Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo appeared on the Playback podcast to discuss their future as superhero filmmakers. But rather than focusing on Avengers 4, they looked even farther ahead to what may come after that - and it seems the key may be in the Walt Disney Company's deal to buy 21st Century Fox bringing the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to Marvel Studios.
"We’ve had the best experience of our careers with Marvel," said Joe Russo. "We have a great working relationship with them and we love telling these stories. It’d really be a function of, what is the story, if we do stick around. Certainly it’s enticing when you have all these Fox characters about to show up. It’s an incredibly complex universe to keep building out."
Anthony Russo was quick to add a caveat, however, making it clear that the two haven't been given a greenlight to officially begin working with those characters yet.
"I think…where that specific deal is at right now, it’s not at the point where we can start working with those characters on a creative level yet," Anthony explained. "We’d love to, and hopefully it’ll all work out someday, but not in the timeframe of these movies that we’re making right now."
Once the time comes, however, the Russos may already have a roadmap for how to incorporate characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Universe. That clue may lie with the idea of the reality spanning 1984 Marvel crossover Secret Wars - a story the Russos have named before as a film adaptation that would be possible with the hypothetical inclusion of the X-Men and Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"That was a big comic for me as a kid," said Joe Russo when asked about Secret Wars, explaining he even collected the simultaneous action figure line loosely based on the story. "I had all of it. I think that was probably the most important book to me."
Playback host Kris Tapley then added his own idea to the question of the X-Men and Fantastic Four in the Marvel Universe, presenting the idea of introducing those properties first in a crossover story before spinning them off into their own franchises.
"That's right," laughed Joe Russo. "I like the way you think."