather than wasting energy trying to get the X-Men back, Marvel has simply reframed the Inhumans property as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of mutants. As a result of this, Marvel has not invested much in the publication of X-Men comics, because they know that they cannot mine those stories for silver screen adaptations.
Of course, it's certainly worth noting that the X-Men joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not completely outside of the realm of possibility. In the same way that Marvel made a deal with Sony to allow Spider-Man to join the MCU, it's entirely plausible that a similar deal could one day be inked for the X-Men and Fantastic Four. That being said, the X-Men universe is in a far better place than the Spider-Man franchise as a few years ago, so the odds of that happening anytime soon seem remote.
For now it seems that the X-Men comics will continue to get the short end of the stick due to the rights issues between Marvel and 20th Century Fox. Chris Claremont makes a valid point with his gripe, and we will add it to the growing list of reasons why the X-Men and MCU universes seriously need to integrate.