Screenwriting

Night of the Naked Dead!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Who owns the movie rights to Marvel characters?

We recently stumbled upon a cool visual aid that shows who owns the movie rights to Marvel characters. Marvel is extremely profitable; these movie rights are worth billions, depending on the popularity of characters and their comic book.

It is interesting to view this guide because we can assess which villains and/or super heroes may be absent in upcoming comic book movies. If movie rights are owned by another movie studio, then there could be negotiation issues where specific characters are off-limits and/or the cost is way too expensive to consider.

According to this Marvel guide, the movie rights of Spiderman are owned by Sony Entertainment. If anything regarding Spiderman is developed, Sony Entertainment will have total control of the web slinger's franchise. Marvel Studios, working under the Walt Disney Company, has reacquired many character rights since selling quite a few off to movie studios in the 90's (The Geek Twins, 2014).

No screenwriter has permission to write about Marvel characters as protagonists and/or villains in these scripts unless they are connected to this movie production. In my opinion, screenwriters may be able to mention a poster or sell these type of comic books in a scene within a script.

A rule of thumb is to request information on what can be conflicting in scripts.

The Big Bang Theory show mentions many comic book characters in their dialogue and through visual shots. Either this Tv production has a right to do so, or these movie rights only apply to making movies on the characters. In TBBT, the central themes are that these genius nerds like comic books, video games, and are high intellectuals.

The Marvel movie rights visual aid is extremely cool. This explains a lot about why certain studios can only make movies on specific comic book characters.


Image credit: The Geek Twins

Source: TheGeekTwins.com


Disclaimer: This Marvel movie right visual guide was created by The Geek Twins. We are basing our analysis on this visual guide and can't determine if the information is 100 percent accurate. If you want to know who owns the right to what Marvel characters, please search for official information on the movie studios websites. Whereas The  Geek Twins did a great job putting together this guide, there is a chance that movie characters have switched hands, or were reacquired again by Marvel. This article shares how writing-in Marvel characters in screenplays may impose legal risks. View this visual guide at your own risk. 

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