Kevin Feige says no, but Marvel and Fox could still team up.
In an interview with Variety, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige commented on a Marvel and Fox collaboration. While many of us were seeing possibilities of a team up, Feige clearly stated that venture was nearly impossible.
“It’s an impossibility at this juncture. We certainly have enough films to keep us busy for a number of lifetimes.”
When the President of Marvel Studios says no, that should be the nail in the coffin. But regardless, I believe his statements should be taken with a grain of salt. There are a number of reasons for Kevin Feige denying a collaboration. From history to present day and the future, I’m going to give you my opinion on why Kevin Feige would deceive us.
Many Have Lied About Key Cinematic Projects In The Past
Deception and lies in Hollywood are not something new. Now with the age of the internet, further measures have been taken to maintain secrecy.
Over the past 3 years there have been 2 big reveals that have been debunked by lies. The first was Director J.J. Abrams himself in regards to “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” When Benedict Cumberbatch’s role was speculated to be Khan, Abrams denied the claim as well as many screenwriters. Cumberbatch was later revealed as Khan and then Abrams admitted lying was the wrong move.
The other major lie came from Sony themselves after many emails were leaked online. It was revealed that Sony was working with Marvel on redefining Spider-Man within the MCU. Sony denied the claim and again, we were later shown that the Spider-Man collaboration was true.
While “impossibility” may seem like an absolute, we’ve certainly heard similar in the past.
Marvel Has Recently Been Playing Nice With Fox
A few years ago the tension between Marvel and Fox was apparent. The biggest testament to this tension came from long time X-Men writer Chris Claremont revealing Marvel was deliberately excluding X-Men from comic books. Things seemed to be going downhill from there as Marvel attempted to phase out all mutants entirely. But more recently, there’s been a change in things.
In the comic book realm, Marvel seems to have reversed their course. They have begun to resurrect mutants with the announcement of the X-Men blue and gold series. We’ve even seen Old Man Logan become a more prominent figure in the comics. This coincides perfectly with Fox’s upcoming film “Logan.” So why would Marvel place focus on such key players for Fox?
But while comic books can be deemed a separate entity, film and television should be the telltale signs. More recently it was revealed that Fox and Marvel did a character trade for their films “Deadpool” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.” This is something out of character for both studios as a “character swap” would have been more beneficial in the past than with these two films. But outside of these small dealings, the biggest sign comes from television. With the upcoming FX series “Legion”, we are seeing one of the first collaborative projects ever between these two studios. Legion is an X-Men character and the son of Professor X. The series will premiere on FX (a Fox network) but Marvel will be lending its hand in the producer role.
Kevin Feige may have said a film partnership with Fox is an “impossibility,” but so far they’ve already compromised on films from both sides. It also hasn’t stopped them from working together in the realm of television.
Marvel’s “Lifetime Of Films” Is A Bit Of A Hyperbole
Kevin Feige said they have enough films to keep them busy for a “number of lifetimes.” I agree that the Marvel universe is expansive, but it’s certainly finite in terms of relevance. They’re at their peak in terms of A-list characters. Captain America and Iron Man will soon have to be rebooted as well as many other characters. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are nearing the end of their contracts. These two have been the foundation of their cinematic universe as they find their way into many of the other films. They still have Thor, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming Captain Marvel as standalone characters. But beyond that, they will have to hope for another “Guardians of the Galaxy” surprise to pay off.
If their library was so infinite, there would be little interest to collaborate with Sony on Spider-Man. There’s some nostalgic intent for sure, but the venture between the two studios is definitely mutually beneficial. This allows Marvel and Sony to fill in the gaps in iconic comic book storylines.
With Marvel Studios venturing into the cosmic realm with “Avengers: Infinity War” and expanding upon “Guardians of the Galaxy,” they could certainly use some more contextual characters. Exploring Thanos without Silver Surfer is going to be a bit disappointing, as well as other cosmic beings like Galactus. Reiterating the Deadpool/Guardians collaboration mentioned earlier, Marvel definitely sees the necessity in these other characters.
DC Is A Sleeping Giant That Could Be Trouble For Everyone
Marvel has been continually successful with their films but they are at a major disadvantage when it comes to DC. Marvel has a formula for their films that’s effective and a continuous win for the studio. But Marvel has boundaries where DC does not. DC has access to their entire library of characters. If DC finds their momentum in filmmaking, they could be an unstoppable powerhouse.
This not only spells trouble for Marvel, but also for Fox and Sony as well. When DC finds their footing, it’s going to be hard to take the spotlight from icons like Batman and Superman. It’s logical for Marvel to employ the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy and collaborate. Expanding their library of characters is essential to staying on top. It would be a win not only for Marvel, but for Sony and Fox as well.
Even Stan Lee himself spoke of Marvel’s interest in collaboration back in 2014. Speaking with Independent, Stan Lee addressed this as something Marvel was “very concerned about.” Without reading too much into his words, it can easily be conveyed that attempts are constantly being made, but the outcome is uncertain.
“It’s something that Marvel is very concerned about,” he replied. “It’s very difficult to bring ’em all together because these characters are so successful and make so much money that the studios that have the rights don’t want to let them go. So that’s something that all the lawyers and all the production companies have to work out. Whether they get it worked out, I don’t know.”
If Marvel wants to maintain its course, it cannot rely on rebooting their franchise characters. They will have to expand with Fox as they did with Sony.
Fox Is In The Same Boat Sony Was In With Spider-Man
The X-Men films have been on a decline. The most recent film, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” was an overall failure. Critics’ reviews were mostly negative and box office sales were below expectations. While it had a foreign net profit, domestically sales were below the film’s cost. In addition, reviews and sales have been scattered for other X-Men films. Despite having a strong cast, Fox is now looking into rebooting the series.
Before the Sony and Marvel collaboration, Sony was in a similar situation. They were struggling to find success with Spider-Man and with Andrew Garfield’s situation possibly forcing a reboot, collaborating with Marvel was a viable plan of attack.
Fox has seen recent success with “Deadpool.” But to get a spotty franchise like the X-Men back on track, they could certainly use some help. With Sony and Marvel working together, Fox may see the potential benefits of joining their team.
Superhero films need the element of surprise. Deniability is one way to manage that surprise while also abstaining from any discussion that may hinder the outcome of negotiations. Fox and Marvel ARE working together as we’ve seen the proof. They may be testing the water at the moment, but a collaboration is advantageous for them both.
At this juncture, Marvel does have a number of upcoming films. Films are slated through 2019 and then they have to start working on new ideas. So when Kevin Feige says, “It’s an impossibility at this juncture,” that’s perspectively true. They’ve already started filming parts of “Avengers: Infinity War” and I’m sure a lot of the groundwork has already been laid for subsequent films. But once 2019 comes to a close, Marvel is going to need something fresh. With the pursuit of Deadpool and X-Force, Fox may also reach that point as well when rebooting the X-Men. In my opinion, 2020 is going to be a prime year for collaboration but things are being kept secret for now.