Is X-Men ‘97 Canon to the MCU? Kevin Feige Considered It

Did the nineties really happen?


Marvel has used Disney+ to rapidly expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe through live-action television, but animation has been a different story altogether. The first animated Marvel series on Disney+ was technically canon to the MCU, but its multiversal hijinks didn’t affect the main storyline.

X-Men ’97 appeared equally ambiguous. While former showrunner Beau DeMayo stated unequivocally that the series exists as its own entity, the situation was a little more complicated. Emi Yonemura, who directed Episodes 3 and 5, tells Inverse that Marvel seriously considered making the series canon.

“That has always been something we know was on Kevin Feige’s mind, do we make this part of the MCU? Do we not make this part of the MCU?” she said. “It’s actually gone back and forth quite a few times, and I think we did land in a smart place because [X-Men: The Animated Series] was its own thing, and I think that to continue it we needed to be our own thing.”

X-Men ‘97 expands the X-Men universe, but is separate from the MCU.


X-Men ’97 comes at a pivotal point in MCU history. The X-Men, long considered separate from the MCU, have started to sneak in through movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and The Marvels. For X-Men ’97 head director Jake Castorena, that only makes X-Men’s separation from canon more exciting.

“We’re getting the X-Men in this format and we’re doing it justice not just by ourselves, but also other fans as well, and we’re starting to get a resurgence of the X-Men in film again,” he tells Inverse. “I love that. And I think it’s great that we can have different things, let them be different.”

The worlds may be separate, but some crossover is still possible.


So while Captain America’s shield may show up in a trailer, the two worlds are still very separate. “If you try to connect things like that, it may or may not, I dare not say hinder storytelling, but let them do their stories,” Castorena says. “Let us do our stories and let the rest of the world eat it up, man.”

X-Men ’97 is streaming on Disney+.

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