EDITORIAL: The Idea Situation For Marvel Film Rights

It goes without saying that this is an opinion piece and should be treated as such. With that out of the way, let's have some fun! Click on for my views on where we currently stand of the Marvel movie rights.

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By Darman456 - 3/22/2014

Marvel’s heroes are divided. And while this may sound like the AWESOME kick-off to the next comic book storyline or movie, it is a simple, sad truth that us comic book fans have to deal with with the movies. They are divided across multiple studios. And there is nothing we can do about it. It really isn’t Sony’s fault or Fox’s fault or even Marvel’s fault. Marvel was in financial trouble and auctioned off properties to other studios to produce films where they’d get a portion of the profits (albeit it a small amount). Marvel can’t be blamed for not having the foresight that they’d be able to make their own studio, nor would they have been able to without auctioning these properties off. And Sony and Fox simply snatched up the hot properties like any company would, fair and square.
 
But it’s still sad that we will never see these characters interact on the big screen. And a lot of people say that DC has the advantage for this reason: Marvel’s most popular character is locked up at another studio whereas Batman is right at home. The problem DC is having is getting up off the floor. However, why does the fact Marvel has multiple characters auctioned off HAVE to be a bad thing? Why can’t they use this to their advantage?
 
Marvel acquired the rights for Daredevil and other street level characters just a bit ago. And they’re putting them in cool, 13-episode miniseries. Which means we get more of the characters than we otherwise would. But, I can’t help but feel, as Peggy Carter said, “You were meant for something bigger than this.” These characters don’t, in my opinion, belong on TV screens but that is where they must go because Marvel doesn’t have the time nor money to develop them for the big screen. But, another studio does and would love to have them: Sony.

Sony never had the opportunity to work with Daredevil. They never attempted a Luke Cage movie or an Iron Fist film. And I’d love to get a few shots at developing characters that are easier and closer to the mainstream than Ghost Rider. But the main reason I want these characters at Sony is because of their relationship to Spider-Man. They all are smaller characters, at a city-level scale that belong in the same place fighting crime together. Sony could utilize them in ways that Marvel never could and bring out a fully operational universe.
 
Heck, why even stop there? Sure, it is legally impossible to get these characters to share the screen together while they are at separate studios. However, we all heard about how the OsCorp Tower was supposed to appear in The Avengers. And while people like to say Easter Eggs mean nothing, I would say they absolutely do. By having OsCorp Tower there, not only implies it exists, but outright says this company exists. It also says it is legitimate. It isn’t a worthless Easter Egg like R2-D2 in Star Trek but it shows that OsCorp is a huge corporation that truly is legitimate because they have A BUILDING. What does this mean? I think it means that we could have off-hand, interconnected references to the other movies.
 
Which means to me, from now on, make contracts so that they are able to reference events but are not able to use footage from nor are they able to use the characters. While this might still tick some people off, I think that is enough for fans eager to see that they all belong in the same universe. So, this would mean that Sony, with the vigilantes, would be mining out their own sect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
 
For Fox, I believe they have way more issues than Sony. Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, as of right now, is small and isolated, easy to bring into the Marvel Cinematic Universe without much huss or fuss. Fox’s X-Men, though, have done an incredible amount and the continuity is a huge mess. It says a lot about how good a job Marvel Studios has done when their biggest continuity error is the last shot of the Incredible Hulk implying something that was retconned. I’m thinking it might be time for Fox’s X-Men reboot (one that we might getting through X-Men: Days of Future Past, much in the same vein as Star Trek (2009)). As for what Fox should do, I’d say stick with the X-Men. Do what Marvel did with the Avengers. These characters are so rich that you could do an X-Men: First Class film, a Wolverine film and a Jean Grey film all building to the first X-Men movie at the end of each phase.
 
In fact, the phase idea has worked so well, I’d argue that everyone should adopt it. And have all these phases run against each other to build up to a respective team-up movie so there is a team-up movie for each studio every three years (or a Marvel Team-Up movie every year).
 
As for the Fantastic Four, I think their creative opportunities aren’t being realized at Fox. I don’t hate Fox nor is it about my dislike for the original Fantastic Four movies. I have faith in the reboot but I don’t think the Fantastic Four were ever intended to be in a universe or crossover with the largely isolated X-Men. The Fantastic Four belong with the larger-than-life part of the universe that Marvel Studios has been so great at building.
 
