In the 1990’s, Marvel sold off the movie rights for many of its superheroes to various film studios. It seemed like a good idea at the time – after all, now there would be a way for the beloved costumed adventurers to make it to the big screen.
Except then in the late 2000’s, Marvel Studios came into being, and began building a shared cinematic universe for the supes. And while much fun was had by all, many people could only wistfully wish that this universe could include some of the highest-profile superheroes, like Spider-Man, or the X-Men. As long as the outside studios kept making movies with the characters, they retained the rights to them. But if they didn’t, then the rights would revert to Marvel. That’s what happened with The Hulk. And now it’s happened with Daredevil.
20th Century Fox optioned Daredevil, the night-prowling alter ego of blind lawyer Matt Murdock, in 1997, and released a movie about him starring Ben Affleck in 2003. Most people hated the film, and it didn’t do very well, so there wasn’t much of an attempt to make a sequel. There was some buzz about a reboot for the character last year, but it died down. Fox had until October 10th of last year to put a film into production before the rights to the character returned to Marvel. They didn’t go through with it.
And so now Daredevil could potentially emerge in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s not really an Avengers kind of guy, but might he team up with Ant-Man at some point? Pop up in the new SHIELD TV show? The possibilites are myriad!