Header Ads

Who Owns the Movie Rights to Marvel Characters in 2022?

Savage Avengers #17 by Kev Walker


Find out the latest on the live-action movie rights to Marvel comic book characters.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has had a series of record-breaking movies over the last decade. Thanks to its creative and methodical building Marvel Studios sits firmly in the middle of mainstream American culture. But unless you are pouring through company records and are paying close attention to the bits and bobs of studio deals, it may be tough to figure out which Marvel Comics characters ought to fit into the huge comic-associated projects of the studio. 

But worry not: we are here to break down which studio owns the film rights to which Marvel characters and the ones they don't. This article will only focus on the newly added characters to the chart. You can go back to our original post "Visual Guide To Marvel Character Live-Action Rights" Infographic by the Geek Twins to get an overview of the characters in past versions of the chart.

America Chavez

First Appearance: Vengeance #1 (2011)
Created By: Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta
Movie Rights:  Marvel Studios

Attuma

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #33 (1964)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Beta Ray Bill

First Appearance: The Mighty Thor #337 (1983)
Created By: Walt Simonson
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Captain America (Isaiah Bradley)

First Appearance: Truth: Red, White & Black #1 (2003)
Created By: Axel Alonso, Robert Morales, Kyle Baker
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Chewie the Cat

First Appearance: Giant-Size Ms. Marvel #1 (2006)
Created By: Brian Reed, Roberto De La Torre
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Conan the Barbarian

First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian #1 (1970)
Created By: Robert E. Howard Roy, Thomas Barry Smith
Movie Rights: Cabinet Entertainment
Note: Conan the Barbarian was created by Robert E. Howard back in 1932. The first licensed comic adaptations were published by Marvel Comics in the 1970s and ran through the 1990s. They started with Conan the Barbarian #1 (1970). The stories were set in the fictional "Hyborian Age" around 10,000 BC. 

However, there were a number of cross-over issues showing that the comics exist in the Marvel universe continuity. Most notably  Fantastic Four #405 (1961) and Conan Vs. Wolverine - What If #16 (1990). Unfortunately, while Marvel created some of the comics they don't own the movie rights to the character. Those are tied up with Cabinet Entertainment who are trying to reboot the franchise. They released an unsuccessful movie reboot back in 2011. Not only did it bomb but the star Jason Momoa says it's "a big pile of s**t". 

So maybe we'll get to see Conan fight Wolverine in the MCU one day.

Cosmo the Space Dog

First Appearance: Nova vol. 4 #8 (2008)
Created By: D an Abnett (writer), Andy Lanning (artist)
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Crossbones

First Appearance: Cameo Appearance: Captain America #359 (1989), Full Appearance: Captain America #360 (1989)
Created By: Mark Gruenwald (writer) Kieron Dwyer (artist)
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Doc Savage

First Appearance: Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1972)
Created By: Roy Thomas Steve Englehart Ross Andru
Movie Rights: Condé Nast Entertainment

Note: Doc Savage is a classic pulp hero who first appeared in pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. The masterful Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee said Doc Savage was the forerunner to modern superheroes. In 1972, eight comic adaptations of the books were released. However, there were a series of original stories published as well. While the character was usually shown in his own universe several cross-overs happened. Most notably Giant-Size Spider-Man #3 (1974) and Marvel Two-In-One #21 (1976) with a Doc Savage and Thing team-up. So the character is part of the Marvel Universe. 

But right now the live-action movie and television rights are with Condé Nast Entertainment. Back in 2020, Sony teamed up with Condé Nast to produce a Doc Savage TV series starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson but the project stalled. Maybe the MCU would be a better fit?

Drax the Destroyer

First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973)
Created By: Jim Starlin
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Everett K Ross

First Appearance: Ka-Zar #17 (1998)
Created By: Kenny Martinez, Christopher Priest
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Falcon (Joaquin Torres)

First Appearance: Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 (2015)
Created By: Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuña
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Flash Thompson

First Appearance: Shown but not named: Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962); Full Appearance with Name: Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
Created By: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Movie Rights: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Frigga

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery #92 (1963)
Created By: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein, Joe Sinnott
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Ghost

First Appearance: Iron Man #219 (1987)
Created By: David Michelinie, Bob Layton
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Gladiator (Kallark)

First Appearance: The X-Men #107 (1977)
Created By: Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Heimdall

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery #85 (October 1962)
Created By: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Howling Commandos

First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (1964)
Created By: Stan Lee Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Hercules

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery Annual #1 (1965)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane)

First Appearance: Obadiah Stane: Iron Man #163 (1982); As Iron Monger: Iron Man #200 (1985)
Created By: Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios
 

Jackpot (Alana Jobson)

First Appearance: Second Jackpot Alana Jobson: The Amazing Spider-Man #546 (2008)
Created By: Dan Slott, Phil Jimenez
Movie Rights: Sony Pictures Entertainment
 

Ironheart

First Appearance: Cameo appearance: Invincible Iron Man #7 (2016); Full Appearance: Invincible Iron Man #9 (July 2016); Full appearance as Ironheart: Invincible Iron Man #6 (2017)
Created By: - Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Justin Hammer

First Appearance: Iron Man #120 (1979)
Created By: David Michelinie, Bob Layton, John Romita Jr.
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Kamran

First Appearance: Ms. Marvel #13 (2015)
Created By: G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

M.O.D.O.K.

