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When Spider-Man's rights were shared with Marvel in February of this year, fans rejoiced. After seeing such an iconic character fail to live up to his full potential for 13 years, it was an amazing moment. The fans realized that, Kevin Feige realized that, and most importantly, Sony realized that. But now that Spider-Man has nestled into his new home at Marvel Studios, the fanboys have pointed their pitchforks at someone new: Fox.
Fox bought the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four years ago. We can actually thank them for kick-starting not only the MCU, but the superhero genre as a whole. Without that purchase, Marvel would have been bankrupt, Iron Man would have to downgrade to Tin Man, and most of you Moviepilot writers wouldn't have anything to write about.
Despite everything that Fox has done for the genre, Marvel fanboys want the rights to go back to Marvel. Just like when the Spider-Man deal was announced, it would be amazing, but I strongly oppose it. Why? Let's take a look:
Look at the photo above. There are 15 important mutants in the photo. There are many missing from the photo. All these characters have a story in their respective universe. You may not know well, you may not have heard it in the movie, you may not have learned it all! But they still have an origin; one without the Avengers. Bringing these characters into the MCU would have to happen either through a parallel universe or a brand new introduction.
So assuming we use a parallel universe, average moviegoers would have another 16 years of superhero films to catch up on. Why? Because those movies are now considered canon, even in this universe. So yay! A new burden will be added, alienating viewers and lowering the box office returns.
To reboot and restart is a problem in itself. It wipes out 16 years of continuity, and while it seems to be working well with Spider-Man, keep in mind that franchise ran for 3 years, not 16. Ultimately, it's a waste either way.
Too Many Characters, Too Little Time
Marvel gave us 12 movies over the course of 7 years. We met 14.5 heroes (Wasp ain't Wasp just yet) in those 7 years, plus Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Now, Marvel is throwing 11+ heroes at us in 4 years (Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and at least 5 Inhumans).
There's another word for that: audience fatigue. How many characters can viewers keep up with? If the X-Men and Fantastic Four enter the field, we'd have dozens of characters to handle. Spider-Man already changed up the release dates of almost every movie that was set to come out post-July 2017, and that's just for one character. Shifting things around for ensemble movies would cause an even bigger mess, something that no one wants. With this many characters, it's possible we don't see them until after 2019. Of course, this being the MCU and all, we could just sprinkle these characters into other movies right? No. And that's what leads me to my next point...
You Can't Do the Characters Justice If You're Rushing
Tossing characters into movies is well and good, but you can only do so much with them before it doesn't become the original character's movie anymore. Putting one fan favourite into another fan favourite's movie would be fun to watch, but how long until one steals the show from the other? Eventually, someone's character would be thrown to the side.
Imagine putting Charles Xavier into the Doctor Strange movie, even if it was just a throw-away cameo role. It would tell us he's important, yes, but how much would it really get done in terms of character development? He would either be severely underdeveloped, teaching us nothing of his past (and therefore a useless role, seeing as that was the point), or he's featured just enough to distract the audience from Doctor Strange, in which case Doctor Strange isn't done justice. I'm losing myself here, but I hope you get what I mean. You could be sacrificing one character for another.
It Could Pit Actor vs. Actor
This may be a stretch, but it's totally true. It could cause serious feuds between the people who are bringing our favourite characters to life. Black Panther must be feeling this right now: he gets moved over six months so that we can see Spider-Man on the big screen for the sixth time in 15 years.
Not to mention pay, of course. Robert Downey Jr. was paid $80 million from Marvel. That's caused some friction between him and former Iron Man costars Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow. His salary has caused some issues in the past, and it could cause a real problem now too.
It Leaves A Lot of Missed Opportunity
This is it. This is my beef with reboots. The missed opportunity. Sinister Six. Venom Carnage. Black Cat. We lost all those movies last February. When they were announced, it totally blindsided us as fans. These are movies we never thought we'd see. They would have been risky, different, and awesome. But because of the vastness and in-house continuity at Marvel, it's entirely possible we never see these movies.
Speaking directly to X-Men and Fantastic Four now (had this deal been made before the production began on these movies) we could see the cancellation of Fantastic Four 2 (which I refuse to believe is dead), X-Men: Apocalypse, The Wolverine 2 (or 3...?), Deadpool, Gambit, X-Force (?), and New Mutants. It's a shame to see all this stuff go up in flames for a chance to have a mediocre role in a pre-established universe.
So that's my two cents on this whole thing. Let franchises go where they're going, or at least let them finish before you swoop in and kidnap a character.