I’m imagining Fox and Marvel drawn as children in political cartoon style — their respective cardboard toy boxes sitting on the sidewalk between their splayed legs — each with a fist full of action figures, discussing which ones they’ll trade for what. The caption simply reads “Hollywood, 2012.”

It’s fun seeing Marvel with leverage these days, and this is definitely the most obvious manifestation of that new power yet. Apparently with time running out on Fox’s Daredevil option, the studio is making some interesting deals to fold some important characters back into the Marvel stable that might otherwise be held captive at Fox for some time. Apparently Fox has only until October 10th to begin production on a new Daredevil film before Marvel would regain control of it, as they have with characters like Blade, Hulk, and The Punisher already.  Marvel has decided though, that a few Fantastic Four characters — specifically Galactus and Silver Surfer — would be more valuable to them than Hell’s Kitchen’s blind superhero for the time being. Thus deals are apparently being struck to extend Fox’s option in exchange for early release of the cosmic characters.

It doesn’t take long for the Marvel fan’s mind to start going wild with the possibilities presented when Galactus and Silver Surfer are available to the Avengers universe, especially with some form of the Infinity Gauntlet saga looming (which SS plays a key role) in, or with the possibility that Thanos will be a big villain in Guardians of the Galaxy and some new universal threat will also be necessary for Avengers 2.

We’re giddy too, Joe!

Beyond that though, this story has revealed a new layer in that Fox’s eagerness to hang on to Daredevil is largely rooted in development they’ve already put into a reboot with Joe Carnahan behind it. This is definitely news to me, and it’s great news at that- the kind of decision that isn’t obvious, and yet seems perfectly natural.

Carnahan’s The Grey remains one of the better films of this year, and the guy’s enthusiasm is perfect for a superhero movie, as long as he’s perhaps a bit restrained from the overwrought action of The A-Team. When you’re talking about Daredevil, words like “Frank Miller-esque hardcore 70s thriller” that are being bandied about are exactly what one wants to hear. If Carnahan can balance gritty action and pathos as he did in his most recent film- we’ll all be lucky to be on board.

None of this is yet official, nor is Marvel likely to comment much once the deal is sealed. But that’s a whole heap of exciting Monday news for superhero fans.

Source | Variety