Marvel Phase 5: Russos Would Return for X-Men. Here's What That Means.
The X-Men and the Fantastic Four are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at some point. But who will direct those movies? Well, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are willing to return to the MCU for specifically those movies.
In an interview with SYFY WIRE at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote their newest produced film Mosul, the Russos talked up the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Silver Surfer as Marvel properties they’re willing to direct should they return to the franchise after Avengers: Endgame.
“I grew on up [John] Byrne’s X-Men run,” Joe Russo said. “Ben Grimm was a favorite character growing up, the Thing. And Fantastic Four is now in the Marvel fold. There’s a lot. Silver Surfer is an amazing character. Going really big in cosmic would be a lot of fun. So there’s a lot of things that could attract us.”
How convenient then that Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige confirmed both Fantastic Four and X-Men (through the more generic name “mutants”) were in development back at San Diego Comic-Con. While the projects weren’t officially unveiled as Phase Four, the films were name-dropped alongside sequels for Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy, presumably as part of Marvel’s Phase Five.
The Russos added that they’ve been bit by a storytelling “bug” that necessitates big, colossal scale that is told over several movies.
“I think after you go on the journey that we went on, because there is a comprehensive narrative, an overarching story from Winter Soldier all the way to the end of Endgame that involves Tony and Cap, through Civil War, through Infinity War — I think that scale of ambition in storytelling is a bug that’s bit us,” he told SYFY WIRE. “And we’re compelled to tell more stories on that scale, with that sort of years-long ambition to them.”
With unparalleled experience with the Marvel franchise, the Russos are suitable for projects as big and loaded with expectations as MCU “reboots” of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. While there’s plenty of interpersonal human melodrama in those stories, the mutants and the “First Family” of Marvel frequently find themselves in the middle of cosmic epics that run that gamut of everything from time travel to alien politics.
Thus far, the Russos’ movies have been nothing but human emotions wrapped up in big space wars and superheroic politics.
But that’s not to say the Russos are, in fact, working on any more Marvel movies at this time. Mosul, the Russos’ most recent production, is an Arabic language Hollywood film under the Russos’ ABGO Films. It tells the story of an Iraqi SWAT team that faced down the terrorist group ISIS and is based on a 2017 The New Yorker article titled, “The Avengers of Mosul.” The film premiered at TIFF to mixed reviews.