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Updated: "Visual Guide to Marvel Character Live-Action Rights" Infographic by The Geek Twins [Infographic]

Find out which movie studio owns which Marvel comic book live-action character rights in this simple graphic.

Will there be a crossover between the Fantastic Four and the X-Men? Will Spider-Man team up with Venom? Can Thor fight Magneto? These questions have been hotly debated for years, but it raises the question. Why aren't all Marvel superheroes in the same movie?

In the 1990s, Marvel Comics started licensing the live-action movie and television rights for their characters to different studios. Because of those rights, only certain studios can use different Marvel comic book characters in films. When Marvel created their own studio, they began reacquiring these rights and created the first shared Marvel universe of films. This graphic answers the question of which studio owns which Marvel character movie rights. Each studio is in its own bubble and the characters cannot cross over. Except for Stan Lee. He was awesome and could go anywhere (#RIPStanLee). 

Who owns the movie rights for the Fantastic Four? Who owns the rights to Spider-Man? Will Spider-Man join the Avengers? Can Namor fight Thor? Will Daredevil fight vampires?

As a side note, unless otherwise indicated, all character movie rights are based on the ownership of the main character. So, for example, Sony Pictures owns the rights to Spider-Man and any comic book characters that started in Spider-Man books (ex. Kingpin). Meanwhile, Marvel owns the rights to any comic book characters that are vampires (ex. Blade).

In addition to the charts, we occasionally write breakdowns of specific characters. You can read them here:

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie and Television Rights v.9.4 - 09/01/2021

Visual Guide to Marvel Live-Action Character Rights by the Geek Twins v.9.4 
Size: 2334 x 2188

Change Log
  • Added 
    • Adam Warlock
    • Morbius (Dr. Michael Morbius)
    • Chameleon (Dmitri Smerdyakov)
    • Hunger (Loxias Crown)
    • Silk (Cindy Moon)
    • She-Venom (Anne Weying)
    • Agatha Harkness
    • Flag-Smasher (Karl Morgenthau)
    • Razor Fist (William Scott)
  • Renamed
    • Falcon / Captain America (Sam Wilson)
    • Black Widow (Natasha Romanova)
    • Black Widow (Yelena Belova)

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie and Television Rights v.9.3 - 3/1/2021

Visual Guide to Marvel Live-Action Character Rights by the Geek Twins v.9.3 (3.1/2021)
Size: 2250x2109

Embed this infographic on your site

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie and Television Rights v.8 - 9/27/2019

Visual Guide to Marvel Live-Action Character Rights v.8 by The Geek Twins (2250x2109)

Note: Higher resolution to the images available by request.

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie and Television Rights v.7 - 8/28/2019

Chart of the Marvel Live-Action Character Rights by The Geek Twins
Visual Guide to Marvel Live-Action Character Rights v.7 by The Geek Twins (2250x2109)

For fun here's an animated version of the chart showing the changes.

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie Rights v.6 - 12/17/2018

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Movie Rights v.5 - 12/14/2017

Version 4 - 2/21/2017

Updated by request with additional characters. Shout-out to Reddit's /MarvelStudios!

Version 3 - 2/11/2015

Version 2.

(Size 1200x960)

Version 1

(Size: 4444x3556px)
(Size: 1111x889)

All characters associated with the main character are the property of the studio. Any characters not listed are the property of Marvel Studios. Note: It would be hard to make a definitive list of every Marvel character in a single blog post, so this is just a small selection.

Update: Updated based on Kevin Feige's comment about Namor and added Guardians of the Galaxy
Update 2: Updated with Man-Thing and Spider-Man
Update 6: Updated with Netflix rights

Update 7: Moved Sony Pictures Spider-Man licensing rights and added characters

  • Valkyrie
  • Grandmaster
  • Mandarin
  • The Eternals (Ajak, Domo, Makkari, Sersi, Thena, Zuras, Sprite, Phastos, Ikaris, Kingo Sunen)
  • Gilgamesh
  • Druig
  • Red Guardian
  • Yelena Belova
  • Hela
  • Ultron
  • Black Knight

What do you think of the infographic? What Marvel movie team-up would you like to see? Which studio makes the best Marvel movies?

Check out some of our other infographics!

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  1. So the X-Men will not be fighting vampires?

  2. I would have liked Marvel to get Spider-Man back instead of him being stuck in his own little bubble there. It'd be cool if they could loan Wolverine for one of the Avengers movies, but I doubt that will happen.

  3. I've never heard of Man-thing, but I'm intrigued.

  4. This is why DC can have an advantage with their characters.
    I still want a proper Deadpool Movie. If you can make Kick A** a "R" rated comic movie you can do the same with Wade Wilson.

  5. Nisse SöderströmFebruary 7, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    amazing graphic!

  6. Is Universal just being weird about Namor? Or is Marvel thinking there is no way Universal is going to try to make a movie with Namor and will wait for the rights to revert back on their own without negotiating?

    Anyway, the X-verse always seemed like a different thing to me anyway than the rest of Marvel, so it doesn't really bother me that Fox as them, and I wonder if we'd get the same number of movies coming out if Disney had Spider-Man, X-men, FF and the rest. I mean, we'd have to be getting 5 or 6 movies a year instead of the two we're getting now. Disney would have to be putting up a $Billion per year in production costs on Marvel properties alone. That's a lot of cash tied up in things that aren't Star Wars, or Pixar, or whatever other Disney flicks they have planned (like another Lone Ranger movie, perhaps).

    I'm curious how they'd handle it. So, like I said before, I'm kind of okay with Sony having Spider Man and

  7. ... I don't think I finished my though. oops. But point made I suppose.

