First lets take look at why it’s a good thing the two franchises aren’t with Marvel. Avengers probably wouldn’t have happened, at least not yet…Remember, before Marvel created it’s own film studio to develop movies “in-house”, Marvel sold off rights to their franchises. The only two major ones purchased were X-Men and Spider-Man (and Fantastic Four), for a very simple reason: they’re Marvel’s two biggest franchises. Instead of Fox and Sony making the two leading icons, we would have had Marvel doing it. Which means in every single budget plan, Spider-Man and X-Men (probably Wolverine himself too) would have a nice permanent spot.
If Marvel had kept those rights and made their own X-Men and Spider-Man films, those films (and any spin-offs they’d create) would be taking up the bulk of their production slate and budget. That means you need to cut Thor, Hulk, or some other hero to make room for them. Heck franchises like Guardians of the Galaxy probably wouldn’t be on the list at all. By removing the two larger properties from the roster and Marvel had to fill the gap with other superheroes. Thus we got Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man films. We get smaller lesser known guys and gals and a massive budget to make movies like Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy.
You could see these other heroes as being big brand today, but before Avengers (and their individual films) hit theaters they were big risks and hadn’t been received well in the past. If they had been bigger brands other studios would have bought them up before Marvel created their own film studio.
That’s the business explanation, now let’s look at it from a fan perspective. I have a monthly subscription to Wolverine and Spider-Man. I pick up other titles occasionally, but these two characters I get, for sure, each and every month. If the rest of the Marvel universe vanished I wouldn’t but upset, as long as I still had these comics to read.
So what is the big deal? Sony announced they are creating a massive universe that is completely centered around Spider-Man. What could possibly be cooler than that for a Spider-Man fan? Nothing. I’ve talked with fellow Spider-Man fans and even they get excited about it. As a Spider-Man fan it’s an awesome opportunity to see more characters on the big screen, that likely wouldn’t make it in any of the main Spidey films. I find that it is casual comic fans that mostly cry about it because all they want is Spider-Man in Avengers.
Not to mention that there are franchises Marvel sold off that they got rights back to. Recently, Marvel got rights back to Blade, Ghost Rider, and even an iconic Punisher. Yet to this day, they’ve made it clear there’s no public plans for any of these characters. Why? Because they “already have too much on their plate.” Marvel has a plan for their current lineup for the next decade or so, and reacquiring rights to X-Men or Spider-Man could see the same fate, or worse, destroy the plans all together.
So instead of crying for Sony to give rights back, why not cry to Sony AND Marvel to work out a deal to let him intertwine in the universe instead? That way we still get the Spider-Man universe, and casual fans get him in Avengers. Both sides remain happy. The same goes for X-Men. The majority of fans are not crying for X-Men, they are crying for Wolverine. Fox could easily work out a similar deal.
Then there is the hypocritical element of the chants. Every single time Sony announces a new Spider-Man, chants automatically go to “it sucks, give Marvel rights back.” I saw these comments weeks before the first Spider-Man reboot, how do you know when it isn’t even released? With ASM2 we still see it on a constant basis. Everything not made by Marvel seems to suck and it seems to be the studios fault, right?
Wrong. We saw negative comments for the first Captain America, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Thor, and some inconsistency between them all. Yet Marvel made these films, so why are fans not crying about that? Simply put …. Avengers. If any one of those films fell under another studios name, guess what would happen? “Give Marvel rights back already!” Yet fans cry about almost every single movie out there, so Marvel not having rights has absolutely nothing to do with it….AT ALL.
Fans are going to cry and moan about every little detail in every comic book movie. The fact is, stop crying about Marvel not having rights. It’s annoying. True fans of the series are more than likely benefiting off them not being with Marvel anyways…. instead ask for a partnership. And above all else, stop being extra harsh on films simply not under Marvels belt.
You would have to be curious about WB/DC Comics doing the same thing. If WB didn’t have a huge umbrella on their characters, would we see some of their characters hit it big? Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, etc…. Instead WB constantly sticks to Batman and Superman, and struggles to get outside of that. Take those two, throw them under two seperate studios, does that force WB to start backing Green Lantern better? Do they create a Justice League universe around smaller characters? It’s an interesting concept, one that seems to have made Marvel better.