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. More Hawkeye! :)

    • Agreed! But not the boring hot ass SHIELD agent in The Avengers. More like the funny self absorb one we been having written by Matt Fraction.

      • Agreed. I definitely want the sarcastic and cocky Clint from the comics.

        • Back in the early comics I hearken back to, which would be the 60s and 70s, Clint as Hawkeye, Pietro (Quicksilver) and Hank Pym (Goliath) were always bantering and occasionally scrapping among themselves sort of like The Thing and Torch of the FF did, or Iceman, Angel, and Beast in the early X-Men comics. Variously, it was up to people like Cap, Wasp, and Scarlet Witch to break them up, sort of like Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm had to calm down their team-mates and break up the scraps, or Cyclops had to cool down his team-mates.

        • Haven’t you heard? We comic book fans for many years have to stop being ignorant to want our characters that we grew up with to stay the same. I personally would like to see him wear his mask as well as be sarcastic and cocky. Unfortunately, all this change and then being insulted by ppl who know nothing of the characters has taken all of the fun out of these movies for me. Just don’t get your hopes up to see the real characters from the books. R.I.P. MANDARIN!

          • Pffft, Marvel studio never really stay close to their own source material but they do kept the core of the character very closely. That’s not the case with Hawkeye. Dude’s just a hot guy holding a bow. BTW, The Mandarin also didn’t exist as a lone supervillain in the Ultimate universe but appeared as a company.

            • If I recall correctly the Mandarin was a super computer in the Ultimate world. I also recall that the Mandarin story sucked.

  2. Better hurry up with hulk, ruffalo isnt getting any younger

  3. I’m glad Namor isn’t at Marvel. Let’s face it, the character is such an a**hole he might as well be in Jersey Shore.

  4. Iron Man 3 did not prove the audiences are willing to follow
    the solo adventures of Captain America and Thor sequels.
    There is no assurance those sequels will perform better
    than their first installments and could perform worse.

    The success of Iron Man 3, which successfully marketed as
    practically a sequel to the year’s prior Avengers, only
    proved audiences were willing to follow Iron Man.
    Not to mention Downy which is why I saw it.

    • Until the Mandarin debacle, which I hope will give Marvel pause to consider before stepping too far away from canon and tradition, or at least cause them to consider carefully before letting Mr. Black loose on another of their sets. All I can say is, he’d better not mess up Doc Savage.

      • I too was not a fan of the floating Mandarin turd that he was, but how and why would Marvel think it was anything but marvelous? it made what? 1.3 billion! THAT does not sound like any kind of debacle that I have ever heard of! that sounds like a hit Marvel fans!
        You know Marvel just LOVES what SB did with IM3 or they would have made him change it.. I for one do not want to see ANYMORE movies where they let the Directors have creative freedom. I would rather they CONTROL what happens in their movies, like Phase 1

  5. Wat about civil war ,x men vs. Avengers ,onsalught saga ?

    • Fox owns the rights to X-Men.

  6. why does universal own namor rights?

    • Because they paid for them. Duh…

  7. The folks at Universal had better be planning on a Namor movie or simply give back what is rightfully MARVELS!

    • Did Universal steal the rights? Or did they pay for them? Because if they paid for them, than they rightfully belong to Universal.

      • Namor is a mutant, which is why Universal has the rightz to him.

        • He’s a mutant?

          I thought he was from Atlantis, hence him being the king and ruler of that place?

          I still think it’d be epic to have a Namor vs Human Torch fight like the original comic books.

          • He is both mutant and Atlantean.


          • He’s a half-human mutant and an Atlantean. Atlanteans can’t fly, don’t have wings on their ankles, and don’t have super strength to the degree that Namor does.

          • Actually he’s only half atlantean his father was captain nemo

        • Wrong. Fox owns all of the mutant characters, this refers to basically the entire X-men bubble of characters. Namor doesn’t really fall under that(yes he’s teamed with them before but nothing siginificant when Universal bought the rights to him back in the 90s.) Universal is not Fox.

          • Please explain why Marvel/Disney is using Quicksilver (mutant) and Scarlet Witch (mutant)

            • Per their agreement with Fox, Marvel has retained certain rights to those characters as prominent members of The Avengers.

