Now that the films of 20th Century Fox fall under The Walt Disney Company banner, Marvel movies from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises have been making their way towards Disney+. Longtime fans of the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know that those movies have nothing to do with the likes of The Avengers and all the individual franchises that make up the superhero team. But for the uninitiated, Disney+ has made it easier to differentiate between the different Marvel movies.
In the Disney+ app, if you navigate to the page with all of the various Marvel Comics-based titles, there’s now a category called “Marvel Legacy,” which features all the Marvel movies on Disney+ that don’t take place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This feels similar to the way Disney started to differentiate between the new era of canonical Star Wars adventures and all those that came before by classifying the old books, comics, and more as non-canon Star Wars Legends. But thankfully, this rebranding isn’t quite so drastic.
As of now, the “Marvel Legacy” category only includes X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and both the Fantastic Four from 2005 and the reboot of Fantastic Four from 2015. Presumably the rest of the X-Men movies will arrive at some point, likely after whatever previously existing deals for streaming, cable or broadcast rights have expired. Though one has to wonder if Disney will ever want to bring total duds like Daredevil and Elektra to the streaming service.
The Marvel Legacy branding (brought to our attention by ScreenRant) is likely for those who are totally clueless about whether every single Marvel movie is connected to the others. But then again, unless they have the category explained to them like this, how will they know? Perhaps you’ll just have to be the good friend who explains to them how this all works. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who have no knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Superheroes may be everywhere, but they’re not for everyone. But one day, a friend might get curious, and that’s your time to shine.
Since Disney is now in possession of the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, the Marvel Legacy name will be helpful for when there are even more versions of the characters we’ve already seen on the big screen. The original X-Men and Fantastic Four movies from 20th Century Fox won’t be part of the MCU, but at some point, there will be new versions of those characters who do exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so a line must be drawn between them.
Thankfully, the Marvel Legacy rebranding doesn’t have nearly as much heavy-lifting to do. Unlike the Star Wars Legends rebranding, the Marvel Legacy name doesn’t have to undo decades of storytelling in multiple mediums. It just designates that certain Marvel movies don’t matter in the overall continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, that could end up getting infinitely more confusing now that Spider-Man 3 is on the verge of bringing outside Marvel movie franchises into the MCU.
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