Terminology and Jargon pt. 2 : Who's Who in the Comic Book Movie World.
Recently a war has started (sort of ) between Fox and Marvel Studio when Bryan Singer; the director of X-Men: Days of Future Past , casted an actor as Quicksilver just after a few weeks Joss Whedon; the director of the upcoming The Avengers 2 announced that the character will make an appearance in the anticipated sequel. Dubbed as "The Quicksilver War", the two company is yet to resolved this issue and Marvel Studio is expecting as usual not to back off from this war. The question is what cause this problem to start at the first place ?
This problem started due to the right holds by the company. Shockingly, both Fox and Marvel Studio holds the right of Quicksilver with certain conditions. Marvel Studio can used the character as long as his mutant origin is not addressed while Fox can used the character as long as his Avengers involvement is not addressed. Complicated isn't it ? Don't worry, lets start from the beginning.
Before Marvel is able to produce their own movie, the right to make a live action movie of their characters is sold to other company for under a time-based period contract, for example Spiderman's movie right contract stated that there must be at least one movie in then years period for the rights to stay at Sony Pictures. Along side the characters, the movie company also get the right to used other sides, villains, or any characters that usually decided on what is the first title they ever appeared or the background of the character itself. As long as this right is hold by the company, no other company is allowed to used or address any connection that can be related to their characters right. To revert the right, Marvel is either has to buy back or the company willingly revert their right back to Marvel ( this is the case for Ghost Rider, The Punisher, and Blade), or the term of the contract ended (this is the case of Daredevil).
This different company holding rights is proved to be problematic in making a movie especially for Marvel which sometimes tuned down the quality or changed the origin of the characters completely. For example, in Daredevil , Matt Murdock world connection with Spiderman is totally erased despite both of the character is actually best friend in the comic. In Wolverine, his connection with Captain America and SHIELD is removed as both of the characters' right belong to Marvel Studio. The reason why Chitauri was chosen as the alien in The Avengers rather the more popular Skrull and Kree is because the right for the aliens is included with Fantastic Four owned by 20th Century Fox.
Currently there are four company who are actively hold the rights of superhero movies; Warner Bros, Marvel Studio, 20th Century Fox, and Sony Pictures.
Warner Bros hold a special case in the industry as they are the only movie company who hold the right to the DC Comics characters hence making them easier to use any characters in any movie, in any way. Despite their advantages, the only comic book movie characters that now actively developed by them are the bat-family ( Batman, Robin, Bat-Girl etc), the super-family (Superman, Supergirl etc.) an Green Lantern. However, they are actively utilizing the characters in their animated features or small screen.
Accept it, they are the big guns of the Comic Book Movie right now. They hold the rights of Marvel's characters that are not owned by any other company and sometimes hold semi-right to certain characters like Quicksilver.They are the pioneer of the cinematic shared universe and seems continue to do so in the next few years.
20TH CENTURY FOX
Fox was among the first to produce Comic Book Adaptation movies. Fox owns the whole mutant universe and semi-own some characters like Quicksilver. Other than that, they also own all characters of Fantastic Four and all the characters that make their first appearance in the their comic ( this include Kree and Skrull ). They once owned Daredevil universe characters but was reverted to Marvel last October. Fox also has announced that they are planning their own shared universe with the characters they owned with Mark Millar as their supervisor.
Sony Pictures currently only owned the right to Spiderman universe and seems to be case in the future. There is rumor that there have been discussion for Spiderman to appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe as a collaboration project. They almost manage to that by putting the Oscorp Building from The Amazing Spiderman as a cameo (?) in last year Marvel's The Avengers. However, there is yet unknown whether they will continue with this plan.
So there you go, yeah there is not a lot to cover on which company holds the movie rights to which character but there sure a lot to say about the process itself. Hopefully today Term and Jarg has answered some of the question playing inside your mind. What do you think ? Will we see Wolverine fight side by side with Cap. America or this Comic Book movies are just getting complicated day by day ? Sound of your thought in the comment section below. Stay tuned with us for more news and info and don't forget to become a fan of Comikrew Studio !!