I know as much about comic books as most media-minded people these days, but it has still always perplexed me the way that the franchise rights to Marvel comics have fallen out. Although the great bulk of characters and franchise rights are owned by Marvel Studios, there is a small but important percentage owned by other studios. Sony has their hands on the Spider-Man franchise, while Fox clings to X-Men and The Fantastic Four. This has provoked a wee bit of in-fighting, as one might expect, especially as Fox and Sony continue to roll out films within their limited franchises. As far as I’m aware, however, this is the first time that Marvel Comics might be actively campaigning against a film series made by another studio.
Bleeding Cool (via First Showing) has it that Marvel Comics intends to put their Fantastic Four comic books on hold in advance of The Fantastic Four reboot currently being put into action at Fox. This is borne out by the recent release of Marvel’s 75th Anniversary cover, which features all the major Marvel characters (including Spider-Man), but not X-Men or Fantastic Four. The reasoning behind this and the rumored hiatus of Fantastic Four comics is that Marvel has no wish to promote characters that are about to be featured in a film by a rival studio.
If these rumors are true, then why Fantastic Four rather than X-Men or Spider-Man, both of which have appeared in recent releases from Fox and Sony? The answer seems to lie with Marvel Comics CEO Isaac Perlmutter, the man reportedly behind this decision. The report goes that Perlmutter is angry that Fantastic Four is being promoted, and wants no free publicity for Fox of any kind. Plus, not releasing Fantastic Four comics will be less of a blow to Marvel Comics than not releasing the more popular X-Men series.
We should reiterate that this is a rumor right now, and could just be a few people in the know spinning yarns. But if true, it seems like a kind of petty way of hurting a rival studio. In fact, Fantastic Four comics could even receive a boost from the publicity garnered from the reboot. In any case, we’ll have to see how this little tiff pans out.
The Fantastic Four is scheduled for release in June 2015.
Source: Bleeding Cool