The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever-growing juggernaut of blockbuster films featuring our beloved Marvel heroes, and some who we did not realise we loved so much until they received their own films. Cough Iron Man Cough.
We know that Marvel has a long road map spanning many years, and we only know as far as 2020 at the earliest. This slate of films is also subject to change at any given moment and this was experienced by the ill-fated Inhumans movie which has been put off the slate completely. Not necessarily scrapped & on the screenplay graveyard, but just postponed with no scheduled release date.
However, after some discussion at Nerd Lowdown Towers, we feel that the Inhumans movie may be the key to bringing the X-Men, Fantastic Four & Avengers all together into one big happy Marvel Universe… or Multiverse, to be more specific. Ambitious, some might say. “What the hell are you lot smoking?!” others may cry. But hear us out.
One of the Inhumans movie’s biggest problems has been the fact that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has leaned so heavily on the Inhumans story line that it becomes difficult to see how you could successfully integrate the two. If the movie ignored the show, you add to the already growing rift between Marvel TV & Film. You include too much of the TV show, and you create a piece that people who do not watch AoS may not have any interest in. It is a difficult prospect and probably the main reason Inhumans has been pulled from the MCU roster. We propose the following:
The Inhumans movie takes place in the Marvel Ultimate Universe.
It’s a bold strategy Cotton, but let’s see how this one plays out.
The way we see it, by separating Inhumans from the core MCU allows you to flourish the movie version of the characters while also allowing the TV version to keep going. See The Flash over at DC for example. It also allows Marvel to start branching out into their Ultimate Universe on the big screen which has become a fan favourite among readers. So much so that after the latest Secret Wars arc, they merged the Ultimate Earth & Earth-616 and thus keeping many facets of the Ultimate Universe such as Miles Morales as Spider-Man. You see where we’re going with this already.
Another key aspect of placing the Inhumans in an Ultimate Universe, and the most important one, is that perhaps in the wake of the Marvel/Sony/Spider-Man deal, Twentieth Century Fox’s ears have been perked to the fact that these rights sharing deals can actually be a success. Tom Holland’s twenty minutes on-screen as Spider-Man wiped the floor with both Maguire & Garfield (and I’m a massive Garfield fan.). Execs in Fox must surely be paying attention to that and will eventually need to make a decision on what to do with the X-Men franchise and especially the Fantastic Four rights. Let’s be honest, a sharing deal is best for everyone involved.
Fantastic Four are currently floating in no man’s land so including them is not really an issue. That can be done by simple reboot, retcon, return from the Negative Zone, whatever Marvel felt like doing could be done. The X-Men is trickier. The X-Men franchise in itself has experienced more soft-reboots, retcons and timeline resets than any other franchise going. Despite this, the majority of the films in the series have been pretty well received for the most part & the cast (both old & new) are now synonymous with these roles.
Should a rights-sharing deal be done and Marvel making Inhumans within an Ultimate Universe setting, you could open a door to saying that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four (Fant4stic cast or recast) already exist within this Ultimate Universe. This way you allow the X-Men franchise to stay as canon & with the current crop of actors, you allow any number of creative decisions to be made with the Fantastic Four and you also allow an Inhumans Movie to flourish independently of any preset criteria of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. You also then don’t have to provide an excuse as to how the Avengers & X-Men existed alongside each other all along without knowing/ how they knew each other but stayed separate – more importantly, you don’t have to recast an entire team of mutants… AGAIN!
One possible way of having these universes merge is to have the Inhumans movie feature a portal. This portal of course, would be one of interdimensional nature. A link between the core Marvel Cinematic Universe and the one where the Inhumans, the X-Men & Fantastic Four. Think an event similar to the most recent Secret Wars arc where the Earth-616 & Ultimate Universes collided and merged into one.
This would obviously take a lot of set up to make work. Perhaps even two phases worth of work in order to make it possible, but playing the long game rather than just retconning and pretending everyone existed in the same universe all along and it was just ignored. We would also then have a shared universe that can feature stories like House of M, Avengers vs X-Men, & ANY story that features Galactus because can you imagine the absolute fuckery that could come out of a Fan4stic 2 with Galactus? You’d also get Deadpool thrown in for hilarious cameos.
Now who wouldn’t want that?