Everyone in Hollywood knew that 20th Century Fox wasn’t likely to send the X-Men or the Fantastic Four back to Marvel/Disney without getting anything in return. But the upcoming Disney and Fox merger/buyout changes the game in a way that no one saw coming. If the deal goes down, and it looks like it will, then everything we knew about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going out the window. Today’s Nerdist News is exploring how the merger may set up the future of the Marvel’s movie slate.

Join host and the Trish Tilby of the MCU, Jessica Chobot, as she runs down the ways that this may play out. According to Deadline, Marvel’s Kevin Feige is particularly eager to get his hands on the X-Men and bring them into the MCU. Feige was a producer on the first three X-Men movies and the first two Fantastic Four films as well. Integrating those characters into Marvel’s continuity would be a homecoming for him, and offer up some enticing possibilities and challenges.

This may explain why Marvel has been so quiet about its Phase 4 plans. We’d be willing to bet that Feige has two plans on the board: one that incorporates the FF and the X-Men, and one that would stick to the established MCU heroes. If everything falls into place and the Disney/Fox deal crosses any regulatory hurdles, it would still be a year or more before the studios could officially merge. So don’t expect any mutants in Avengers: Infinity War. But maybe the comics will undo the silly retcon that revealed Magneto wasn’t the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

Another complicating factor is that there are several X-Men films already in various stages of development, and we doubt that the Disney/Fox super giant would simply abandon them. It would be easier to introduce the Fantastic Four with a brand new take and cast, after Fox’s last version was rejected by audiences. It may take longer to work the X-Men into the MCU’s continuity short of making a Secret Wars style crossover film that ends with the two universes combining into one.

We think the most likely scenario is that Feige would introduce the Fantastic Four in Phase 4, or “Fantastic Phase Four” and slowly lay the groundwork for the mutants to emerge in Phase 5 after the current round of X-Men films have been finished. It would also mean that there would be less of a need for Inhumans to serve as X-Men substitutes, which is a good thing in the wake of the ill-fated Inhumans TV series.

How do you think the X-Men and FF will fit into the MCU if the deal goes down? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images: Marvel/20th Century Fox 

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