Potential Legal Issues Between Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox?
Evan Peters cast as “Quicksilver” in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Earlier this week, Brian Singer excitedly tweeted the casting of actor Evan Peters (Kick-Ass, “American Horror Story”) in the role of “Quicksilver” for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue except for Joss Whedon’s prior announcement given several weeks ago where he announced Magneto’s own children, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, would serve villain duties on his sequel to last summer’s The Avengers. The complication lies in the fact that X-Men: Days of Future Past is produced by 20th Century Fox, who owns the film rights to “X-Men” properties, and that The Avengers 2 is produced by Marvel Studios, who owns the “Avengers” properties. Consequently, these two specific characters are large players in both comic book/ graphic novel franchises. It seems only natural that this would happen when independent studios control specific areas of dependent source material narratives.
So far, it appears amicable. One studio hasn’t directed a defiant statement toward the other studio. Evan Peters hasn’t commented on his initial reaction to nabbing the role. Neither studio has confirmed or denied as to whether or not Peters would reprise the role in The Avengers 2. Could there be a cross-studio on-screen teaser made for titillating comic book fans?
I doubt it.
Kevin Feige confirmed that Marvel’s legal issues should be dodged if no specific reference to any of the X-Men cavalcade of characters. For example, Magneto is Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s father in the comic books, which means that Marvel Studios films can show the villainous siblings so long as their heritage isn’t a topic of discussion. However, these terms are simply explained. The legal ramifications may not be so simply interpreted in a court of law.
I seem to remember a rumor that bounced out of Latino Review last year involving Oscorp Tower from The Amazing Spider-Man almost making a brief appearance in Manhattan for The Avengers. Perhaps Marvel Studios has a much better relationship with Sony Pictures?
One thing is also for sure: Marvel Studios has begun acquiring the rights to several film properties from their comic universe that haven’t yet joined their film universe. Daredevil, Blade, Ghost Rider and The Punisher are shining examples of film properties newly-acquired by Marvel Studios. Sony only has Spider-Man (but that’s an ace, to be sure). 20th Century Fox owns the properties to X-Men and Fantastic Four. Fox Studio Exec/ Comic Properties Godfather Mark Millar expressed early interest in the potential for a cross-over between Fox’s comic franchises.
The confirmed casting of Evan Peters is at least a sure thing that 20th Century Fox is perhaps more serious about testing the legal waters when compared to Marvel Studios via Joss Whedon’s earlier comments that may not even make the shooting script.