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It was bound to happen eventually, and I had a feeling Fox was going to the company that finally made it happen.
Ever since Marvel Studios started making their own movies, fans have been wondering about the possibility of the characters that are currently owned by other studios making crossover appearances into the Marvel Universe that's been built, film by film, over the last few years.
Today, it looks like that's starting to happen, and it's a fairly exciting development in terms of what opportunities it sets up for this second wave of Marvel movies and also for one of the characters that is staying at Fox. David Slade recently left the "Daredevil" reboot that Fox has been developing, and now it looks like Joe Carnahan may step in with a take that is being described as a "Frank Miller-esque hardcore '70s thriller," which sounds like the exact right approach to the character. Carnahan hasn't commented officially, but he just Tweeted a very cryptic "DD - MM - 73," so feel free to interpret that as you see fit.
It sounds like it's still premature to say that's a done deal, but time is something that Fox does not have on their side right now. They have to make a "Daredevil" movie sooner rather than later, or the rights revert to Marvel. That's something Fox would like to avoid, and since they have a bargaining chip, it looks like they're going to play a lightning round of "Let's Make A Deal" where the real winner will be the audiences.
Word recently broke that Josh Trank, director of "Chronicle," is set to direct the reboot of "Fantastic Four" for Fox, and with Jeremy Slater set to write it, I'm confident they've got a creative team onboard who will approach the characters with respect and style. Part of the "Fantastic Four" deal includes other characters, including Galactus and the Silver Surfer. Now, considering we already know that Phase Two of the Marvel Studios movies is more cosmic in terms of setting and content, it would seem like Galactus and the Silver Surfer would fit perfectly into that game plan. And now, according to Variety, that's exactly what's going to happen.
So Marvel agrees to give Fox more time to get their "Daredevil" film right, and Fox agrees to give Marvel the rights to use their own characters in the larger film universe. That sounds like a giant bag of win/win to me.
Obviously, all of this could still go south, and it could also easily change between now and when those films are finally released. All of this right now is still an ongoing discussion between the studios, but this is the beginning of the breaking of the dam between what Marvel owns and what the other studios optioned, and if it goes well, I hope we'll see more of this in the future.
It really is just a matter of time until we see Spider-Man onscreen with the Avengers, isn't it?
We'll be paying close attention, and we'll have more as this story develops.