Saturday, November 23, 2013

Marvel's Licensed Rights Editorial: Studio President Now Says a Handful of Characters are 'Shared' Between Studios


Before Marvel Studios became its own movie production company, Marvel Entertainment licensed out the live action rights to some of their heroes. Currently, all-things related to Spider-Man are with Sony, all-things related to the X-Men and X-franchises—along with the use of the word mutant—are with 20th Century Fox and all-things related to the Fantastic Four are also with Fox. Recently, it was also revealed that the live action rights to Namor is still with Universal Studios. Yet, there are some grey areas for certain characters according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

“There are only a handful of characters that occupy that middle ground,” Feige said to the NY Daily News (via ComicBook.com and CBM). “Iron Man is not going to show up over there and Magneto is not going to show up over here. But there are a few gray points even after many years of negotiations… and that only happens with a character like Quicksilver, who has been a part of the X-Men, the son of Magneto in those comics, but also a primary Avenger. The characters are going to be very different. Other than their powers, general audiences might not even know ... that the two are related.”

One of the most notable grey area characters will be hitting the big screen in 2014 and 2015, via Fox and Marvel Studios respectively. This character is Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), who will appear in Fox's X-Men Days of Future Past next May and then in Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron the following May.

The most important thing to take away from Feige's comment is the fact there are "a handful of characters that occupy that middle ground." But before you jump to thinking this is conclusive evidence that Spider-Man or Wolverine will be showing up in a future Avengers film, you need to understand one things first. Wolverine and Spider-Man are Fox and Sony's flagship characters for their franchises and fans will not be seen crossing over... at least not seeing one anytime soon and in the next decade. The rights to those main characters are presumably exclusive to Fox and Sony—at least according to an Intellectual Property lawyer who was contacted for this post and said, "No way Sony and Fox would let Marvel Studios share those main characters."

There are other characters too. One being Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) who will also be in Avengers: Age of Ultron in May 2015 and you'd have to think the Skrulls could make their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as being in Fox's Fantastic Four universe too. Having the potential ability to use Skrulls in a future Avengers film—which is pure speculation by The Daily SuperHero and not a known fact—opens up the possibility of a future Kree-Skrull war adapted story line which is a highly popular story arc in the comic book universe.

Unfortunately Feige didn't give any characters names, who reside in this grey area of live action rights ownership and licensing, so until more info on this matter is made available we can only make guesses. Skrulls would be one of the biggest, for sure.

Unless Marvel Studios can find a way to also use the villain who is one of the Avengers' greatest villain... Dr. Doom. But that's just wishful thinking, plain and simple.




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