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James Gunn Explains Marvel/Fox Movie Rights: How Skrulls Can Be In The MCU

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has explained the shared movie rights between Marvel and Fox, specifically how the Skrulls can appear in Captain Marvel. Fans were both shocked and delighted to learn that the Skrull race will be the primary antagonists in the upcoming solo movie for Carol Danvers. Many had assumed that the Skrulls movie rights were at Fox due to them being Fantastic Four villains; this was believed by many to be the reason that the Chitauri were the alien race featured in The Avengers. It made sense, after all; the Chitauri were introduced in Marvel's Ultimate comics line as that universe's version of the Skrulls, so it seemed like an easy way around the rights issue.

As has been pointed out before, though, that isn't actually the case. Much like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, the Skrulls are licensed to both Marvel and Fox for specific uses. James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films and seeming expert on all things cosmic in the MCU, took to Twitter to try and explain the rights issues to fans.

Through a series of tweets, Gunn explained that the Skrulls were an official part of the MCU now and retweeted an explanation he had given before about the rights issues. According to Gunn, there are some specific Skrulls (such as the FF antagonist the Super Skrull) that are strictly Fox properties, but the race itself is available to both Fox and Marvel:

Hell yes they are. https://t.co/CpS6CxLOGo

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2017

Retweeting this from a year ago since I keep getting asked about it. https://t.co/kbFG7trDKd

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2017

He went on to explain that this is also the case with the Watchers, the race of beings that we saw Stan Lee reporting to in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sadly, this means that Uatu the Watcher was not present among the group that Lee was talking to; this makes sense as Uatu has interacted significantly with the Fantastic Four, but some fans were likely hoping to see him come into his own as a character in the MCU as well.

The same is true of The Watchers (also co-owned by Fox), which is how they were able to be in Vol. 2.

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2017

Correct. https://t.co/pyW5dCjslk

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2017

Of course, this inevitably led to someone commenting on how Fox needs to give the Fantastic Four rights back to Marvel and let the team join the MCU. Gunn had something to say on the matter, siding with Fox and defending their right to keep the team out of the MCU and use it however they wish (the latest step is a Doctor Doom movie):

For the same reason I don’t give my car to my next door neighbor. https://t.co/EHqLB2G17E

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 23, 2017

For those who were confused about the Skrull rights (or the rights surrounding the Watchers), Gunn's recap should shine some light on the issue. While some have known about the shared rights of the Skrulls for a while, the reaction to the Captain Marvel announcement makes it seem like it wasn't exactly common knowledge. Hopefully the director's comments will help it all make more sense moving forward.

Next: Avengers Casting Call Hints at Captain Marvel Sequence

Captain Marvel is slated for release on March 8, 2019.

Source: James Gunn

Key Release Dates
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2018
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James Gunn Explains Marvel/Fox Movie Rights: How Skrulls Can Be In The MCU