There has been a lot of rumors & events recently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over the past couple months, some decisions seem to have been made behind the scenes. A few people think that this might just be signs that Fox and Marvel Studios are maybe in the beginning works of making a deal to use their properties together.
So, let's actually look at the evidence, shall we? First thing first, the MCU had recently gotten new leadership, with Kevin Feige replacing Ike Perlmutter as the head of Marvel Studios. Shortly after this, Feige also announced in an interview that the MCU has contingency plans for if any of their rights are reverted or any deals are made with studios, to properly accommodate them in the MCU. Shortly after this too, the MCU's slated film list was altered! Was a deal made for a new property perhaps? Or maybe we can just dismiss that as the New Leadership of Marvel Studios making some minor alterations.
But, Marvel Studios also released that they have three placeholders for 2020 films, what the movies are is unannounced. So altering the schedule and giving three extra films that are not titled? Something clearly must've happened to make Marvel need more official placeholders for extra films, but why now, what could those films be? Then, recently, Marvel Studios announced they were working with 20th Century Fox to make two new X-Men TV series with them, which would involve both Marvel and Fox at the production of it. It was currently unannounced what Marvel got (if anything) in return for this.
Either, they just got some money for it, or maybe it's possible these TV shows are slated to be the first introduction to Mutants in the MCU.
Why it makes Sense
Now, with all that evidence out there, I think there's a small chance the X-Men in the future might come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their list of slated films have been altered and expanded upon seemingly out of nowhere, shortly after Kevin Feige confirmed that they would alter it if they got new rights for different franchises. What else could be big enough to warrant three extra placeholders for movies, especially since Phase 3 has not even began yet!
Plus, with the whole X-Men series being created, Marvel obviously has been working on a (successful) deal with Fox. But it makes no sense they would give away their few ties to the X-Men away to Fox for nothing but just some money, especially being that Disney is no shortage of profits, and has probably learned their lesson from selling rights to other studios. But if both of these series are in the MCU that changes things. It actually has more evidence for it, as Jeph Loeb the head of Marvel TV also seems to working on this show in addition to others who are working on Marvel's shows, there's no reason the Marvel TV crew would be working with making a producing a Competitor's TV show (for the X-Men Fox verse).
This wouldn't be the only time ideas of Disney and Fox trying to make deals with this franchise. Back when Sony got hacked, they apparently had a timeline for some upcoming projects with other studios. One of the Project being a Marvel-Fox Teamup. Maybe since Sony isn't a part of these studios they cannot confirm this, but they have a decent track record of having predictions. They also theorized Batman was coming out in 2018, which has gained some credibility.
Speaking of which, rumours are floating around of an X-Men Avengers movie planned for 2020, coming from Pete's Basement Facebook, again this is conjecture but it's still worth noting.
And on the topic of X-Men, another piece of evidence for their eventual coming to the MCU is the fact Inhumans the franchise meant to compete with Mutants is rumored to be getting pushed up or even removed, why would Disney do this though? Unless, they're going to get the real deal, Mutants to play around with the future.
Both TV shows deal with the concept of the Conspiracy and exposure of Mutants, now this makes little sense in the X-Men where Mutants are already known to the world. But what about somewhere that Mutants are not introduced in, like the MCU? Maybe these TV shows are subtle ways to establish a Mutant Presence in the MCU without creating too many plotholes, just like AoS is trying to do with Inhumans. So if they really are coming, it won't be too confusing and plot breaking.
Why would Fox do it?
Some nay-sayers may be wondering "why would Fox do this? The X-Men series is still profitable, they don't need to make any deals, this is a lie!" On the surface, this may sound valid. But the more it's scrutinized the less it makes sense, let me explain.
Fox's new X-Men series is at a strong point for sure, and because of that has plans until 2017, and I personally think (want) them to go through with those before any talks of putting them in the MCU is in effect. But, what happens after 2017? With the X-Men First Class Trilogy being concluded with X-Men: Apocalypse, the majority of the cast has gone through their contracts, and Hugh Jackman has announced that Wolverine 3 (coming in March, 2017) is the end of that trilogy, in addition Ryan Reynolds, the star of the coming out Deadpool movie said he doesn't want to do anymore superhero flicks after it. Two of Fox's biggest moneymakers for those movies are ending, plus the possibly successful Deadpool series (unless they re-cast), so naturally there's some talk those are the last couple films for the X-Men movies.
I mean, think about this. The major Studios (Marvel, WB) has plans for their movies up until atleast 2020, but Fox on the other hand has plans only up until 2017. This makes little sense if they really want to make this series last against those two, especially if they need to keep making movies so the rights don't go to Disney.
The fact is, with almost all of their popular Trilogies concluding themselves, unless Gambit is going to be able to carry those movies, they're going to reboot the series (either spiritually or literally) so why not do it with Marvel Studios? There has been a lot of pressures from fans and Disney to make a deal about this, so wouldn't it be great PR for Fox if they went along with it. In addition, a reboot can be hard to manage, though they would able to start fresh with the franchise they would need to re-build it's popularity again, and with the MCU growing bigger and the DCEU coming into the picture, it looks like this might be really hard for Fox's series to stay relevant in coming years.
Especially when you consider how limited they are with the X-Men rights other than making movies, they can't do much else with it, when it comes to Merchandise, crossovers, etc. Putting them at disadvantage for Marvel and Warner Bros, who can do all of those things.
Fox might have a better future if after their slated films, they make a deal with Marvel and reboot the X-Men inside of Disney's MCU, where they would have enough popularity and support for themselves, even with the expansion of the MCU and the introduction of DC's movies.
Fox would very likely still profit off of this however. The two new X-Men Television Series will air on Fox and the FX respectively, I imagine if Marvel and Fox are planning on making a deal, it will be like the Sony one. Where even though they can be in the MCU, Fox will still have the distribution rights to everything X-Men (and Fantastic Four). That way even with this deal, Fox can make profits and get in on this industry, without the risks of failure or pressure to give the rights to Marvel, makes sense, huh?
Fantastic Four would come too!
Let's face it, odds are if Fox and Marvel are going to make deals with the X-Men franchise the Fantastic Four aren't going to just be ignored, especially with their lame movie that has recently come out.
The FF movie rights at this point are not doing Fox any good on their own, their shareholders probably will never let them do another movie with it, after their failures of trying to make them. As I said, if Fox is willing to make a deal with the much more successful (and better if you ask me) X-Men franchise, FF has no reason to be held out the Marvel Cinematic Universe either.
Basically, a lot of this is speculation and based off of rumours and whatnot. I admit this, but when you look around at all of this stuff and the fact these "rumors" have been reported by multiple unconnected sources, and seem to be happening around similar times, it only adds to the credibility of it.
But none the less, take it with a grain of salt as well. Good day to you :D