Kevin Feige Confirms Universal Owns ‘Namor’ Rights; Wants More ‘Hulk’ Movies

Published 2 years ago by

prince namor the sub mariner Kevin Feige Confirms Universal Owns Namor Rights; Wants More Hulk Movies

The recent D23 Expo was a chance to unveil some new projects on the Disney slate. The audience were given first looks at family fare such as Maleficent and Cinderella, as well Marvel projects Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. Not to mention zero updates on Star Wars: Episode VII.

Marvel President Kevin Feige talked to Empire Magazine about those still-unknown films slated for a 2016 and 2017 release, the expanded role two characters will have in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the status of the movie rights to a certain Marvel aquatic character.

We know that Marvel’s long-term vision includes films planned out at least as far as 2021. The Phase Two releases are all lined up at this point: Thor 2 later this year, then Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 leading into the sequel to The Avengers in 2015We have speculated about what those 2016 and 2017 movies could be and what that might mean for the still-mysterious Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but when asked, Feige could not provide any hard news, saying:

“Next spring is when we really sit down and start to decide what we announce for 2016 and 2017.”

Note Feige’s wording there: start to decide WHAT to announce – this indicates that Marvel is outlining a lot of potential projecs, probably with a certain amount of pre-visualization completed or at least planned.

Universal Owns Namor the Submariner Movie Rights Kevin Feige Confirms Universal Owns Namor Rights; Wants More Hulk Movies

We do know that Namor the Sub-Mariner will not be among them. It was speculated that perhaps the movie rights to Namor had reverted back to Marvel, but Feige answered definitively: “That’s at Universal.”

One of the highlights of 2012′s The Avengers was Mark Ruffalo’s performance as Bruce Banner and his “green rage monster” alter ego, the Incredible Hulk. Feige knows that the revitalization of the Hulk after two underwhelming attempts to bring the character to the big screen, stating:

“I think we have something special with our Mark Ruffalo Banner, and we’d love to see where we could take his stories.”

This interestingly-worded remark may be a hint that one of those as-yet-unnamed releases could be a stand-alone Hulk movie – maybe even the rumored Planet Hulk project. Ruffalo’s scene-stealing performance (and his multiple picture contract) certainly makes the notion of a solo Hulk film viable, but either way he’ll definitely have even more to do in Age of Ultron.

According to Feige, Bruce Banner will play “a significant role” in the 2015 sequel.

Happy Hulk Mark Ruffalo The Avengers Kevin Feige Confirms Universal Owns Namor Rights; Wants More Hulk Movies

And he’s not the only one. Feige said that one of the most underused character in The Avengers, Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye, will have a much more expanded role in Age of Ultron. Said Feige:

“Joss has a great storyline in mind for him that shows a deeper side and further fleshes out our favourite archer.”

Renner is an engaging presence, but his character in the first Avengers was under-utilized, except as a walking plot point. Renner himself publicly groused about the portrayal of Hawkeye in the first go-round, so giving him a reason to be involved in the plot of the sequel will hopefully keep things from slipping out of control, story-wise.

Given the inclusion of the evil robot Ultron in The Avengers 2 and not in that film’s successor and Phase Three kick-off, Ant-Man (whose titular character invented said evil robot in the comics), many fans are still wondering if Ant-Man/Henry Pym (and maybe The Wasp) will be introduced in Age of Ultron as a way to usher in the next phase in a somewhat organic way.

The many characters of the Marvel universe Kevin Feige Confirms Universal Owns Namor Rights; Wants More Hulk Movies

However, Feige nixed that idea and reinforced just how much Marvel has on the stove at this point:

“There are three or four slots. We’ve got six or seven things going. We’ve got to choose which four will go. It’s a Battle Royale!”

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will be the best early gauge of how much potential these more obscure properties (like Ant-Man or Dr. Strange) will have on the big screen. While the next two Thor and Captain America movies are taking a tonal shift from their predecessors, these are established characters, and as the roaring success of Iron Man 3 proves, the audiences are willing to follow their solo adventures.

Of course, knowing that these standalones are stops along the way to more team-up films certainly doesn’t hurt.


As ever, stay tuned for more news on Marvel’s plans for their Cinematic Universe.

Thor: The Dark World releases on November 8, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens on April 4, 2014;  The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters on May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on November 6, 2015

Source: Empire [via Comic Book Movie]

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. The leader makes the U-Foes! It could happen.

    whats the title? Hulk 3? Hulk Smash? Hulk Returns?

    • I like that idea…U-foes are a great team to tackle the Hulk…would love to see them on the big screen.

    • Hulk 3? Marvel has only made one Hulk film in the MCU, “The Incredible Hulk”, so any potential Hulk film would be Hulk 2

      • Would be “Hulk 3″, because “The Hulk” film, released in 2003 and made ​​by Universal Studios, precedes the events of The Incredible Hulk (2008).

        • Except in fact that it doesn’t. The Incredible Hulk is a reboot.

    • No The Incredible Hulk is the first hulk movie in the MCU, Hulk with Eric Bana is not in the MCU.

  2. I look forward to what ever Marvel do after phase 2. Do you think there will be a GotG trailer tagged onto Thor?

    • I hope so!

    • More likely a Captain America trailer, right? Unless it’s an Iron Man 3 style ‘fan service’ skit.

    • Definitely not. With Captain America 2, X-Men: DOFP and/or Spidey 2, definitely.

