Following today's shocking news that Disney has purchased most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, we here in the entertainment media know that you are hungry for clickbait content about the deal. We understand. It's how we process news in the digital age. One of the most important questions about the acquisition, if we leave aside its foreboding implications for both the diversity of future movie offerings and the future of the public domain, is how soon can we get characters like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Avengers: Infinity War has already filmed, and it's almost certainly too late to make changes to feature new characters before that movie's May 2018 release. Because of that, most people are looking toward Avengers 4 for the first appearance of the long-missing Marvel mainstays. But personally, we find it impossible to believe that Avengers: Infinity War won't at the very least allude to the existence of mutants, the Fantastic Four, or both in a post-credits scene at the end of the movie.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was kickstarted with a post-credits scene at the end of Iron Man, when Tony Stark finds Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., waiting for him in his apartment.
"You think you're the only superhero in the world?," Fury tells Stark before introducing himself and namedropping the Avengers Initiative. "Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet."
That 26-second scene introduced moviegoers to the interconnected superhero universe that comic book readers have been familiar with for decades, instantly creating excitement for the possibilities of seeing something like that realized on the big screen. Nearly 10 years later, Marvel has set the standard for a shared cinematic universe that other studios are constantly trying to copy, including rival Warner Bros. with its DCEU and Fox with the X-Men franchise.
Now that Disney is buying Fox's assets, and has expressed plans to"reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love," they would be crazy not to capitalize on that excitement as soon as possible by adding a post-credits scene teasing the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four at the end of what will be the culmination of the ongoing saga that was first seeded back in 2008. Filming a short scene to run post-credits wouldn't be difficult to do, and it could potentially even be done in secret. The only major obstacle will be the potential that the government doesn't approve the deal, but that wouldn't necessarily prevent a tease or Easter egg of some sort.
We'll find out when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4th, 2018.