The announcement of the Disney-Fox merger sent ripples throughout the entertainment industry late last year. And while there's a lot that can be said about the House of Mouse's $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox's film and television assets — mainly, what does Disney's big move mean for the future of entertainment as a whole? — for some it was hard not to feel the tiniest bit excited the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Because if the Disney-Fox merger goes through, that means Fox superhero properties like the X-Men and Fantastic Four can fight side by side with the Avengers on the same screen, no fan-edit required. But according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, we're still "years away" from seeing that coveted superhero team-up play out on screen.
"The truth of the matter as I understand it is the deal has to be figured out," Feige told Vulture at a recent press junket for Black Panther. "There's been no communication. We're not thinking about it. We're focusing on everything we've already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we'll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do."
When pressed for more information, Feige said, "We've announced everything through 2019, so none of those would be adjusted." The untitled fourth Avengers flick will conclude the Marvel Cinematic Universe's historic Phase 3 in May 2019, and the Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel has already been announced for later that year.
As the MCU inches closer to Phase 4, and as the actors themselves near the end of their contracts, it makes sense that Marvel Studios would shake up its superhero roster in a post-2019 world. Adding some mutants into the mix would surely do the trick.
But for now, Feige remains focused on the herculean task at hand: wrapping up the story that began 10 years ago with the release of a little film called Iron Man. As for Feige's own future at Marvel past Phase 3, he reiterated, "I think about it through 2019."
If the anticipated release of Black Panther proves anything, it's that Feige still has lots of surprises left underneath that baseball cap.