With Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Studios pulled off what many believed was impossible. They struck a deal with Sony, allowing Spider-Man to swing home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joining Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers on screen. As Spider-Man (Tom Holland) prepares for his own MCU-based solo adventure, fans of the X-Men and Fantastic Four hold their breath and wonder if their own heroes can be saved, in similar fashion. Well, don't bank on it.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was asked about such a potential deal, point blank, in this new interview with Variety. But his choice of words for a potential deal between Marvel and Fox is disheartening, as Feige said:
It's an impossibility at this juncture. We certainly have enough films to keep us busy for a number of lifetimes.
"Impossibility." That seems to close the door, while his second sentence there is the nail that keeps the door shut. Kevin Feige essentially says we have more than enough toys in this current sandbox, and we don't need Fox's mutants, or the Fantastic family that no filmmaker has been able to crack on screen. Leave that noise to Brad Bird and his Incredibles. Marvel Studios is doing just fine without them.
And they really are. Marvel just had its most recent hit with a Doctor Strange movie, proving they can make successful films out of virtually any character from its comic-book archive. With sequels (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and solo movies (Black Panther, Captain Marvel) on the docket, the MCU is plenty busy without the stragglers still under Fox's umbrella.
The sad part here is that there are key storylines that Marvel COULD pursue in Phase 4 and beyond if they had either The X-Men or the Fantastic Four (or even major villains like Doctor Doom or Galactus). And in recent memory, the studios HAVE been playing nice, working out a rights swap between Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 so that the latter could have Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) in exchange for Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). So it's not IMPOSSIBLE. Unlikely, but not impossible.
The future of both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are in limbo at the moment. After X-Men: Apocalypse, Fox has no official plan for an ensemble X-Men movie, focusing instead on Deadpool 2 and Logan. And the abysmal Fantastic Four reboot seemed to kill that series in its tracks... again. If ever there was a time for Marvel to buy low, it's now. Alas, according to Kevin Feige, it doesn't sound like something that is in play. Until it is.