  3. I want to see Heroes For Hire. Marvel has the rights to Iron Fist and Power Man and now they have Ghost Rider, Punisher, Daredevil and Namor who could come in as support. Add in Silver Stable, Misty Knight and Jewel so we can have some female characters and you’ve got more ethnic diversity and a film that unlike the other marvel films doesn’t have to take itself too seriously.

    You know like the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Kick Ass. Also I think it’d be cool if they did the storyline No Strings Attached.

    Also I know it’s very unlikely but I personally would like to see an Iron Man 4 that uses Armor Wars and The Five Nightmares as the basis for it’s storyline. One of the characters from Iron Man 3 (the guy who “dies” in the plane could return as Firepower)

  4. Two underwhelming attempts? Ed Norton’s The Incredible Hulk was far from underwhelming, especially compared to the first steaming pile. Of course if you are referring to the box office numbers, then I have no idea how the 2nd one fared.

    • According to Box Office Mojo, Hulk made $245,360,480 worldwide, while The Incredible Hulk made $263,427,551 worldwide.

    • I really dug Ed Norton’s Hulk. A LOT.

  5. Ill nee understand the general public, Iron Man has one okay sequel and one complete piece of garbage, where as The Incredible Hulk which was the best of th stand alones imho can’t get any recognition. I wanna see Hulk smash the Leader. Maybe even bring in red hulk

    • Finally,someone speaking my language.

  6. if Universal have the rights to Namor, what the Hell are they waiting for.

  7. I hope the next Hulk movie has the leader and Red Hulk that fight would be epic!! Now that I know Universal has the rights to Namor I know there will never be a Namor movie now. Ill have to just hope to see a Aquaman new 52 movie now.

  8. shame marvel don’t have the rights to namor. if he ever comes to the screen the only person i could see playing him would be zachary quinto.

    yay to more hulk movies though!!

    • You’re not letting his Spock ears sway you, possibly?

      Actually, that’s not a bad choice.

      • The eyebrows too. Spock and Namor are virtual twins (with a lot of the early artists especially). I thought of Zachary Quinto too.

    • What about Jason Momoa? He looks about as much like Namor as it is possible for a human to look. Of course, the fact that he’s been cast as Aquaman makes it highly unlikely that he would be cast as Namor.

  9. A pity Namor won’t appear anytime soon in the Avengers. The cocky hot tempered anti-hero would have been an interesting addition to the Avengers. Like a Trojan Horse in their midst. Unpredictable. Hopefully Universal will release the character. Personally I feel he has a lot of depth and could become as popular as the villain Loki if well handled. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see..

  10. For those of you that were still wondering, I did a bit of homework onto why Universal has the rights to Namor. Back in ’09, Universal was actively working on a Namor the Sub-Mariner film with a script, a director, and concept art already made. Since The Incredible Hulk didn’t preform like expected, it got moved to an indefinite pre-production state, one from which is hasn’t emerged (you could say it was submerged into production hell, wokka wokka). If Universal doesn’t start production soon in the next probably 2 or 3 years, the rights should revert back home to Marvel.

    • Thanks. I should have read this before my own speculation. It does surprise me that they didn’t actually make a movie. It seems “production” can be somewhat faked (see Argo). Back in the 90′s we got the Roger Corman FF and a Captain America movie because of contracts. I’m sure now the contracts are a pit more strict about overall quality.

      • I’m not positive but if the contract Fox had for Daredevil is similar to this, the studios buys the rights to a character for a certain period of time. They have X years to make a movie and the time resets (or there is a specified period in the contract) for sequels. If, as in Daredevil and possibly this case, they decide not to make it, they have to option to void the contract, usually at a fee, or wait it out until the contract expires. With Hulk, Marvel Studios wanted him back so they bought him from Marvel for a higher amount then they would pay for voiding the contract. They must not have foreseen a need for Namor for any time the contract was still valid so they decided to just let it end when it ends.

        • bought him back from Universal* stupid work computer…

          • Got it. Thanks again.

  11. Anyone else see the strong resemblance in that photo of Namor and Joseph Gordon Levitt?

  12. Universal keeping Namor must have been part of the deal for Marvel to get Hulk. That happened too soon and too easily.

    They’ve had Namor for well over a decade, at least. I’ve heard nothing of any production. There must be some reason they still have Namor.

  13. If 20th Century Fox was smart, they would buy the rights of Namor and place him in the Fantastic Four movie franchise. Namor can be a villain or anti hero…and can have a love triangle with sue storm and reed richards. BE SMART FOX!!! Buy Namor!!!

  14. FOX is not smart! =P

    With all the crap coming out about the new FF movie I’m glad FOX doesn’t have Namor, damn so glad. Hopefully Namor gets back home to Marvel Studios, Fantastic Four too in fact.

  15. I have already heard rumors about a future Aquaman movie. Cmon, MARVEL, give the fans what they want, we want a movie about the Sub Mariner, The King of Atlantis, Namor Mckenzie! Namor is one of the most underrated super heroes in Marvel, Period ! IMPERIUS REX!

  16. Just want to know, from Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men,Superman and to tha Hulk movie; Marvel to DC Comics, in tha Lord Name, when are y”all, start a Movie Production on Submariner? From these otha movie we seen from tha past like Amagaden, Independence Day, Day of Tomorrow, in tha world, major earth climate change into major flood and it takes one heroic character!, Submariner, saves Earth!, what inny otha Marvel or DC Comic book hero can’t do. Just think about “Submariner”a god of Ocean, and tha Great Oden “Thor”damn tha best ever Movie Production Ever!

  17. I would like to see the silver surfer