Roger Wardell. A mysterious pseudonym for somebody with some serious connections at Marvel Studios who has been making some big claims on Twitter about the Marvel Cinematic Universe… only for most of them to actually turn out true. Wardell has been operating intermittently over the years since at least 2012, and after their scoops on Avengers: Endgame also proved to be shockingly accurate, Wardell made some claims about the upcoming Phase 4 of the MCU… and then deactivated their account.
Just who this scooper is, we still don’t know. What we do know is that a few months back, that account silently reactivated, but with all its tweet history deleted. However, it picked up right where it left off and started dropping scoops again about Marvel boss Kevin Feige and co are cooking up for the future of the MCU. And with Wardell’s success rate thus far, when they post a rumour, we take notes! So that’s what we’re doing today.
We’ve already covered Wardell’s claim that Ryan Reynolds pitched a Deadpool vs Fox’s Marvel Universe title to Marvel owners Disney two weeks ago, so we’re looking at everything else that Wardell has tweeted since their return in March. It’s a fair bit to get through, so I’m breaking it all up over the next few days, but let’s kick things off with the two big ones: Fantastic Four and X-Men!
Everybody has been chomping at the bit to learn what Marvel has planned for their First Family and their super-powered mutants now that Disney has regained the rights from Fox. Based on what Feige has previously said, the two major comic book properties are not part of Marvel’s imminent five-year plan, so things are still very early in development, but here’s what Wardell has heard so far.
Firstly, Giancarlo Esposito as Prof. Charles Xavier could be inspired casting. He’s an incredible actor that will definitely have the gravitas required (and, it has to be mentioned, will definitely help with Marvel’s diversity problem). Also, fans have been casting John Krasinski as Reed Richards (with real-life wife Emily Blunt as Sue Storm) for ages, with the actor publicly saying he would be up for the role, so this would be perfect.
Secondly, Earth-1610 is the Marvel Ultimate alternate universe imprint. Ultimatum was a huge crossover event in the Ultimate Universe that was really badly received, so avoiding it is best. Using the rest makes a lot of sense though as a large part of the current MCU’s look was already taken from the same version of the comics (the Ultimate version of Nick Fury was modelled directly on Samuel L. Jackson, hence his casting). While the Ultimate versions of the Fantastic Four are similar to their classic counterparts, it goes for a lot more heavy sci-fi vibe, which would work well in the MCU. What is strange though, is that one aspect that marked the Ultimate Fantastic Four was how young they were. They were basically all in their early twenties, whereas Krasinski is now 40, which aligns more with the traditional version of the character.
The Ultimate versions of the X-Men are very different to their classic counterparts though in that mutants were not a natural evolution of humanity. In the Ultimate Origins miniseries, it’s revealed that as part of an experiment to recreate the super-soldier serum that gave the world Captain America, scientists accidentally discover a genome that they can activate in certain people to give them special abilities. This is activation is done secretly across the world in a misguided attempt to save humanity from a future threat. The original test subject for this experiment and who then became the world’s first mutant: James Howlett aka Logan aka Wolverine. Speaking of whom…
Just what could be so dangerous to this version of Wolverine that he would need a “combat nanosuit” though, I can’t tell you. What I can explain is that “Antarctic Vibranium” is actually an even rarer strain of the metal so prevalent in Black Panther’s Wakanda. According to the comics, Antarctic Vibranium aka Vibranium B is only found in the Savage Land – Marvel’s dino-infested land that time forgot – and is the opposite of traditional Wakandan Vibranium. Instead of being able to absorb vibrations and energy, it emanates vibrations that break down and liquefy metals. How that could factor into Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton is anybody’s guess. As long as that costume is blue and yellow though, I’ll be happy!
If you didn’t figure it out, TFatWS is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the upcoming Disney+ event-series that follows the titular two characters in the wake of Captain America’s “death” in Avengers: Endgame, during which he handed over his shield and title to Falcon. While Weapon X is the government program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton in the traditional Marvel Comics. In the Ultimate Universe though, Weapon X was the aforementioned super-soldier experiment that resulted in the birth of mutants. And seeing as how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier deals with Captain America’s legacy, having a Weapon X series act as a prequel – while also doing the groundwork for X-Men – fits in perfectly with the MCU’s strategy up until now of smooshing together aspects of their various comic book lines for the movies.
Of course, as mentioned up top, it’s going to be quite a while before Marvel officially unveils their plans for these acquired properties. So even as accurate as Wardell has been in the past, these theoretical plans could change. In the coming few days though, we’ll tackle some more imminent scoops that will take things cosmic with Captain Marvel, find out how Marvel and Sony are handling Spider-Man’s future (including those spinoff characters), check who Shang-Chi will be kung-fu fighting, get nightmarish with Ghost Rider, and bring a double portion of thunder with Thor and Thunderbolts!
Last Updated: July 6, 2020