Trying to make sense of the licensing and distribution rights surrounding Marvel Comics’ stable of characters can quickly become confusing. This is because – prior to the establishment of Marvel Studios – the publisher sold off the film rights to its most popular characters.
Once Marvel was in a position to produce and release movies on its own, reacquiring these rights became a problem – with rights-holders unwilling to relinquish what were now highly lucrative properties.
Fortunately for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, many of these character rights have since reverted to the studio, allowing for additional heroes and villains to be integrated into its ever-expanding franchise.
Even icons like Spider-Man and the X-Men are now back in the fold, thanks to a licensing deal between Marvel and Sony, and Disney’s upcoming acquisition of Fox, respectively.
Nevertheless, Marvel stilldoesn’t have exclusive rights to feature all the characters it publishes in the MCU. Looking wider afield, there are also other comic book properties it does or did publish that it doesn’t have permission to adapt for the big screen – foregoing millions at the box office as a result!
For clarity’s sake, here are 15 Superheroes And Villains Marvel Still Can’t Use In The MCU.
Given the seemingly endless stream of comic book movies released in recent years, it’s hard to imagine that any film projects like these ever get canceled. Yet plenty are, with spinoffs the most commonly scrapped.
There are several reasons why these cinematic offshoots wind up on the chopping block so often. The most common motivation for a studio axing a spin-off is that the film which spawned it has underperformed financially.
Then there is the disappointing scenario where a character who was expected to be a break-out hit with audiences fails to impress, with their ability to carry their own solo outing appearing a lot less feasible.
And finally, there are those instances where the overall plans for a superhero film franchise change. Suddenly, a spinoff that once made perfect sense fails to align with the broader slate of scheduled films, and is either re-worked into another movie, or dropped entirely.
Whatever the reason, this means that we sometimes miss out on some potentially amazing superhero side projects – even as we dodge a few that look pretty awful! With this in mind, here are 8 Canceled Comic Book Spinoffs That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great).
The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.