As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) starts to include mutants, Marvel Studios may be relying too much on nostalgia for earlier X-Men products. Since Marvel reclaimed the rights to the characters as part of the Disney/Fox merger in 2019, there has been a great deal of anticipation for the appearance of mutant-kind. Since the agreement, Marvel Studios has included X-Men allusions gradually rather than overtly announcing the group. Given that it seems like Marvel Studios is counting on audience nostalgia for Fox’s series, the absence of any casting announcements or a release date for the anticipated X-Men movie should be the reason for concern.
Although it was a welcome appearance, Patrick Stewart’s return as Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness required the viewer to have a connection to the person portraying the role. Stewart, who plays a multiverse version of Professor X, was cast as a tribute to Fox’s series, and his yellow hover chair—which has its roots in comic books—clearly pays homage to The Animated Series when coupled with the opening theme by composer Ron Wasserman. When Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is revealed to be a mutant in the final minutes of Ms. Marvel, the same music cue that introduces Professor X is also played. As a result, Kamala, who is an Inhuman in the comics, is closely associated with mutants because of the song.
Marvel has had the ideal opportunity to capitalize on fan nostalgia for the X-Men franchise with the Multiverse Saga. In the early 2000s and beyond, Fox’s original X-Men trilogy contributed to a revival of the superhero genre. Modernizing the characters and basing their adventures in a kind of semi-reality, laid the foundation and established the standard for contemporary superhero movies. X-Men and X2: X-Men United was able to strike a balance between fidelity to the original material and a novel, imaginative interpretation of the characters. While X-Men: The Animated Series is a childhood favorite of a significant portion of the Marvel audience, Marvel Studios’ continuation of the series, named X-Men ’97, will rely on that audience’s fondness for the original to succeed.
Five years after the character’s devastating, almost final demise in Logan, Hugh Jackman will reprise his breakthrough role as Wolverine in the upcoming film Deadpool 3. Since Jackman has come to represent the role, seeing him onscreen will undoubtedly draw in new viewers as well as ardent followers. Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool (who can easily crossover from the Fox universe to the MCU) is one such figure, and while Deadpool 3 shouldn’t need to rely on Hugh Jackman’s comeback to draw audiences in, the anticipation of seeing Wolverine once more is too great to deny.