The big obstacle to a “shared universe” Marvel movie continuum is that so many different studios own the rights to their characters. Out of curiosity, does Warner Bros. own the movie rights to any Marvel characters? It’d be weird if, say, Luke Cage couldn’t appear in an Avengers movie but would be hunky dory in a Batman movie.
Batman is DC, not Marvel.
That was his point - DC is owned by Warner Brothers. Which, of course, does the DC movies and TV series, now. Thus, theoretically, if Warner had the rights to Cage, they could put him in a Batman movie (not that Warner would do that, or Marvel would stand for it).
Anyway, no, Warner doesn’t currently have any Marvel licences that I can find - New Line (Blade), Columbia (Spider-Man, Ghost Rider), Fox (X-Men, Fantastic Four), and Loin’s Gate (Punisher, Man-Thing) are the outside companies that hold rights - the other franchises are held exclusively by Marvel Studios, who are also involved with the outside studios’ licenced series.
I suspect as licences come up for renewal, Disney/Marvel Studios will decline to renew and do future movies themselves. (The Hulk rights have already reverted.)
Not that that will necessarily result in them combining them into a shared universe - Warner hasn’t done any such thing with their movies, or even the non-DCAU tv series, for instance.
Consider the audience reaction, too. Luke Cage in a Batman movie? Pendantic comic nerds like me would never stand for it and, thus, the suits wouldn’t try to pull it off unless it was the two companies working together to create a cross-universe film (which might be interesting).
Fox owns the old Batman TV show, so maybe Adam West could turn up in an FF movie!
This is one of the reasons an Avengers movie is happening. Once Marvel got wise that comic book movies were big, they started to have their own studio, so now Iron Man and Hulk (which they bought back the rights to?) and the upcoming Captain America and Thor movies are all owned by Marvel Studios, so they can very easily do the Avengers movie due in 2012, I think…maybe 2011? But they have also been working with the existing studios to try and get the rights to use existing characters in future Marvel Studios movies.
And I have to ask…did Marvel go with Fox for the X-Men movies because they did the early 90’s animated X-Men TV series and therefore already had some sort of rights to the property?
No. TV and film rights are generally unconnected, and Fox happened to acquire both.
Stan Lee spent much of the 80s and 90s begging studios to take the movie rights for next to nothing, hoping a successful movie would give the print comics a much-needed shot in the arm. There were a lot of problems with this plan–even the most successful Superman and Batman movies never impacted my likelihood to buy a comic featuring those two–but that was Marvel’s business model in the 90s. Marvel was briefly owned by New World Pictures, and back then, even they didn’t want to make a movie featuring any of those characters.
Anyway, Marvel’s fire sale of their film rights resulted in character rights getting tied up, but no actual movies got made. Then some really bad movies (FF, Captain America, Punisher) got made, reinforcing the notion that Marvel characters were essentially unfilmable.
Finally, Blade, X-Men and other successes hit the screens.
Funniest typo ever.
Giant size, too. :smack:
Pertaining to this, the rumor mill years ago was that the producers behind Smallville were trying to get WB to give them the rights to use a young Bruce Wayne in the show, but were denied because they felt the appearance would undermine a rebooted Batman movie franchise that was being worked on at the time. (Which resulted of course in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so I’m not exactly complaining.)
One of these days Warner is going to realize how much money a World’s Finest movie, followed up with the Justice League, could bring in. In fact, when the Avengers movie sees the light of day I’d bet it would be a lock.
IIRC, New Line is a subsidiary of Warner Bros.