Just yesterday, Universal Pictures announced they would be releasing the Legendary Pictures Untitled 2016 Event Project on Friday, November 4, 2016. Pretty innocuous, right? That is until you start to scroll through the lists of superhero properties that belong to certain studios but have yet to see the big screen. Surprise, surprise! Universal has managed to survive the mergers and acquisitions wars with one lone Marvel property intact: Namor the Sub-Mariner. Now, Universal’s got plenty of their own IP to worry about, what with their monstrous reboots on the way, but their recent deal with Legendary suggests a superhero launch could be just over the horizon. Hit the jump for more. [Update: We’ve added a comment from Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein, who could be scripting the secret project.]
Q: Do you have something you’ve finished writing that you know will be going into production next, or do you have a few things that you’re waiting to hear about?
BORENSTEIN: We’ll see. There is this secret project that I’ve been working on with the folks at Legendary, which I’m excited about. I think there’s a decent shot of that [going into production]. I can’t get into details, but hopefully soon, it will hit the universe.
So keep in mind that his answer is neither confirmation of a Namor movie, nor that this is even the secret project in question. The original story follows below:
The mysterious Universal/Legendary release date was announced yesterday, but the folks over at Latino-Review have postulated that a Namor film is in the works. It would certainly make sense. After partnering with Warner Bros. for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the two most recent Superman movies (not to mention Watchmen, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern), Legendary parted ways with the studio only to hook up with Universal. This would also mean that in order to take advantage of the current hot box office ticket (ie Marvel movies), Legendary would be jumping from DC stories over to its competitor.
Aside from that, Latino-Review says that this project “is new and not a sequel or remake, though it may be based on underlying intellectual property.” They rightly presume that that means the Universal Monsters aren’t involved (unless they plan to bring them all together on screen at once?). Other possibilities include Hot Wheels, Brilliance, or the ambitious Mass Effect project. Only the latter option rings true as an “event project” but a Namor adaptation would certainly qualify. They also point out that WB has set a tentative May 5, 2017 release date for Justice League, which is likely to include DC’s own wet wonder, Aquaman. Perhaps Universal will beat them to the punch with Namor, much like Marvel Comics did with the character’s origins themselves. Chalk this one up as rumor at the moment, but with Sony milking Spider-Man for all he’s worth, and Fox stepping up its mutant universe, I’m almost certain that someone at Universal has at least had a Namor discussion. (I’m less sure that the Lionsgate folks are pitching a Man-Thing movie any time soon.)