(L-R) Marvel President Kevin Feige, "Captain Marvel" star Brie Larson: Marvel – 2017(LOS ANGELES) — In an interview with Variety’s Playback Podcast, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige made news sure to excite hardcore Marvel stans. The much talked about integration of Fox-owned Marvel properties into Marvel Studios cinematic universe (MCU) — most notably the X-Men, Deadpool and The Fantastic Four — could begin in early 2019.

“We’ve been told it’s looking very, very good and could happen in the first six months of next year,” Feige tells Variety.

Disney's massive acquisition of Fox has not been finalized, but is expected to close near the end of January. The media merger would allow popular Marvel characters like Wolverine to appear in future MCU-related movies and TV shows.

“The notion of the characters coming back is great. It’s nice when a company that created all these characters can have access to all those characters,” says Feige.

It being award season, Feige also heaped praise on a formidable existing MCU franchise, namely Black Panther.

“For them to have stepped up and knocked it out of the park the way they did is incredible,” says Feige about Panther director Ryan Coogler, his cast and crew. Adding that the film’s global appeal “comes down to a filmmaker who has such a deft hand at being able to balance something that is going to have entertainment value with being true to his soul and being true to the questions he had growing up.”

Back on the Fox merger, Feige cautioned that, while he expects to begin developing the Fox characters soon, “in terms of actually thinking about it and actually planning things, we haven’t started that yet.”

So don’t expect Storm or the Silver Surfer to save the day in Avengers: Endgame.

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