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James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson are joining forces in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” this month, but the upcoming Disney-Fox merger means we could be seeing two of their most popular film characters on the big screen again in the not so distant future. Jackson’s Nick Fury is a flagship character in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will finally be able to feature “X-Men” characters once the merger takes place. McAvoy is the big screen’s current Professor Charles Xavier, having played the character in three Fox-backed films, plus the upcoming “Dark Phoenix.”
When asked by Yahoo Entertainment about the X-Men joining the MCU, McAvoy expressed some concern over how successfully the Disney team will be able to achieve the goal. “I don’t know if the X-Men could go into the Marvel universe, I’m not sure,” McAvoy said.
“Maybe they could? But I think what’s different about the Avengers universe anyway is you’ve only got a couple of superheroes in the world,” the actor continued. “There’s a good amount, but there’s like a couple of football teams’ worth, you know what I mean? Whereas in the X-Men world you’re potentially saying there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of [superheroes] and the social implication of that is different.”
In the “X-Men” franchise, superheroes have their powers because of a mutated gene. The movie franchise has often depicted mutants having to hide and conceal their identities because the world views mutants as a lesser group. The Marvel Cinematic Universe features superheroes, such as Iron Man, who have gone public with their real identities and are revered by citizens within the universe.
“In the X-Men world, [superheroes] are ghetto-ized,” McAvoy said. “They’re ostracized and they’re feared. Whereas in the Avengers world, they’re honored a bit more… and seen as heroes. We’re seen almost like immigrants that people are scared of in the world of mutants and humans. How do you resolve that [in the MCU]?”
While McAvoy may not be positive about the X-Men’s integration into the MCU, he is confident that the Marvel brain trust can figure out a plausible way to do so, should Disney want the characters to appear in the MCU. “If anyone can do it, Marvel Studios can,” the actor said.
Yahoo Entertainment asked Jackson a similar question, but the actor only responded, “There’s a way to fit it, yeah.”
Kevin Fiege made headlines in December after he told Variety that he expects Disney to begin being able to create stories with Fox-owned superheroes like X-Men and Fantastic Four in the first half of 2019. Should the MCU move forward with its own “X-Men” movie, it’s possible the roles will be recast and the film storyline starts from scratch.
Next up for the MCU are “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame.” McAvoy reprises his character of Professor X in “Dark Phoenix,” the last “X-Men” movie to be produced and distributed solely by 20th Century Fox. The film opens June 7.