Kevin Feige talked a bit this week to IGN about some upcoming Marvel properties, including dropping the news that the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron would show up at Comic-Con 2014 with some footage from the film as well. But, what else did he talk about that was very interesting? Namor the Sub Mariner.
There were some huge rumors a few months back that Legendary and Universal were working together on a big secret event in 2016 that many predicted could be a movie about Namor the Sub Mariner. From what Kevin Feige said, that can’t be the secret that they are hinting at.
As a matter of fact, Feige said that Universal can’t even make a Namor the Sub Mariner movie on their own. However, he also said that Marvel probably can’t make one either.
“There are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it,” Feige said. As opposed to an Iron Man or any of the Avengers or any of the other Marvel characters where we could just put them in.”
This tells me one thing. Universal licensed the rights to Namor the Sub Mariner, much like Fox licensed Daredevil and Sony licensed Spider-Man. Sony kept making Spider-Man movies, which means they still hold those rights. Fox stopped making Daredevil movies, so they lost those rights back to Marvel.
Universal never made a movie about Namor the Sub Mariner, so they likely lost the rights back to Marvel. However, it sounds like Universal might have something extra in their deal that allows them to remain a partial party involved, which means Disney might not have the right to distribute it.
It could be something else entirely, but someone holds something that is keeping Marvel and Disney from making a Namor the Sub Mariner movie cleanly. It could be the fact he is Marvel’s first mutant, and Fox holds partial rights. It could be that his close relationship with the Fantastic Four comics could also be the hold up. Whatever the reason, Namor the Sub Mariner won’t be seen on the big screen anytime soon.