The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the middle of a massive expansion. After Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the MCU now has access to beloved characters like the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool.
At the time of writing, none of these characters have turned up in the MCU. However, concept art taken from Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings shows that we could've seen the Fox integration as early as last year.
Deadpool cut from Shang-Chi
Posted on Twitter by Geek Zone, concept art for Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings shows a cameo of a familiar face. Fighting alongside Proxima Midnight in Xu Xialing's Golden Daggers Club, the concept art shows an appearance by Deadpool.
The beloved Merc with a Mouth is shown battling The Black Order assassin in the octagon. As expected, the character leaps through the air brandishing his twin katanas. Opposite, a comic accurate Proxima Midnight armed with her electrified weapon.
Obviously, in the final film, this fight was changed to a different match up: Abomination vs Wong. This fight was likely the final match up due to Marvel's huge plans for the two characters.
Drawn by Andrew Kim, this art shows a far different version of the Golden Daggers Club. While the released version is a grungy, realistic fight club, the concept art shows a more high-tech alternative. Instead of real-life fighters, it would appear viewers were betting on digital representations of fighters.
This is shown in another piece of art where Corvus Glaive is fighting a Stark Tech infinity gauntlet. In the image, onlookers are wearing VR headsets to watch an impossible fight. This would also explain why the Deadpool fight features a canonically dead character in the MCU.
When will the Fox characters enter the MCU?
After the Fox acquisition, many have been wondering just when company's characters will enter the MCU. While Marvel hasn't confirmed when certain characters will appear in canon MCU content, there is evidence it'll happen soon.
For example, leaked pre-vis screens for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have shown Wanda Maximoff fighting Professor Xavier. This has seemingly been confirmed as Patrick Stewart’s Professor X has been teased in the latest trailer for the film.
Additionally, Marvel is working on a brand-new Fantastic Four filmed directed by Spider-Man’s Jon Watts. While fans have clamoured for The Office’s John Krasinski to play the role of Mr Fantastic, Marvel is reportedly eying up Always Sunny’s Glen Howerton for the role. (However, we think it should be Brandon Routh.)
It’s still going to be a while until the entire Fox library is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and more, the new characters give Marvel a lot of room to play with their superhero universe.