It's been since August 2013 since there's been any real update on the movie rights to Namor the Sub-Mariner. Last year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said the movie rights were still with Universal Studios.
Recently, a rumor was briefly online claiming Universal Studios and Legendary Pictures were actively moving forward to develop a Namor movie themselves. That rumor disappeared quickly and didn't seem to have much backing by media outlets.
We have another official update on the Namor rights! Feige spoke with IGN.com about it and here's a snippet from the interview:
IGN: Finally, there were rumors circulating awhile back that Universal and Legendary Pictures were developing a Sub-Mariner movie, but there was also some confusion about who holds the rights to the character. So could Legendary make that movie at this point?
IGN: So if a film were to happen it would be you guys making it?
Feige: Yes, but it’s slightly more complicated than that. Let’s put it this way – there are entanglements that make it less easy. There are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it. As opposed to an Iron Man or any of the Avengers or any of the other Marvel characters where we could just put them in.
Sounds like Universal Studios has equal share of the movie rights with Marvel Studios. Interesting, for sure, but still a bit confusing. Especially since Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox share the movie rights to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver but Marvel can't stop Fox from using those two characters. If they could, then Quicksilver wouldn't have been seen in this summer's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Obviously, there's more to Namor's movie rights than what's been said and it's probably filled with a tremendous amount of legalese jargon which is best left unexplained. For now, fans just need to settle for not having a Namor movie until these two studios can either work together or Disney buys 100-percent of the rights back for Marvel Studios
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