  8. That's a weird one alright. I think Marvel is just going to wait them out because ain't nobody screaming for a Sub-Mariner movie.

  9. DidntPullOutInTimeCopFebruary 10, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Love it, nice work! Wish Marvel could use Beast the same way as those upcoming twins. He's been quite a bit in Avengers right?

    I think the two Thor movies made more than the Fantastic Four movies even domestically?

  10. You are missing quite a bit here. Fox has the rights to any characters directly associated with the fantastic four, such as the Skrull alien race. This is the reason in Avengers the alien army was the Chitauri, which are an alternate version of Skrulls.

    It hasn't come up yet, but they may also have the rights to She-Hulk, as she has been an active and reserve member of F4. Fox also holds the rights to the term MUTANT for marvel property films, so Avengers is going to have to make something new up to cover for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. There are a ton of little corner cases like these through out the 'film rights' that the multiple companies have divvied out.

  11. How does Fox own the rights to Nova?? The Nova Corp. are going to be in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

  12. Right you are Ninjin! I updated the list. Thanks for the correction!

  13. Thanks for the props DidntPullOutInTimeCop! Beast would be great in the Avengers, but I'm happy with what he's doing in "First Class." Great question! "Thor" and "Thor 2" made $379,683,600 combined while the Fantastic Four movies made $536,877,800. I'm sure as time goes on Thor will catch up and pass it, but who knows what the FF reboot will bring?

  14. DidntPullOutInTimeCopFebruary 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Oh that's a 5? Looked like a 3 on my screen, that's why :) Sorry about that!

    Yea it's not like they need more characters for Avengers anyway, we're lucky we're getting all these Marvel Movies!

  15. I know one thing, if this isn't resolved no Infinity Gauntlet :(

  16. Marvel has rights to the Nova Corp.

    Fox probably has rights to the character named "Nova" (Frankie Raye) who was a herald of Galactus and the Human Torch's girlfriend.

  17. Pretty sure Sony has the rights to Vulture as well; he's hinted at in the Amazing Spidey 2 trailer and likely a part of the upcoming Sinister Six movie. You could probably list Mary Jane Watson too ;-)

  18. Franklin Richards (omega level MUTANT) should prove to be an epic fight between FOX & Marvel.

    ** Marvel : PowerPack
    ** FOX : Mom, Dad, Uncles Johnny & Ben, Rachel, H.E.R.B.I.E., etc

    The end result can be a (tear in reality) for both studios.

  19. Yeah, there are a lot of blurry versions of this graphic out there. :/ I think we're living in a golden age of superhero films.

  20. Silver Surver, huh? "Excuse me master, would you like more silver?"

  21. Nicely done.

    (Now we need one for video game licensing.)

  22. Wow. That's a great point.  Can't have one without the other.

  23. Hey now. I'm screaming for a Subby movie (done right), and I'm not alone. Though, I suspect Marvel sold the rights to Namor to Universal a loooooong time ago, along with Hulk and Dr. Strange. Since Marvel's got the rights back on those, I'm not sure why they don't have Namor's rights back.

  24. Also meant to say, GREAT infographic!

  25. So who owns the Punisher? He's had like 3 movies.

  26. Charlie, Punisher was Lionsgate but he's now back at Marvel!

    -------- Original message --------

  27. So we might get a proper Punisher flick? I'm OK with that.

  28. If Lionsgate Entertainment sill holds the rights to Man-Thing after all
    this time, then why was Marvel Studios able to include Ellen Brandt, the
    wife of Man-Thing, as a character in Iron Man 3?

  29. Don't be. It's even worse than Howard the Duck. It was so bad that instead of going to movie theaters, it went to the Sci-Fi Channel.

  30. Maybe Marvel Studios is working on getting the rights back? Not that they should bother; Swamp Thing bombed horribly, I don't see a Man-Thing movie doing any better.

  31. Howard the Duck was, as they say on TV Tropes.org, so bad it was good.

    They actually did a Man-Thing movie? Even after Swamp Thing (essentially the same character) made Catwoman look like Iron Man 1, 2 and 3?

  32. That is a great question Wyldstar. They were both introduced in "Savage Tales #1."

  33. Lionsgate already made a Man-Thing movie in 2005. It was called Man-Thing, but it's basically just a monster movie that had nothing much to do with the comics. A few foreign theaters showed the flick. The film went straight to the Sci-Fi Channel in the US, then to DVD.

  34. Elektra movie rights are still retained by Fox after the 2012-2013 negotiations that broke down with Marvel Studios.
    Cable is also up in the air, as back in 2009 Marvel Studios was considering him for a standalone movie that never moved forward. Then Liefeld mentioned in 2013 Cable is supposed to appear in the 'X-Force' movie. So TBD.

  35. Great points Bob. Kevin Feige says he "thinks" the rights to Elektra are with Daredevil, so that would put them back with Marvel. So no one is sure. I'm going with Feige on that one, but he could be wrong.

    Cable is a pretty vague one since he's technically a mutant. Graser said he belongs to Marvel, but he may end up in the middle ground between Marvel and 20th Century Fox similar to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. I'm not sure where to put him because neither company has green lit a movie. Where do you think I should put him?

  36. After the Fox-Marvel Studios negotiations broke down, and both parties missed out (Fox wanted to keep Daredevil, Marvel wanted Silver Surfer and Galactus back most probably to tie in with Guardians and Avengers 2), the spite action on the part of Fox was to claim continued movie rights on Elektra. I'm sure both parties went their separate ways with hard feelings.


Thanks for commenting!.