Marvel Boss Suggests X-Men, Fantastic Four Films are MCU Canon Thanks To the Multiverse
A recent statement made by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige indicates that the Fantastic Four and X-Men films are already considered canon in the MCU.
Speaking to Collider, Feige noted that Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox did not alter the Marvel Cinematic Universe's timeline when it came to introducing the concept of the multiverse. "I think the Ancient One mentions [the multiverse] in Doctor Strange when she's taking Stephen Strange through that mind-warping journey. And it was always one of the most powerful storytelling tools in the comics. One you have to wield carefully because it can get overwhelming," said Feige. "One that now with the 80-year history of the comics, now we have a 20 plus history of the movies, and there are enough characters that we can start playing with it that way."
The comment regarding "20 plus history of the movies" may be in reference to the MCU but Marvel Studio's interconnected film franchise started in 2008, making it only 13 years old. While not explicitly stated, it appears Feige is alluding to the fact that the Fantastic Four and X-Men films produced under 20th Century Fox are considered MCU canon thanks to the multiverse.
As Feige notes, the MCU began laying the foundations of a large multiverse in Doctor Strange, which was released in 2016. Since then, Marvel Studios has been incrementally building to the concept. The multiverse was a notable plot point in Spider-Man: Far From Home, despite simply being a ruse constructed by the villainous Mysterio.
In 2021 alone, Marvel Studios has made major strides in setting up a grander multiverse. The Disney+ series Loki and What If...? explicitly explore the concept, offering dedicated fans alternate versions of familiar worlds and characters.
As for the next step in the plan, it's widely suspected that the forthcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home will establish further connections to the multiverse. Rumor has it that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, both of whom played Spider-Man in previous Sony-owned films, will appear in the next MCU blockbuster. Neither actor has confirmed their participation in the movie, but footage revealed in the trailers includes villains which appear in Maguire and Garfield's films respectively.
To see the MCU branch further into the multiverse, catch Spider-Man: No Way Home when it swings into theatres on Dec. 17.