The X-MEN May Be Coming Home But These Fan-Favourite Characters Still Elude Marvel Studios' Grasp

The signs may be pointing to the Fantastic Four and X-Men finally coming home to Marvel Studios but there are some characters who will remain out of Kevin Feige's grasp. Here, you'll find a look at those!

With Disney closing in on 21st Century Fox's assets, it appears as if the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters will finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That's incredibly exciting and makes Marvel Studios' shared world even bigger than we could have ever possibly imagined. The likes of Deadpool and The Thing being in the MCU is something none of us ever dreamed would become a reality!

It's happening, though, and as exciting as that is, there are some heroes and villains who remain out of Marvel's grasp and, sadly, they will more than likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Those are the characters 
we're taking a look at here as we delve into the movie rights which remain out of Kevin Feige hands, whether that could change, and what the future holds in store for them. We also recap who has returned to Marvel in recent years under the radar and whether or not we'll see them again. So, to check out the entire list, all you have to do is click on the "View List" button.

Namor The Sub-Mariner



As great as it would have been to see Namor bring the full might of the Atlantean army to Wakanda to counter Thanos' invasion (and as much as Kevin Feige would have no doubt liked to have visited that underwater city before the DCEU got chance), the character is tied up in a complicated rights situation. 

That's because the rights are owned by Universal who optioned the hero back in 2001. According to Feige, "there are entanglements that make it less easy" to include the character in a Marvel Studios movie and even though Namor could be used the same way as The Hulk in the respect that he could show up in anything other than a solo outing, "there are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it." Doesn't sound good, right?

In other words, we're going to be waiting a very, very long time to see the hero on the big screen and now that Aquaman is happening, Namor is probably no longer a big priority for Marvel Studios!

 

Men In Black



Did you know that Marvel Entertainment owns the Men In Black? Now, while you may be thinking that it was Kevin Feige's idea to reteam Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson for the upcoming reboot, it's not quite as simple as that. While the company acquired the property in 1994 when it purchased Malibu Comics, the film rights were retained by the publisher's co-founder.

That means the chances of the Men in Black film rights reverting to Marvel Studios are somewhere between slim and none, especially as Amblin Entertainment is heavily involved in them. Honestly, there's not really a whole lot this property would bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe regardless.
 

Venom (And The Spider-Verse)



Sony Pictures may have decided to allow Marvel Studios to take creative control of Spider-Man but the film rights to the character remain with them as do the wall-crawler's supporting cast. That's why the studio is forging ahead with spinoffs for everyone from Venom to Silver & Black, and Morbius the Living Vampire, none of which are actually affiliated with Kevin Feige's team in any way, shape, or form. 

So, while Marvel Studios can essentially ask Sony to use villains like The Vulture or Mysterio, if they have any other plans for them, that's simply not going to happen. It's a pretty bizarre situation and seeing as we have no idea how much longer the studio will continue working with Feige, we should probably enjoy seeing Spider-Man in the MCU while we can as it's sadly not going to last forever.

 

The Hulk



While The Hulk can appear in any Marvel Studios movie Disney chooses (Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, for example), the Jade Giant can't star in his own solo outing because of complicated rights issues with Universal Pictures. Because they have the distribution rights to Hulk movies, Marvel can't even put someone like She-Hulk in her own solo outing without jumping through hoops.

There may even be restrictions on how Disney can use them and while we don't know any specifics, Mark Ruffalo has previously said: "I wanna make just one thing perfectly clear today, a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. For some reason [Universal doesn't] know how to play well with Marvel... because they don't want to make money." It's a bizarre situation but with neither party
seemingly willing to play ball, the Green Goliath remains off limits to Marvel for the time being.
 

Ultraverse



You may not have heard about the Ultraverse but Marvel acquired it back when they purchased Malibu Comics. Unfortunately, it's since laid dormant because of some complicated rights and legal issues.

"There are
rumors out there that it has to do with a certain percentage of sales that has to be doled out to the creative teams," Joe Quesada said in 2005. "While this is a logistical nightmare...it's not the reason why we have chosen not to go near these characters, there is a bigger one, but I really don't feel like it’s my place to make that dirty laundry public." The movie rights are probably equally as confusing so seeing these characters enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now highly unlikely.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Ultraverse, it focused on a variety of characters - known within the comics as, well, "Ultras" - who acquired super-human abilities. But, yeah, don't hold your breath...

The Characters Who Have Come Home



As you'll no doubt realise, a number of characters have already returned home to Marvel Studios, including Ghost Rider, Daredevil, The Punisher, and Elektra. All of them have so far been utilised on the small screen rather than the big one but there are a few other cases where rights have quietly reverted for characters we've yet to see Disney make use of in any format. Here are some of the main ones: 
 

Blade



While Wesley Snipes continues campaigning to return to the role, you have to believe that Marvel would probably prefer to start from scratch with the character regardless of whether that's on the big or small screen. Kevin Feige has teased the possibility of exploring the horror genre in Phase 4 but the character honestly seems better suited to television as more could be done with him there.
 

Man-Thing



Marvel quietly regained the rights to Man-Thing from Lionsgate some time ago but seeing as the character bears such a striking resemblance to Swamp-Thing, Marvel probably isn't desperate to bring the character to the big screen quite yet. He'll no doubt pop up somewhere, someday but probably as a supporting player or even a villain rather than the lead because he's really not that exciting.
 

The Skrulls



This one is very complicated and it could be that Marvel made some sort of deal with Fox to make it happen. After all, they allowed them to change Negasonic Teenage Warhead's powers in exchange for Ego the Living Planet so the same probably happened with the Skrulls because Marvel is allowed to use the alien race but not the Super-Skrulls. Regardless, we'll see them in Captain Marvel next year!
 

What Comes Next For The MCU?



Well, that's the question we'd all like an answer to! The X-Men and Fantastic Four are almost certainly going to arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point in the next few years and that means new villains, new characters, and a lot of new movies. The Deadpool franchise will no doubt live on in some form and it's hard to believe Kevin Feige won't give Wolverine his own solo movie series. 

This is bound to have a huge impact on The Avengers and it probably won't take that many years before we see an adaptation of Avengers Vs. X-Men.
Any one of the characters listed above would no doubt also make a massive difference but at this point, Marvel can probably live without them. What do you guys think? As always, let us know your thoughts on that in the comments section below.

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