First Appearance: Cameo appearance: Tales of Suspense #93 (Sept. 1967); Full appearance: Tales of Suspense #94 (Oct. 1967)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Molten Man

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #28 (1965)
Created By: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Nebula

First Appearance: The Avengers #257 (July 1985)
Created By: Roger Stern John Buscema
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios  

NFL SuperPro (Phil Grayfield)

First Appearance: NFL SuperPro Special Edition # 1 (1991)
Created By: Fabian Nicieza, Jose Delbo
Movie Rights: NFL Productions

Note: In the 1990s the National Football League decided to branch out into different media. So they worked with Marvel to produce a football-themed superhero. The result was a young ex-football player named Phil Grayfield who dons a superpowered suit that looks like a football uniform. He calls himself NFL SuperPro and goes out to fight crime.

The comic ran 12-issues before being canceled. The Chicago Sports Review called it "perhaps the worst comic book ever created". However, when it was produced there were high hopes and he fights alongside characters like Spider-Man and Captain America. So he's definitely a member of the Marvel Universe. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately) NFL Productions still owns the rights to his character and Marvel would have to jump through hoops to include him.

Odin

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery #86 (November 1962)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios
      

Namora

First Appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #82 (1947)
Created By: Unconfirmed Writer, Ken Bald
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Princess Zanda

First Appearance: Black Panther #1 (1976)
Created By: Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Queen Ramonda

First Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents #14 (March 1989).
Created By: Don McGregor and Gene Colan
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly)

First Appearance: As Peter Parker's clone: The Amazing Spider-Man #149 (1975); Identified as Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #51 (1994); As Scarlet Spider: Web of Spider-Man #118 (1994)
Created By: Gerry Conway (based upon Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
Movie Rights: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Scarlet Spider (Kaine Parker)

First Appearance: As Kaine: Web of Spider-Man #119 (1994); As Scarlet Spider: Scarlet Spider #2 (2012)
Created By: Terry Kavanagh, Steven Butler
Movie Rights: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne)

First Appearance: The Avengers #19 (1965)
Created By: Stan Lee (writer) Don Heck (artist)
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Wave (Pearl Pangan)

First Appearance: War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1 (2019)
Created By: Greg Pak, Leinil Francis Yu
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Willy Lumpkin

First Appearance: In daily comics: 1960, In comic books: Fantastic Four #11 (1963)
Created By: Stan Lee, Dan DeCarlo
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Wonder Man

First Appearance: The Avengers #9 (1964)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Wong

First Appearance: Strange Tales #110 (1963)
Created By: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios
  

Yondu Udonta

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (1969)
Created By: Disputed
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Young Avengers (Wiccan, Speed, Hulkling, Iron Lad, Stature, Hawkeye, Patriot)

First Appearance: Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Created By: Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios

Moves

X-Men

First Appearance: The X-Men #1 (1963)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Movie Rights: Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox

Note: In the last update the X-Men were in the Marvel bubble. But more information has come to light showing they're still not available. I've updated the article Why is Quicksilver In Two Movies? "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" and Avengers: Age Of Ultron" with the details.

Changes

  • Renamed Shuri to Black Panther

Here's the updated chart and you can find all the revisions in our main post about the infographic. It's been eight years since we first published it and we're humbled by the outpouring of support.     

Version 9.6.1

Thanks for your patience and Excelsior!

About the Author
Maurice Mitchell has been a passionate science-fiction fan of movies, television, books, and comics since age five. He and his twin brother Nigel created the site "The Geek Twins" to share that passion. Maurice has written and created infographics for sites like The Geek Twins and About.com. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, io9 Slashfilm and more.
Read more of his posts | Follow him on Twitter @Mauricem1972 

Who would you like to see added to the chart? Who would you like to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: Some links may lead to an approved affiliate and small proceeds from the sale go to support the blog. Thank you!
If you enjoyed this, then please use the buttons below to tell your friends about this post! Follow us! Email | RSSTwitter | Facebook

No comments

Thanks for commenting!.