It almost feels like Marvel won’t rest until all of its key characters are back under the umbrella of Marvel Studios, available for the picking and able to be placed in one of the company’s Phase Four movies, and beyond. While we celebrated the acquisition of Spider-Man, who made his debut in Captain America: Civil War, there are still properties like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four who live at other studios. We thought that was the case of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, but on that front, we might have been wrong.
Keep in mind that the rights to the character of Namor have been unclear for several years now. We have been writing for years on the comments of Marvel President Kevin Feige, who has said that the rights to the character were "complicated," and that "older contracts that still involve other parties" kept the Sub-Mariner out of Marvel’s hands. Well, on Kevin Smith’s Fatman On Batman podcast, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada made it sound like Namor was back with Marvel officially, stating:
Now, let’s acknowledge that Joe Quesada hedges his bets, and says that he "cant’ speak for studios," which means this might not be as set in stone as we’d hope. But by clarifying that Namor isn’t at Fox or Sony, this could mean that he’s free to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe… or maybe even Netflix as an ongoing television project.
Why does this make sense? Well, any time that Marvel is able to bring a beloved hero back under its umbrella, it’s reason to celebrate. While DC and Warner Bros. are hard at work with James Wan, trying to crack Aquaman for a 2018 release date, Namor, the Sub-Mariner allows Marvel to possibly lay out its own under-the-sea adventure, after conquering the galaxies with Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel and a possible Inhumans movie.
Here’s the rub. Even if Marvel has the rights to Namor, and wants to use him in a movie, it might not happen for several years. The Marvel film slate is programmed out through 2019, with nary a space to drop a Namor movie. That doesn’t mean that Marvel could make changes. They recently shifted dates to accommodate new movies for Spider-Man and an Ant-Man sequel that was unplanned. What do you think? Could Namor fall into Marvel’s Phase Four plans? The studio will need new heroes to continue carrying the torch, and while they are looking to the galaxies for upcoming stories, going beneath the ocean is a strong option, as well.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.