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The Surprising Connection Between Spider-Man: No Way Home And X-Men

After the release of "Avengers: Endgame" in 2019, many MCU fans were unsure where the franchise would be heading next. What could possibly compare to the Infinity Saga? As it turns out, the creative team at Marvel had a lot of surprises up their sleeves, and have wasted no time introducing the world to the next great comic book adventure. Nearly every new Marvel project in the past two years has been laying the groundwork for an ever-expanding multiverse, a storytelling conceit that makes the sci-fi time travel contrivance of "Endgame" look like child's play.

"Spider-Man: No Way Home," perhaps the most hotly anticipated new MCU project, will be exploring the multiverse in a way we haven't seen before. With villains first introduced in former non-MCU Spider-Man franchises confirmed — and the inclusion of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire rumored — "No Way Home" will be expanding the franchise's canon both backward and forward in time, drawing in elements established before Marvel Studios was even a thing. 

However, the movie connects to even more than just the previous Spider-Man universes — it includes a connection with the original "X-Men" film, as well.

No Way Home and X-Men share an iconic location

It's hard to imagine now, but when "X-Men" hit theaters in 2000, superhero films were not the mammoth presence in Hollywood that they are now, and "X-Men" can be credited with helping launch the genre as we know it today. Professor X and his mutant students have seen multiple big-screen adaptations in the two decades following the original film, though the Fox-owned characters never made their way into the MCU (unless you count that Evan Peters appearance on "WandaVision"). However, with Disney's 2019 multi-billion dollar acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the mutants can now find a home among the rest of the Avengers.

As we see in the "No Way Home" trailer, Peter Parker's big battle against the villains will be taking place at New York's famous Statue of Liberty, which we see an image of here holding Captain America's shield. Comic book fans have been quick to point out that the final battle in "X-Men" also takes place at the historic landmark, where Magneto hides a machine with the ability to mutate world leaders gathered at nearby Ellis Island.

Is this shared location a coincidence, or the first sign of X-Men-to-come in the MCU?

When will the X-Men be joining the MCU?

It seems unlikely that the X-Men will be introduced in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," given the jam-packed cast already confirmed for the spider-three-quel. However, we wouldn't be surprised if the location turns out to be an Easter egg suggesting that the X-Men will appear in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," a film deeply connected to "No Way Home." We know that Scarlet Witch will be playing a big role in the second Doctor Strange film, and in the comics-canon she's a proper mutant — X gene and all. (Her origins were changed in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" as Disney did not have ownership of the mutants at that time.) 

Marvel executives and screenwriters are always focused on the long-term story. While no new X-Men films have been announced by Marvel yet, we're sure there is plenty of behind-the-scenes scheming going on to prepare for their debut. With "No Way Home" being such a major release for the studio, we wouldn't be surprised if it ties into the mutants eventually joining the MCU. Until then, we'll just be over here, patiently awaiting their arrival.