A long time ago, when Marvel was struggling to survive, let along make superhero movies, they sold the rights to numerous characters to various studios looking to cash in. Jump forward a decade or so and suddenly Marvel Studios is making some pretty successful movies, but those heroes rights that had been sold, remained out of reach, even for a cameo.
Studios often cranked out movies just to retain the rights, just look at Sony and the recent Amazing Spider-man reboot. You know that Marvel would have loved to put a Spider-Man cameo in the Avengers, fans would have loved it too.
Recently, many of the rights for those Marvel heroes have lapsed and returned to Marvel Studios, like the Punisher and Daredevil. Now, according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, two more names can now be added to the list of returned rights.
Ghost Rider & Blade
Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Feige, Here’s what he had to say about the returning hero rights:
Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well-received.
Although Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance grossed $132 million, it was panned by many fans and reviewers and wasn’t a strong return on the film’s investment. Don’t get excited about the rights return yet though, just because these character rights are back, Disney’s not just gonna crank out new movies.
They all have potential, but we’re not going to say ‘We got it back – make it.’
Who knows though, maybe we could see some Midnight Sons on the big screen. The return also opens the door for cameos. No one is sure what Disney will do with the more adult, violent characters like Ghost Rider, the Punisher, or Blade. Many are betting that Disney won’t make movies with “R” ratings.
There’s a market for these films though, and Disney won’t let valuable properties lay around gathering dust and doing nothing. Sooner or later those characters will be used, even if it’s just to resell the rights to another studio willing to make movies with those characters.