“X-Men” is the longest running superhero franchise so far, spanning 19 years and 12 movies — if you count the three “Wolverine” spinoffs and the pair of “Deadpool” movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will eventually take that record for itself, but Fox certainly deserves props for keeping “X-Men” going for so long that they managed to do the “Dark Phoenix” story in two separate movies and build a single story that spans two distinct timelines.
But now, with the Disney-Fox merger, this version of the “X-Men” franchise is coming to an end. “Dark Phoenix” is the firm conclusion of the main series of movies. It’s been a wild and often very confusing ride, but it’s just about over now.
This does not, however, mean that the world(s) that Fox has built over the past two decades for this “X-Men” franchise are quite done just yet. While the main series is definitely done, Fox had further plans for some of the other parts of the franchise that may still come to fruition.
The real elephant in the room is “The New Mutants,” a horror film set in the X-universe starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. This movie was filmed two years ago but has been in limbo ever since, with its release original planned for April 2018 before being delayed over and over again. It’s now schedule for release in April 2020, but anything could happen with it at this point. This film doesn’t appear to feature any characters from the main series, by the way.
Fox also had plans for an X-Force movie featuring Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz), as well as a proper third “Deadpool” film. But it’s impossible to know when or if those will happen now. Disney CEO Robert Iger has said they plan to continue doing R-rated “Deadpool” movies, but whether those films would be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or more standalone things like the first two movies is unknown. Since they were never actually part of the greater “X-Men” continuity anyway — that group cameo in “Deadpool 2” aside — it would be easier for these films to continue on as they are.
So that’s what we know about Fox’s existing plans for the X-Men, but beyond that it feels like a foregone conclusion that eventually Marvel will bring mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s really only a question of when — but I wouldn’t expect that to happen any time soon. Anything is possible, though. With the way they plan these things so far out, they could certainly start planting the seeds for the X-Men’s integration into the MCU well before they actually make a new “X-Men” movie.
But I wouldn’t expect, when the time comes, for any of the current franchise players to return when the X-Men are eventually brought into the MCU. Unless Marvel wants to actually include the universe of these films as part of the MCU multiverse that it appears to have introduced in “Avengers: Endgame” and looks to build on in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” But it’s way too soon to be able to guess about all that.