Don't Expect The X-Men Or Fantastic Four In Avengers: Kang Dynasty

This post contains spoilers for "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness."

In March of 2019, Disney finally sealed a deal to purchase 20th Century Fox for $71.3 billion. While some were wise enough to lament a lack of marketplace diversity and foresee the studio's shuttering of various sub-companies they had bought, fans of superhero cinema focused instead on how the merger would affect the already-huge Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fox owned the film rights to characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and many fanboys immediately began speculating as to how Wolverine would come to meet Captain America, or how Mr. Fantastic would come to fight Rocket Raccoon. 

The Fantastic Four character of Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic, already debuted in the MCU in Sam Raimi's 2022 film "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." While traipsing through a parallel universe, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) met alternate versions of known Marvel characters. Black Bold (Anson Mount) from the TV series "Inhumans" appeared, for instance. More notably, so did X-Men's Professor X (Patrick Stewart) as well as Mr. Fantastic, played by John Krasinski. Rather hilariously, all these characters were all murdered by the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). 

In July of 2022, Marvel Studios announced a lengthy slate of upcoming movies, including the X-Men-adjacent "Deadpool 3," due out in November of 2024, and a "Fantastic Four" feature film, due out in February of 2025. These films will precede the announced Avengers team-up movies, "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" (May 2, 2025) and "Avengers: Secret Wars" (May 1, 2026). Despite the "invite everyone to the party" nature of the previous "Avengers" movies, it seems that neither the Fantastic Four nor the X-Men will be appearing in "The Kang Dynasty." This was confirmed by screenwriter Jeff Loveness in a recent interview with

The broad plans

Any filmmakers talking about future Marvel projects have to be careful. Secrets and spoilers run rampant with the MCU, and it's likely that actors, crew members, and executives all have to sign strict nondisclosure agreements over plot and character details. When Loveness is up-front about what will not be in "The Kang Dynasty," fans should likely take him at his word. Evidently, there are no plans, as yet, to heavily feature the X-Men or the Fantastic Four in the MCU beyond "Deadpool 3" and "Fantastic Four." The plan for this film series is so vast that the characters won't reappear on screen until after 2025 at the earliest. 

When asked about the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Loveness said: 

"I think all that stuff is pretty far away. [...] I know they're making 'Fantastic Four,' but that's its own thing. I mean, look, I'm the biggest X-Men guy in the world. No, I think that's being saved for a bit. But, these Avengers are in trouble. They got a lot going on with Kang. They got more than enough to handle."

One might do well to recall "Avengers: Endgame" which featured a climactic action sequence starring every Avengers hero character introduced in the previous 19 films all together on a battlefield. It was about 50 known heroes. Knowing the way Hollywood blockbusters operate, it may be safe to assume that "Secret Wars" will happily include as many MCU characters as possible. In the comics, "Secret Wars" took place in a pocket dimension where heroes could fight without long-term consequences. It's entirely likely parallel universes will be scraped for every character the MCU owns. Why settle for 50 when one can have 500?