Stan Lee wants the Fantastic Four and X-Men film rights to be back at Marvel
You tell 'em, Stan!
Decades ago, Marvel sold the film rights for a number of characters to a number of film studios. Marvel themselves had no interest in making superhero movies at the time so they let other studios like Sony and Fox handle that for them.Some of the characters sold off are the life and blood of Marvel, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Universal and Marvel have a bit of a confusing deal for The Hulk (he's allowed to be used in ensemble films, but not solo movies, hence why he's being used to team up with Thor in Thor: Ragnarok as a loophole).
Marvel and Sony made a deal to share the film rights for Spider-Man in 2015 which lead to him appearing in Captain America: Civil War last year and an upcoming solo movie in July of this year. The character will appear in a couple more Avengers movies and a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming later down the road.
Marvel and Fox, however, have never been able to land a deal for X-Men or the Fantastic Four meaning a large number of major characters are completely unusable. Fox also owns the rights to Sliver Surfer and Galactus. Marvel has expressed interest in gaining the characters back but they've been unable to strike a deal.
Fans have understandably been annoyed by this and so has one other person of interest, Stan Lee, the creator of almost all of those characters.
Yesterday, I got to sit in on a Q&A with Stan Lee in Des Moines, Iowa and a fan asked him why Fox and Marvel can't come to an agreement. He wasn't specifically aware of all of the particular conditions of the deal or if they'll be able to make it right but he wants them in the movies too.
"We should have all of our characters under Marvel," Lee stated. "Remind me on my way home to do something about that. We'll do our best." He said smiling as the crowd applauded.
Obviously, he was probably half-joking as it would require a lot of convincing and money to make it happen but he genuinely appeared to want the characters under Marvel's control again.
It was also hinted at that a major new character will appear in Avengers: Infinity War. When asked if he could give us any details, his assistant whispered in his ear and told him he can't discuss it in-depth. He said that a new character (maybe even multiple) would appear and it would please the fans.
Avengers: Infinity War will hit theaters next May with the untitled sequel releasing in May of 2019.