Top 10: Mutant Teams for the MCU by Jerry Whitworth
Following the Fox acquisition by Disney, Marvel Studios gained the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. When Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, teased the fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he mentioned the addition of ‘mutants’ rather than the X-Men. Perhaps this statement is something as simple as accounting for the Deadpool franchise as a separate entity. Or, this could mean a broader plan for the slate of characters from the brand beyond simply X-Men movies. Lets take a look at some of the teams that could form the foundation of new brands in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond the X-Men.
With the acquisition of Fox by Disney, the X-Men and Fantastic Four have returned to Marvel Studios. Likely emerging in the fifth phase, it’s unknown how the properties are going to be worked into the pre-existing continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe though speculation has the upcoming WandaVision on Disney+ being its point of entry. Given the depth of the X-Men brand, it’s possible an Avengers approach maybe taken where individual characters could be given films before uniting in a team movie. With this in mind, while founders like Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Marvel Girl will undoubtedly emerge in the brand and likely in the inevitable team movie, lets take a look at what individual characters could have their own films. Also, it should be considered Deadpool, Cable, and X-Force are likely to continue in their own bubble for the foreseeable future and younger brands like New Mutants, Generation X, and X-Statix would be fertile ground for Disney+ content.
In August, it was announced Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) has signed with Sony to direct a Marvel film set in the Spider-Man universe with a female lead. Joining their Spider-Man, Venom, and emerging Morbius brands (with the likes of Madame Web, Spider-Gwen, Silver Sable, Black Cat, Kraven the Hunter, Sinister Six, Silk, Nightwatch, and Jackpot in various degrees of development), the mystery project is speculated to feature original Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. Created to ensure Marvel had the rights to the name Spider-Woman (something they did again a few years later with She-Hulk for the Hulk) supposedly from hearing about Filmation’s development of what became a Web Woman animated series, the character is in a unique position among the alleged 900 properties Sony has licensed from Marvel. While Sony have the film rights for the Spider-Woman name and costume, Marvel retained the rights for the character’s backstory. Meaning, if done independently, Sony could produce a Spider-Woman superhero film with an entirely new backstory as Marvel could effectively produce a Jessica Drew project so long as she doesn’t don the iconic red and yellow costume or use the name ‘Spider-Woman.’ The situation is not unlike how both Fox and Marvel had their own versions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for their respective X-Men and Avengers brands. However, with the new working relationship between Marvel and Sony over Spider-Man, it’s believed part of this arrangement means a co-produced Spider-Woman film. This begs the surprisingly complicated question of who is Jessica Drew?