While Sony Pictures and Marvel might be able to work out a deal to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the bitter rivalry between Marvel and 20th Century Fox continues. Fox owns the screen rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four, and Marvel has retaliated by undermining those properties. According to Marvel Comics writer Chris Claremont [via Bleeding Cool], the company has forbidden the creation of new X-Men characters because those characters could then be used by Fox.
Hit the jump for more on how Marvel is trying to hurt Fox’s profits even if it means canceling comics.
Bleeding Cool also reports that Fantastic Four will be canceled next year with the triple-sized issue #645, Fantastic Fourever (a cruelly ironic title). Bleeding Cool expects that the series will end sometime around April, so there won’t be any support on shelves when The Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015.
Per Bleeding Cool, this decision is:
a result of Disney’s highest single shareholder and Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter’s anger with Fox Studios over negotiations regarding the film-and-related rights to The Fantastic Four, that Marvel would cancel the Fantastic Four comic rather than provide any promotion, however small it might be, towards the Fox Studios film. Merchandise and licenses were scrapped and even Fantastic Four posters in the offices were pulled down lest Perlmutter see one and have his ire raised.
As THR reported earlier this year, Perlmutter is an…unusual businessman. However, Marvel Comics can get away with this cancelation since Fantastic Four doesn’t sell particularly well, although if the movie was a success, the comics would probably get a boost. X-Men is too valuable to cancel, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to get Marvel’s full support either.
However, rather than have a rising tide raise all ships, Marvel would be perfectly content to let Fox sink to the bottom of the ocean. X-Men sells well enough to continue, but there will be no toys or any of the usual ancillary revenues. The fight between Fox and Marvel is why there were no X-Men: Days of Future Past toys, and those would have been huge for Fox since there are so many mutants in that movie.
With Deadpool on the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Merc with the Mouth also loses his comic book series. Comic characters can survive just about everything except the cost of doing business.