Couldn't think of an M word, but here's the latest news about the various Marvel Movie properties currently in development. Flicks talked about include X-Men 3, Spidey 2, Hulk 2, Daredevil 2, Elektra, the Fantastic Four, and more. Still have major doubts that they'll deliver FF by next Christmas. And if the Elektra stand-alone movie bombs, it could hurt Daredevil 2.
MTFBWY and HH!!During Marvel's conference call, Avi Arad said that he wished to clear up some misinformation about Marvel’s relationship with Artisan, stating that the studio (which was just acquired by Lion’s Gate) does not have “15 Marvel properties.” The only property Artisan has any stake in currently is Punisher. (He didn't mention Man-Thing, but I assume they obviously have a stake in THAT, too). Arad said that if things go well between Artisan and Lion’s Gate, Marvel may expand and/or continue their relationship with the studio. Arad stressed that, despite reports, Artisan does not have the rights to Iron Fist and Black Panther.
Other topics mentioned by Arad included:
- Spider-Man 2 just completed principle photography
- Iron Man is targeted to be a PG-13 release and on target for a ’05 release from New Line.
- Elektra, which is still in current development, will be the “sequel” to Daredevil, with the character first appearing there, and then she will be reunited with Daredevil in Daredevil 2.
- Marvel is “feverishly” working on Fantastic Four with Fox, and that the studio has it on its schedule for December 2004. (Given where it stands now, that's REALLY soon to expect anything.)
- Hulk 2 is in development for an 06 release. Arad reported that 6.5 million DVDs shipped out for the release, and 3.5 sold within the first seven days.
- Namor is in active development, no other word though.
- Arad said that X-Men 3 is in the start of development, but neither Marvel or Fox is willing to tentetively put it on the schedule yet, for either 05 or 06 release.
- Arad reported that Captain America is in discussion with top writers and directors, now that litigation surrounding the character has been resolved.
- Arad said that the production budget for Punisher was in the upper $30s, while the marketing budget will most likely be in the mid $20s (millions).
-Finally, Arad said that he should be able to release more information about upcoming Marvel film projects closer to the November 18th analysts' call.
Other notes from the conference call:
- Spider-Man 2 is already seeing more licensee activity that the first film.
- Marvel is already talking to and negotiating with licensees for Fantastic Four.
- Marvel will be working to expand its worldwide licensing business, and as such, will be opening offices in Europe and Japan to further licensee relationships internationally. The offices should be opening within the next 60 days.
-Man-Thing was named as the intial fruit of the company's strategic review - a low-budget film with Marvel creative support which may be the model for many Marvel properties in the future. Marvel acknowledged that the film will have very limited licensing, but it could spawn sequels.
-Final monies due in from Spider-Man are related to television and cable rights for the film. Revenue from those deals is expected in 2004.
-Spider-Man 2 merchandise rollout should begin in early Q1 2004 and will build through to the release of the film.
Jar Jar Binks