I think every studio should have a mission: Marvel Studios to craft the big, world-changing, larger-than-life films; Sony to bring the gritty, crime-ridden New York City streets alive with vigilantes; Fox to secure a part of the universe where mutants are hated and tormented. With the references, it will allow Marvel (which by itself can only produce two movies a year) into a monster franchise that can build in five or six movies a year in the same universe. This would really beat DC into a place they couldn’t hope to recover from.
 
So, what do you guys think of my idea? Would you like to see this as well? Or are you a Marvel purist that wants everything produced in-house? Comment below and let me know!

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Darman456 - 3/22/2014, 9:58 PM
Ah man! It double-posted! I didn't mean for this to happen. Sorry!
GizmoEl - 3/22/2014, 10:05 PM
It's actually a really great idea. One thing I'm wondering is this. When Disney bought back the merchandizing rights to Spider-Man, didn't they purchase Television rights? It's possible to make Spider-Man and his villains appear on the small screen (Netflix), as long as they don't show up on the big screen.

In fact, doesn't Marvel own television rights for ALL their characters? I know it applies to cartoons etc, but I wonder if live-action television is allowed as well.
Darman456 - 3/22/2014, 10:11 PM
@GizmoEl Marvel owns the television rights for Spider-Man. But I'm not sure if they own the live-action rights because I think Marvel is allowed to make feature length Spider-Man animated films but not live action. So I think it might only be animation as I think it might be written in the contract so Marvel couldn't overstep Sony is some way. But that is a good question, I just don't know the answer to that. The only issue other than that I could imagine is they wouldn't be able to reference Spider-Man outside of the television world...
MightyZeus - 3/23/2014, 12:48 AM
You have some interesting ideas. I would not mind seeing some of those ideas work.
Ace101 - 3/23/2014, 2:03 AM
i agree 100% with that paragraph about the fantastic four. As much as i dont like the previous 2 movies and dislike what i am hearing with the new reboot, its the fact that would be best utilized in the FOX universe that has me wanting them to revert back to marvel studios where they will be creatively utilized in the MCU.
CherryBomb - 3/23/2014, 6:26 AM
I think the reason they've chose the Netflix series heroes like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones etc... Is because their characters rely on a much darker, even R rated telling of the tale that isn't as widely universal to younger ages.

People don't realise that Marvel/Disney relies a lot on toy sales when a film is released. If a film sells a lot of toys, then you have a big winner. But toys for a grittier series like daredevil aren't really going to work. So I think having Daredevil and the other characters on TV is a great way to expand the universe for lesser known properties and fully explore them in a way that's safe for Marvel. Who knows, if they're big hits we could see a feature film.

Also about having references in other movies, yeah having establishing shots that vaguely show Oscorp is great. But as soon as you open up larger references that fully and obviously establish the properties in the same universe you have problems of "spiderman is fighting electro and why aren't SHIELD doing anything got any other hero?"

I don't think mutants and Avengers should exist in the same universe, I like them separated, X Men, even though these people have powers, they feel a lot more grounded and realistic and you feel for their struggle more. Also, I don't think Marvel/Disney would ever give us a violent or gritty Wolverine that exists in the same universe as Iron Man.
the1egend1ives - 3/23/2014, 7:00 AM
I have a feeling Marvel is going to pursue the Mutants and X-Men regardless of who has the rights. If Marvel was able to sneak Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into AoU because of their Avengers ties, then they should be able to do the same with the entire X-Men. After-all, the X-Men ARE in part the Avengers in the comics now.