            • Both Fox and Marvel/Disney own the rights because they are members of the X-Men family and also Members of the Avengers. And yes, other characters are members of the avengers but out of all the mutants Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the main “mutant” members of the team.

        • Actually, I was thinking he is half-human and half-Atlantean, or am I confusing his birthright with Aquaman? (Or Charlie Tuna???)

          • Yeah, half human, half Atlantean. He was born a mutant.

    • The rights are rightfully Universal’s.
      And Universal can do what they like
      with them which includes doing nothing.

      • They have a certain amount of years to start production on a film, or else they revert back to Marvel Films. They can’t do nothing with the property, unless they want to lose it.

        • Right. They can chose to do nothing. And probably will.
          The rights then revert and they’ll then be rightfully Marvel’s.

      • Yeah, for a bit…

        …and then the rights return back to Marvel.

        • Yes, I was pointing out they are
          not obligated to do anything.

          • Which I doubt they will. Underwater people is a tough sell.

            • Yes. I predict them doing nothing as well.
              Marvel may do nothing after they revert too.

              • Who knows, maybe they are waiting to see if WB does an Aquaman movie and how that goes over. Why not get a free market testing?

                Also, didn’t Universal do The Incredible Hulk? I thought the two had teamed up in the past.

                • The Hulk was at Paramount. In fact they worked out a deal to revert the rights back to Marvel before they had to – which is why you’ll see Paramount’s label on films the Hulk appears in.

                  • Never mind I coulda sworn the Hulk was with Paramount not Universal.

            • Which is why Avatar 2 is based a lot underwater right?

  8. Would love to see another Hulk sequel with the fricking Leader in it, and S.H.I.E.L.D. as for a Namor film and a Inhumans film they need to happen soon.

  9. I agree with Fiege that they have something special with Ruffalo’s Banner, looking forward to what they do with it.

    • Right. I would have preferred that to Guardians first.

  10. It kind of blows that Namor and FF weren’t a package deal.

    • It probably came down to too much money.
      Marvel is likely waiting Universal out, it has
      enough on its plate right now, quessing
      Universal does nothing to pay nothing.

      • i doubt marvel would do anything either if they had the rights, theres far more interesting characters id rather see on the big screen instead of namor, unless they introduce the illuminati, which they cant without xavior :/

        • No, technically they could still do the Illuminati without that one character at all, especially since he represents a group that isn’t in the MCU (Mutants) and the MCU has been doing good, and can still fair well without them.

          As for Mr. Fantastic, who represents the scientific side of the hero community (and would also be missing), they could possibly/probably replace him with someone just as scientifically versed like Ant-Man or Black Panther.

          However, if they had to go with any less than that then I don’t think it would be in Marvel’s best interests to actually attempt it.

    • Hey… if Universal doesn’t use him…whose to say FOX won’t scoop him?

      hmmm yeah, prolly not worth the head-ache!

  11. Hold the phone. How does Universal have rights to ANY Marvel character? They haven’t made any Marvel films beside Hulk since Howard the Duck, and Hulk clearly belongs to Marvel Studios

    • I guess they recently purchased them

  12. Universal ?
    I didn’t know they owned any marvel character

    • Universal needs to work on rolling out more semi-traditional reboots of flicks like Creature From The Black Lagoon, which they talked about but have not done anything with, and The Mummy. Although there were things that could have been better, their Wolfman reboot was at least an honest effort, which I appreciated.

  13. universal be like: “we have the rights to namor but we won’t make anything. just because we just like to p*** off marvel and fox”

  14. That second picture of Namor looked to me like Hawkman for a second. But no. Honestly, I would rather see Aquaman be the first underwater character to hit the screen, so I don’t mind that Universal is sitting on the rights for now.

    I expect that Thor and Captain America will do at least a bit better the second time around, based on positive association with the Avengers as much as anything else. No other “franchise” has quite the same sort of all-ages appeal going at this point.

    Honestly, Hawkeye is the only Avengers character that I don’t really care to see more of, mostly because I am just not a fan of Jeremy Renner. Ruffalo, however, appeals to me enough as an actor that I would have some interest in another Hulk film.

    • Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye as written in the movie versions (as opposed to the comics versions here) really don’t excite me. I would rather see the studio get Goliath and Wasp in there and slugging, as well as maybe Kang and Skrulls, and perhaps Diablo, Radioactive Man, and Whirlwind as supporting villains in the Avengers franchise. I am glad to see Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch lined up to get their due, as I have always liked them as well.

      • Yeah, I am really looking forward to Scarlett Witch.

  15. I’m so excited for these next 8 years they will be AMAZING

  16. So who’s the rip off? Namor or aqua man?

    • since Namor appeared for the first time in 1939 and Aqua Man in 1941, i’d say DC stole another concept from marvel.

      • Another ?

      • Another ?
        Death stroke >>>> deadpool

        • Your statement seems to have a negative connotation against DC. Maybe I should remind you:

          Superman–Hyperion, Sentry
          Batman–Nighthawk, Moonknight and a couple other heroes
          Flash–Whizzer, Quicksilver
          Green Lantern–Nova Corps, Dr. Spectrum

          • meant to reply to Zaphkyel

        • Deapool is a spoof on Deathstroke, not the other way around.

      • Marvel has Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Dr. Strange, and Quicksilver. DC has The Atom, Green Arrow, Doctor Fate, and The Flash. Lots of parallels if one looks for them (not criticizing either company…glad to have lots of characters to choose from). Some characters are kind of unique like Green Lantern to DC, and The Torch to Marvel. Was it Tower comics that had the Wally Woods creation Lightning, as a super-speedster member of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents?

        • *ahem* Nova Corps

    • They both ripped off poseidon…

  17. I am still hoping for a Black Panther movie in 2016 or 2017.
    It has one of the greatest back stories for the marvel universe with the whole wakanda and Vibranium thing. And he would be a great addition to The Avengers.

    • Vibranium is a constituent of adamantium. Ultron has adamantium outer armor. BP is bound to show up sooner or later due to the Wakanda/vibranium/adamantium connection.

    • Although I would rather see him as a supportinmg member of The Avengers, I think, I would not be opposed to a Black panther movie, and I think he will get one due to popular fanboy demand. I did not mind him back years ago in the comics when he was a respected member in good standing of The Avengers.

  18. The should have scrapped that Guardians of the Galaxy crap and given us another Hulk movie. Even better scrap the Ant man BS and give us a Hulk movie

    • Hulk is best used in small doses and works best in a team situation. Otherwise, he’s kinda boring and one dimensional. Hulk smash!… And that’s about all he does. Yay.

      • WRONG!

        I know that I’m in the very slim minority on this,but TIH is my favorite,and imo,the best of all of the Marvel movies.

        I find it a damn shame that they set up The Leader for a sequel,then subsequently turned The Hulk into a giant dog off of his leash in The Avengers.I guess we are suppose to act like that whole thing never happened or something.

        The Hulk has a much better rogues gallery of villains than any of the other Avengers,and to put him on the back burner is just silly to me.So much potentially great stories are just going to waste to make room for GG and Ant-Man.

        I think that if Thor ends up being a dud like IM3,it could really start to chip away at the optimism of future Marvel project of being any good.

        • You shouldn’t look at GOTG as a waste of time. It’s Marvel’s way of testing the waters for the cosmic side which it can open the flood gates to all other characters from other places other than earth. Imagine this….Marvel’s version of Star Wars. Though I never read GOTG but I do remember the old GOTG. And I understand what they are doing.

          • Furthermore, I think Ant-Man would better as a Pixar film.

      • Gotta agree with you there, Cave-ish Man. I was never a big Hulk guy, either in the comics or in the movies, myself. Oh, he has had his uses, but I just am more interested in other characters. Gets pissed, gets big and green, gets mad, clobbers everyone. You can see that every Saturday night in alot of college town bars.

    • Even though I liked it when it came out, the GotG movie and the Ant-Man movie will both be worlds better than The Incredible Hulk was. Ruffalo will probably have a substantial role in the next Avengers movie.

  19. If Guardians of the Galaxy does well, a Captain Mar-Vell movie would be awesome. But it i think it would be better for Darrdevil reboot or a Heroes For Hire would be better.

