Marvel has now managed to get the majority of their properties all under one roof. Moving forward, describing a movie as a “Marvel” movie will likely be an exclusive descriptor for all entries in the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, what does that mean for all the films that are now under the Disney umbrella after the merger with Fox? How will the Mouse House be branding those movies in order to differentiate them from their regular Marvel Cinematic Universe catalog?
It looks like we have an answer. On the streaming platform Disney+, the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies have shown up in a new category called “Marvel Legacy.” From what we can tell, this is being done to help audiences have a better grasp on what movies will be considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon and which ones won’t.
This is likely in anticipation of new versions of the X-Men and Fantastic Four showing up in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences are going to need to understand that the past versions of these characters are no longer going to be recognized in any official capacity as far as the franchise’s canon is concerned. This used to be an easy sell to audiences since they were well-acquainted with recasting and new takes on properties – look at James Bond or Batman for prominent examples in popular film – but the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe experiment has changed how audiences relate to such decisions.
Does this mean that any appearances from these versions of the characters are off the table? It’s not a certainty but it looks like there does not seem to be a huge amount of interest from Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige in taking such a route. We have heard a lot of rumors regarding potential multiverse versions of noteworthy characters, but none of those rumors have mentioned anything that would resurrect actors from the previous X-Men or Fantastic Four franchises. The only one we have heard comes from a very unreliable source. It’s worth betting that this is the final word on these series and their iterations of these characters.
This designation also brings into question if every Marvel production moving forward will be a concrete entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It certainly sounds like the Mouse House has no interest in creating splintering versions of these properties. If all the multiverse rumors we are hearing are true, it sounds like Disney wants to keep any alternate versions in play for the regular series of movies. In a way, this will lead to a world where any alternative version can be “canon” since they can take place in different universes that all fall under one designated multiverse. Comic fans have been dealing with this for decades, so it is going to be interesting see how mainstream audiences treat the concept.
So now, if you want to refer to the pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in the Marvel canon, it sounds like Disney’s preferred descriptor will be Marvel Legacy. We will have to see if that catches on with fans and the mainstream.