@CherryBomb

It's not like Fox has given us a violent or gritty Wolverine either.
PAF - 3/23/2014, 7:16 AM
@CherryBomb

Disney/Marvel don't rely on toy sales. That's WB.
pepe - 3/23/2014, 8:37 AM
Fox, give back the rights to Marvel.... And everybody is happy.
Marvel, or should I say Disney should use their army of lawyers to get X-men and FF back. They should try harder... Get mideaval on dat a*s....
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 8:51 AM
@cherry I agree with most of what you said but mutants can exist in the same world as avengers. Marvel are talking about including inhumans who are genetically engineered mutants. Plus the avengers universe includes aliens, super soldiers, magic, extremis and so on, so to say the mcu is grounded is a mistake. I say individual adventures can be grounded but the universe isn't.
CherryBomb - 3/23/2014, 8:54 AM
@the1egens1ives

Fox's Wolverine is pretty violent and aggressive, a fraction of Logan in the comics but still, do you think Disney/Marvel will make a more violent, closer representative of Wolverine, seriously?
Super12 - 3/23/2014, 8:54 AM
Idea: a thought or conception

Ideal: optimal

You might wanna check your title and make some edits.
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 8:55 AM
@Darman I have no problem with Sony as I love what they are doing and your correct that spidey can easily fit the mcu. I wouldn't mind if Sony and marvel traded off characters or had permission to use characters certain characters in each others universe. Fox I don't trust with anything marvel.
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 8:57 AM
@cherry

Nope!!!
CherryBomb - 3/23/2014, 9:00 AM
@TheRealRemy

I didn't say the MCU was grounded, I just meant the FoX-Men universe feels more grounded. It's just my personal opinion, with the Inhumans, the majority live in isolation in their own society unlike X Men who are more known, so integrating them into The Disney/Marvel cinematic universe will be tricky unless the MCU is entirely rebooted which could probably happen at some point.

@PAF

Disney are the master of toys, maybe rely was a bad word, but their toy sales do make an impact, as does with some WB properties.
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:01 AM
@cherry the mcu is arguably more violent than the fox movies. Wolverine was neutered by fox. It's a fable that disney won't allow characters to be super violent. Marvel Studios is a subsidiary of disney just like Disney's other studios that have produced R rated films. also you said it yourself that disney are allowing the netflix show get more grittier.
JackSass - 3/23/2014, 9:02 AM
Yeah the word you were looking for was "ideal"

I hate Fox CBMs. Marvel films are struggling with quality issues right now, and the last thing they need is do muddle things even more.

NOW I do totally like this idea about sharing properties. Fux has a Scarlet Witch and Qucksilver and Marvel has a Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

If they could just develop that precedent even further, and work their way up to something a bit more weighty perhaps... such as a Marvel version of Wolverine or Beast..
I could get behind that. I think that that is probably being talked about. If they can do THIS, well then maybe they can do THAT..
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:07 AM
@remy

Your pretty wrong on the marvel studio is more violent then fox studios...... Smh

C'mon buddy
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:07 AM
@cherry the known inhumans are isolated but inhumans have existed amongst the population at large but were left dormant until the terrigen mist awakens them if I'm not mistaken. Plus we Damn near had a mutant in scorch on Agents of Shield. Also Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are arriving as Feige himself said that they won't be calling the twins anything that they are not.
TheERN - 3/23/2014, 9:10 AM
I like the idea of hitting the X-Men reset button. After the upcoming X-Men Apocalypse, just do a massive reset. change actors story and yet (in the star trek fashion) change the future story lines but at the same time realize (through professor x) the other future also happened.
H3LLBLAZER - 3/23/2014, 9:11 AM
If Marvel doesn't get the rights back to all of their characters, then we will never see proper and faithful adaptions of stories like Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet. You know, big crossover events that require the whole MCU and their villains like Doctor Doom, Galactus and Apocalypse.
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:11 AM
Name a more violent scene to me @jojo in fox men that was like Thor having his hand chopped off (illusion I know) or like iron man blowing a whole in killians right hand man (forgot his name) or like a hydra soldier being chewed up by red skulls bomber planes smh.
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:14 AM
It's a fable when folks say the mcu isn't violent. Don't let the disney being marvels owner cloud judgement here.
UltimateHunt - 3/23/2014, 9:14 AM
By 2021 went CBM"s are death or went people are tired of them and wont see them no more. Then we will see a cross over, money is the main. Shit if CBM's goes down down then we might even see a marvel vs dc cross over. Think about it, we might get 3 films every year from marvel and one by dc and one sony, one fox, thatz alot and GREAT. But thru time eventually CBM will ran off like everything (remember the action 80's)
Great article
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:15 AM
@remy

Bulleyes putting a pencil thru kingpin's guard neck and stabbing frank miller in the head
A ninja turning into nothing but blood and guts TWICE in the wolverine unrated version just pretty much take cake
Ryguy88 - 3/23/2014, 9:17 AM
Cool write up, but a few things:

I really don't think Marvel's goal is to beat DC into a place they can't recover from. They can both co-exist and the success of one can likely benefit the other.

