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Marvel Heads Toward Avengers, DC Heads for Imminent Change

DC Justice League and Marvel Avengers

Earlier this afternoon I made my regular stop over to Nikki Finke’s site Deadline Hollywood Daily to see what was what in the world of tormenting the Hollywood brass, when I came across an incredibly interesting article titled “A Reboot of DC Comics Before Comic-Con?” In the article, Finke plays outsider, discussing from afar the various problems that have been exposed in the operations of DC Comics and parent company Time Warner that have led to some fanboy uprisings and some seriously flawed film productions. It reminded me of a discussion I had a while back with some of the other editors here at FSR, an analyzation of why DC, with the obvious exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, has really floundered with their cinematic adaptations.

What really blows my mind is that the rights to DC’s library of stories is held solely by Warner Brothers, allowing them to virtually do anything they want with the DC Universe. If they wanted to make a Justice League movie they could very well… Oh wait, they tried that. It has been pronounced dead in development. It is problems like these, as well as a waning standing in actual comic sales, that seem to have put DC Comics Senior VP Dan DiDio’s head on the chopping block and Warner Bros. President/COO Alan Horn in the cross hairs of many fans.

Ironically, this article could not have come at a worse time for DC, as on the same day director Jon Favreau, whose Iron Man proved that Marvel’s decision to seek autonomy with their films by creating Marvel Studios was nothing short of brilliant, talked to the USA Today about the Avengers film, which is set to hit theaters in the summer of 2011. Favs talked about the potential line-up of the Avengers film, saying “the ones Marvel is talking about now are Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and Iron Man. I would love to see that.”

You see, for Marvel Studios it is still all about rights. They currently still own the rights to these five characters, whereas the rights to the X-Men and The Fantastic Four are held by 20th Century Fox and the rights to Spider-Man are held by Sony. This is the only thing standing in their way of bringing these characters into the fold — though I don’t think that fans will have a problem with that, as they are just excited about the possibility of a well-made Avengers film. And why shouldn’t they be excited — with the success of both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Marvel has proved that once they had the rights to make the movies that they wanted to make, they have come up with gold. One would think that the same is possible for DC, as the rights issue isn’t something that stands in their way. Unfortunately, it appears that having the rights to your own catalog of superheroes has nothing to do with making good movies.

What do you think of the Avengers line-up that Jon Favreau mentioned? As well, what do you think is wrong with DC?

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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