With the slew of successful superhero movies these days, movie studios are scrambling for whatever comic book character they can turn into a movie. So what’s there to do with The Man Without Fear? It depends on the ongoing licensing negotiations between Fox and Marvel.
The movie adaptation business is a complicated affair, especially when it comes to comic book characters. For companies like DC it’s an easy process, Tim Warner owns both the comic universe and a movie studio to render their properties in. For Marvel, it’s been considerably less simple. Until the merger with Disney, Marvel didn’t have a proper film studio to call its own. Now it has Marvel Studios, and can make whatever movies it wants to a point. But up until then, Marvel had to rent out the film rights to other studios, and in fact sold many characters to many different entities.
Naturally, this wasn’t so much a big deal when Marvel didn’t have to worry about a unified film universe, but now they’ve made the Avengers and all the related films that tie together. Except a lot of characters still fall under the control of other companies, at least so far as film rights are concerned. This incidentally explains why we’ll never have an Avengers sequel with Spiderman or Wolverine, despite both and more being members in the comics.
But movie rights are a fickle thing, and one constant in the industry is that if a studio fails to make a movie every so often using the rights acquired, they lose those rights and they revert back to the parent company. Such is the fate possibly to fall on Fox when it comes to Daredevil’s movie rights. The first Daredevil film came out it 2003, and the tie-in movie Elektra came out two years later. I’m not entirely familiar with the length of time a company can sit on the rights, but evidently Fox’s time is up come October.
Apparently this was not a grievous oversight on Fox’s part, but rather that the guy they hired to direct the planned next film ditched the production before filming even began. Unless Fox starts filming in two months, they’ll lose the license. Not wanting such a thing to happen, Fox beseeched Disney/Marvel for more time while they get their crap together. And according to some comic news sites, Disney/Marvel is considering it, so long as they get something in return.
What might that be? Nothing is concrete, but there has been talks that Marvel wants the rights to the Fantastic Four back. Not all of it, just mainly Silver Surfer and Galactus, as well as some other space-related characters associated with the team.
Naturally, all of this is up in the air, and we’ll have to wait for negotiations to continue in the coming days.