My life’s been better since I learned to stop worrying and accept the Marvel films rights status quo. If all of the heroes were under the Disney/Marvel roof it’d be unlikely we’d see as many Marvel heroes on the big screen in a single year as we do now. Theoretically, if Disney/Marvel had X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man they’d be less likely to start gambling on films like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel Studios is currently averaging two films a year and Kevin Fiege has said it’s unlikely the studio will up that number. There’s no reason to think that would be different in a Marvel Cinematic Universe that includes Wolverine and Spider-Man as potential Avengers members. Instead, thanks to the rights debacle, 2014 will see the release of films featuring Captain America, Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
What we’re now hearing is the rights holders of these various properties want to dig deeper and do more with what they own. I believe this actually happening is contingent on two things happening for the House of Mouse/Ideas: Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man need to be successful.
Guardians of the Galaxy being successful opens numerous pathways for Fox when it comes to playing with the Marvel Cosmic. Ant-Man being successful could act as encouragement for Sony to follow through with spinning off the Spideyverse. What could that mean for the expansion of Universes?
I’m going to do some speculation, but before I do it should be made clear that I have no clue where the rights of these characters fall. For example, Cloak and Dagger is a bit of a muddle. They made their debut in Spider-Man and were typically associated with his titles. They were classified as mutants, so they could fall under the X-Cinematic Universe. However, they have carried their own titles on occasion, so it could be argued they’re part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They could fall into the Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch zone where it basically comes down to whoever gets to them first and even then multiple Universes can use them as long as they respect certain noun and adjective usage.
Today I’ll toss out two possibilities regarding Fox and Marvel Cosmic. The Spideyverse requires a bit more fleshing out, so I’ll touch on that tomorrow.
Silver Surfer was arguably the single best part of the previous Fantastic Four movies. Silver Surfer could (and likely will) be introduced in a sequel to the Fantastic Four reboot. That reintroduction should be followed by a Silver Surfer solo origin film that also acts as a prequel by ending with Silver Surfer leading Galactus to Earth.
Disney/Marvel might have the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Fox has the Starjammers. In the comic the leader of the Starjammers, Corsair, is the father of Cyclops and Havok. I need to rewatch X-Men: First Class, because I don’t recall how deep that film went with Havok’s origin story (I’m not even sure Havok and Cyclops were brothers in that film). It isn’t necessarily relevant as the X-Cinematic Universe origin is nothing like the X-Men Comic Universe origin, so there’s a limitless number of ways to introduce the space faring team. The Starjammers would also bring the Shi’ar into the XCU fold. The Shi’ar, unlike the Skrull and Kree who are important to Fantastic Four and the Avengers, have almost exclusively been featured in X-Men and Fantastic Four titles.
Tomorrow I’ll take a look at the endless opportunities for Spideyverse.