Fox, Disney, and Sony all own the movie rights to certain Marvel properties. Disney, who bought Marvel Entertainment back in 2009, controlled the majority of Marvel characters, but desperately wanted to acquire X-Men and Fantastic Four.
Relations between Disney and Fox had been sour for some time up until recently when Disney made a deal to get one of Marvel’s most famous characters, Spider-man. We’ll see him first in the upcoming 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.
In recent years Marvel Studios has been quietly moving to reacquire all its proprietary superhero characters such as Namor, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch that it had sold off in order to avoid bankruptcy.
Sources say it appears they’ve finally acquired the rights to the properties that had escaped their grasp.
ScreenSlush reportedly sat down with Kevin Feige to talk about whether Marvel and Disney were now free to make an X-Men or Fantastic Four movie, and his answer was a resounding yes. Albeit with a caveat.
It’s slightly more complicated than that. Let’s put it this way –we’ve removed some of the previous entanglements but there are still some hurdles to jump through. There are contracts that involve other parties. We now about the means to move forward with X-Men but there will still be dealings with Fox. As opposed to an Iron Man or Thor, where we can just throw them in, this is a little bit more complicated.
Movie rights for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and related properties have become quite complex. No single studio owns the rights to all the Marvel characters. In this case it looks like 20th Century Fox has not given up rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, but we could likely see crossovers in film similar to what we’re seeing with Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie starring Tom Holland as Spider-man.
We will have to wait and see how Kevin Feige and the management at Marvel Studios choose to integrate their newly acquired characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.