Speaking to IGN.com about the movie rights for Namor the Sub-Mariner, one of Marvel’s oldest superheroes created by writer/artist Bill Everett in Marvel Comics #1 (April 1939), Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confessed that it’s a messy.
Asked if a possible Namor movie could be made by Marvel Studios, Feige replied, “Yes, but it’s slightly more complicated than that.
“Let’s put it this way – there are entanglements that make it less easy,” he continued. “There are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it. As opposed to an Iron Man or any of the Avengers or any of the other Marvel characters where we could just put them in.”
So what’s the deal with the Namor rights? Well, originally that was one of the rights that Universal hoovered up sometime before 2006, along with The Incredible Hulk, but while the latter have fully reverted to Marvel Studios, there’s some issue lingering.
One theory is that Universal retain the distribution rights to a Namor movie, much as Paramount did for the Marvel Studios films up to Avengers Assemble.
Disney spent $115 million buying Paramount out of their rights to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and co, and given the studio has moved toward taking full control of its properties, it seems unlikely they’d be prepared to make a Namor film and have to make some sort of concession to another studio.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is due in cinemas 31 July 2014. To read our behind the scenes feature, pick up the new SciFiNow, and to find out more about the comics that inspired the film with new digital magazine Uncanny Comics.