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Marvel Studios Can Make a Daredevil Movie Now – But Not an Elektra One?

Excelsior!

One of the biggest questions about the continued future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (currently populated by the members of the Avengers and a tiny smattering of superheroic characters that make up their supporting casts) is when properties that were licensed out exclusively to other movie studios will be returning to Marvel ownership, or indeed, if they will be returning at all. I’ll leave the discussion of the details of these licensing agreements to below the cut, for those who aren’t familiar, but here’s the main surprise of the day:

Fox Studios has decided not to rush a Daredevil movie into production between now and October 10th, and instead are allowing the movie rights to the Man Without Fear to revert to Marvel Studios.

If you’ve been wondering why we seem to be getting so many hastily produced superhero movies and reboots that come very close on the heels of successful franchises and don’t necessarily change all that much these days: it’s all about licensing rights. Spider-Man, the X-Men, and all characters associated with them (like all of Spider-Man’s villains and every Marvel mutant) are licensed to Sony and 20th Century Fox, respectively, on contracts that state their claim to the characters will expire if they cannot prove to a court that they have a movie featuring that character in some stage of production within a given time frame. Basically, if they don’t keep making Spider-Man and X-Men movies, the rights revert to Marvel. DC Comics are in a bit of the same spot with Superman, right now possibly being one of their last chances to make a Superman movie without asking the families of his creators for permission, a decades old court ruling  that the company is still fighting tooth and nail.

So far, the only character a studio has given up on as a moneymaker is the Punisher, who Lionsgate allowed to go fallow. Daredevil’s return to the Marvel fold comes somewhat unexpectedly, as the studio was just in talks with would-be-director Joe Carnahan. In response, or simply as an attempt to get some closure, or perhaps even a bid to make his case to Marvel now that he could do a Daredevil movie up right, Carnahan has released his “sizzle reel” online. Here’s his mood piece for a gritty, violent, flick that puts Daredevil exactly where he belongs: up an alley in New York in the seventies:

According to Variety, the other Marvel characters who are still unavailable to the company for movies Venom, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, Deadpool… and Elektra, Daredevil’s off-again-on-again romance and a badass Greek ninja assassin (it was the ’80s, and it was comics, and it was Frank Miller) in her own right. It’s a little surprising that Fox wouldn’t voluntarily package Elektra with Daredevil when handing the character off, especially since their attempt at making a good Elektra film failed miserably. If Variety is right, I suppose that Elektra will still be sitting at the Fox lunch table for a couple years, as her movie happened a couple years after Daredevil. Technically, Daredevil’s last film appearance was in a scene in Elektra, but I’m guessing deleted scenes don’t count in this case.

It’s annoying, since if the studio has given up on Daredevil, they’ve probably given up on Elektra, and keeping her for another two years just leaves another potential female character for a Marvel movie in legal limbo for little apparent reason.

(via MTV Splash Page.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.