The Fantastic Four are, as we all know, going through a reboot and the likely outcome of which is to capitalize on all of the missed opportunities by the first run of films. It could be very well be that larger than life situation you're looking for.

And lastly, who the hell wants to see a Jean Grey movie???
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:18 AM
Heck wolverine slicing off that crappy Deadpool's head in origins

JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:20 AM
I mean 2 movies had unrated version already just so they can get away with blood and cussing in it
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:20 AM
Forgot another violent scene that had to be edited for other countries in avengers when coulson is murdered by loki. There are more like tony stark gunning down people in Miami. Also I'm hearing winter soldier is no joke.
revloveR - 3/23/2014, 9:21 AM
you're problem is you want too much too fast. why is it bad that those characters are going to netflix? and who's to say that they won't end up in future films? the marvelverse is all inclusive. they more than likely will. but tv/netflix will be a good source of revenue. they'll make money off of those characters without over saturating the the movie market which some people still fear ( i don't really by that, a good movie is a good movie)

i do wonder though that, disney had the money to buy star wars, they must have had the money to buy spidey/ff4.
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:21 AM
Dr doom blow a hole into a guy's chest in that bad FF movie
Ryguy88 - 3/23/2014, 9:22 AM
Remy, those were all pretty cartoony scenes save for maybe Thor's hand being chopped off (via hologram btw) but I'd say Wolverine being impaled by a katana or Magneto forcing a coin through Shaw's head was more violent.

But I think the main difference is the tone. The X-men films go for a more mature atmosphere where Marvel is more concerned with keeping things light via comedy and by not focusing on loss or tragedy. Not saying its bad, just a different angle.
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:24 AM
Winter soldier movie probably ain't no joke

But I still think Fox studio at least takes the lead as fas as being more violent approach then marvel studios

Marvel studios would never try and do a Deadpool movie, while Fox is trying
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:24 AM
@jojo you had to result to unrated versions lol and a daredevil movie lol. I said fox men.

Come on now jojo don't let things cloud your judgement. ;)
GiantNerd0720 - 3/23/2014, 9:26 AM
Is it supposed to be "The Ideal Situation"?

The title is driving me nuts. I think I have OCD now.
Dunejedi - 3/23/2014, 9:26 AM
IDEALLY, the FF would go back home because that's where they belong. Spidey can stay at Sony as long as they GET HIM RIGHT. There's no good reason why Sony and Marvel can't play nice and swap some characters and story elements.

And the X-Men? *sigh* Sadly, I have given up any hope that I will ever see them on film. The characters appearing in Fox's films are X-Men IN NAME ONLY. I no longer call them Fox-Men, I now dub them: Farce-Men. Fukc you, Singer. And double-fukc you, Fox.
Ryguy88 - 3/23/2014, 9:29 AM
JoJo, didn't you know, Marvel Studios are better at everything! They make movies that are both more violent and more family friendly! ;)
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:30 AM
@remy

Well remy u know it's true, cause MCU hasn't done a unrated version of any movies, cause they like to keep their violence at a certain level


C'mon buddy they even announce like what 6 or 5 yrs ago that they would never do a r rated movie or even attempt on doing it
JoJo1982 - 3/23/2014, 9:31 AM
@ryguy

Lmao
TheRealRemyLebeau - 3/23/2014, 9:32 AM
B.S. that if Marvel had deadpool they wouldn't make him deadpool. Fox couldn't make deadpool into deadpool. When disney is making these gritty netflix shows and feige stating they have a script for blade already you going to sit here and tell me they created a watered down blade??


@ryu88 or whatever cartoony you say. To who. That's your subjective opinion. What is fact is The Avengers was Rated R in other countries due to the original loki murdering coulson scene. Stop it.
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