Ever since Marvel Studios successfully brought everyone's favorite neighborhood Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, loyal Marvel readers hoped to see the rest of Marvel's heroes join the ever-growing MCU. If Marvel legend (and cameo enthusiast) Stan Lee is to be believed, these hopes are far from unfounded, because he claims that Marvel Studios is currently hard at work in trying to regain the rights to two popular Marvel superhero teams: the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
Gotta Catch Em All: Marvel Is Intent On Completing Its Superhero Line-Up
During his guest appearance at Wizard World Nashville, #StanLee revealed to an eager crowd that #Marvel Studios has not given up on retaining the film rights to the X-Men and their first family. Though Lee is not involved in the hands-on process of the rights battles that the studios are currently locked in, he believes Marvel is working on getting these characters back.
"Sooner or later, they’re going to get the rights back to all our characters. They’re working on it, and they’re still making X-Men movies and stuff. Don’t worry about it. You’ll get more Marvel superheroes than you’ll have time to look at in the next few years."
Before the #MCU became what it is today, Marvel Comics sold the rights to some of its more famous character to various studious, such as 20th Century Fox (Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men), Columbia Pictures (Ghost Rider, Spider-Man), and New Line Cinema (Blade) to escape bankruptcy. But by 2008, Marvel has recovered and decided to unite all of its characters under the MCU - kickstarting their cinematic universe with the hugely successful Iron Man.
Marvel have successfully seen the return of Blade, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and The Punisher, all of whom have had appearances on various Marvel TV shows and animations. Last year, Marvel also struck a deal with Fox to use the characters Ego the Living Planet (played by Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2) and the Skrulls, who will be the antagonists of Captain Marvel. Fox, in turn, introduced Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool and it even featured a Helicarrier in the film's final moments.
However, the biggest development to date was Marvel and Sony Pictures' compromise regarding #SpiderMan. While Marvel made the newest Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, as a part of its greater cinematic universe, Sony distributed and released the feature. Though Marvel will be able to make more Spider-Man movies with Sony, the latter still holds the rights to a good number of Spider-Man's related characters.
Right now, the separation of certain titles from the Marvel brand was met with varying degrees of success. Fox have successfully maintained the X-Men franchise and released the genre-defying blockbusters Deadpool and Logan. Conversely, Marvel movies that aren't connected to the MCU such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Fant4stic did poorly in both critical reception and box office returns.
Whether or not Marvel can retain all the rights to their characters has yet to be seen, but the prospect of seeing the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and many more fight alongside the MCU's heroes and villains is an enticing thought – but for now, until we hear otherwise, fans will have to stick to the comics to experience Marvel crossovers.
Do you want Marvel to regain the rights to the X-Men and other superhero teams? Share your thoughts in the comments below.