    • Agreed. A heroes For Hire movie with Power Man and Iron Fist could do well, I think, and I would like to see Daredevil again. There was once talk years ago after DD #1 about him fighting Kingpin and Mr. Fear, and I would really like to see that idea dusted off and implemented!

      • Yeah I do remember a 70s theme to DD was proposed. They need to revisit that idea or a team up Punisher and DD would be nice. There are waaaaay too many characters that deserve a chance to the big screen before Hulk earns a third shot at a another movie. I would like to see Michael Jai White as Luke Cage.

      • I’m thinking Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Blade, and Punisher, to name a few, would be perfect for the SHIELD TV show.

        Face it, Marvel has too many plans already and they’re having to pick carefully. The above mentioned can get some exposure and build some interest and fan base on a TV show.

  20. A Hawkeye film with a tongue in cheek tone that shows what he does when he’s not with the shield/avengers.

    • Something tells me you would like your tongue in his cheek ;)

      • You must be psychic!

        • Renner getting some Jen love. And why not.

  21. Please Don’t Forget: Deadpool movie is way overdue .. I wanna see some katanas splicing.

    • Talk to Fox. That’s their property.

  22. Badass Hulk movie please.. Mark Ruffalo ain’t getting young

    • ^This!

      I want to see The Leader,along with maybe Absorbing Man.

      Oh,and can they please stop trying to nerf him?! He’s pretty much invincible and totally unstoppable,so I wish they would make him that.

      I felt that he was more powerful in TIH than in The Avengers,and that just shouldn’t be.

      • “Nerf him”…funny!!!

      • How was he “nerfed” in the Avengers? I mean with a single punch he takes down the big space dragon.

  23. As soon as I saw Namor, my heart skipped a beat… But then I read the title…

    Ugh…. But then Universal did make that 2008 Hulk movie with Marvel.

    • it would be cool if universal did a namor film and due to universal and marvels past working relationship[universal did the distribution for TIH, while marvel owned the film], they could incorporate namor into the mcu.

  24. What’s with the namor pic above? looks like he got a hickey from a vampire. Does Dracula scuba-dive? (Some say vampires can’t cross running water of their own volition….). I could handle a Submariner movie OK, but there are others I am more anxious for than him.
    Hawkeye as portrayed in the movies will probably be better left as just a supporting character, and Banner having this run-away performance? I didn’t see that. Banner and Hulk are kind of one-dimensional and under-whelming to me, and I don’t think we need any more individul Hulk solo outings, but he should just occasionally appear in the Avengers flicks. There are other more developed and interesting characters that can be better brought into play in the story-lines, present and future (characters). Perhaps I am being tunnel-visioned; guess we’ll see what the expanded rolls have to present to us in the next Avengers story-line.
    I am cautiously awaiting Ant-Man, hope it won’t be a Scott lang story, or filled with dorky humor, and will lead into a Pym appearance in Avengers #3, or a solo Goliath/Giant-Man/Ant-Man & Wasp flick (althogh they are better suited to team appearances rather than a solo flick). I really like the Goliath from the comics, and hope he and Wasp will have their much-deserved and needed appearance in Avengers #3, if not before. I still say, by the way, that Stark or Jarvis making Ultron would not be as good as Pym…call me a traditionalist, but I think they are missing a good opportunity to introduce the beloved Pym characters.

  25. IMPERIOUS REX! Universal better make an epic Namor movie.

  26. When did Universal get the rights to Namor? I assumed that was included with FF property owned by Fox, though yes recently he’s considered an individual character more but still…. What other Marvel properties does Universal own?

  27. Would kill to see G.Del Toro making a Hulk movie and Del Toro loves monsters :)

  28. Marvel is flying high right now – but if they fail to bring The Hulk back to the big screen in as big a way as he should be – then that would be tragic after all the Avengers success !
    Get The Hulk up there now please !

  29. Damn! I wonder if Namor will comeback to Marvel come 2016-2017? Same with Silver Surfer. A good Hulk story would be “The Defenders” but they’d need Sliver Surfer and Namor back.

    I wonder is Joss W has plans like Gammaworld or something.