Marvel Studios has the chance to redeem some of the wasted X-Men characters from Fox’s franchise when they debut in the MCU. Characters like Jean Grey, Rogue, Gambit, and many others were misused in Fox’s X-Men franchise, but they have the potential to be properly introduced and developed in the MCU.
Fox’s X-Men franchise, which began in 2000 with “X-Men” and ended in 2020 with “The New Mutants,” introduced dozens of characters into live-action. However, the confusing timelines and poorly-adapted storylines led to the franchise receiving a lot of criticism. The characters themselves were also misused, with many of Marvel’s iconic mutant heroes not reaching their full potential.
When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox’s properties in 2019, this created the opportunity for Marvel characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to be integrated into the MCU. While the introduction of mutants in the MCU has been slow, it allows Marvel Studios to carefully plan the redemption of these wasted X-Men characters.
One character that could benefit from redemption is Jean Grey, also known as Phoenix. Jean Grey has been a pivotal character in X-Men storylines in Marvel Comics since their debut in 1963, but her portrayal in the Fox franchise never achieved her full potential. The Dark Phoenix Saga, a transformative storyline for Grey in the comics, was explored in both “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” but neither film had the impact that Fox desired. Marvel Studios now has the chance to properly adapt the Dark Phoenix Saga in the MCU.
Rogue, another important character in Marvel Comics, was also misused in the Fox franchise. She was portrayed by Anna Paquin and appeared in several films, but mostly as a secondary character who focused on her mutant ability rather than embracing herself. In the MCU, Rogue’s popular storylines, such as her reluctant supervillain backstory and her connection with Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), can finally be explored.
Gambit, Rogue’s love interest and a popular mutant character, was also underutilized in Fox’s franchise. He was planned to appear in multiple films, with Taylor Kitsch portraying him in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and Channing Tatum cast for a solo film that never happened. Gambit’s popularity in the comics makes it exciting to see him come to life in the MCU.
Other wasted X-Men characters like Sunspot, Jubilee, Darwin, Angel, Psylocke, Bishop, and Shadowcat also have the potential to be properly introduced and explored in the MCU. Each of these characters brings unique abilities and storylines that could enhance the MCU’s mutant roster.
Overall, Marvel Studios has the opportunity to redeem the wasted X-Men characters from Fox’s franchise when they debut in the MCU. With careful planning and fresh takes on these characters, the MCU can provide them with more depth and explore their full potential. Fans of the X-Men franchise can look forward to seeing these beloved characters finally get the treatment they deserve in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.