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In the recently published MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios book by Joanna Robinson, Gavin Edwards, and Dave Gonzales — via The Direct — Feige commented on how he and producer Avi Avad both tried to influence the productions of movies based on Marvel characters prior to 2008’s Iron Man. “We suggested but they didn’t listen,” Feige said. “We didn’t have the control. I hated that.”
Prior to the start of the MCU, Marvel’s characters were divided among a number of different studios. 20th Century Fox, for example, owned the rights to X-Men and the Fantastic Four, while New Regency had the rights to Daredevil, New Line Cinema was handling the Blade franchise, etc.
Kevin Feige’s mission to get the rights to Marvel’s characers back
“From the moment I touched down in Marvel, Kevin had been telling Avi [Arad] we have to get the rights back,” Kyle said. “Avi was in a situation where he represented all of Marvel. He was the face of Marvel Studios. Kevin was in there to make great movies. That could never be a guarantee until we could actually control the process.”
While Sony Pictures still owns the rights to Spider-Man and Universal Pictures owns the distribution rights to the Hulk (meaning Marvel can put the Jade Giant in other projects but can’t give Bruce Banner a solo film without Universal’s blessing), Marvel Studios was bought out by Walt Disney Studios in 2015 and, since then, acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. Various X-Men characters are now gradually being introduced into the MCU, while a Fantastic Four movie directed by Matt Shakman is currently scheduled to release on May 2, 2025.