Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, announced that the movie rights to the Punisher, Blade, and Ghost Rider are now owned by Marvel once again.
These characters were once owned by Fox but must have been sold back to Marvel after they realized they weren’t any more money for them. The Punisher’s rights were used twice by Fox, once in 2004 with “The Punisher” and again in 2011 with the reboot of the first film, “Punisher: War Zone”. “Punisher: War Zone” did horribly at the box office, making only $10 million which didn’t even cover the $35 million budget. The Blade rights were used to make the “Blade” trilogy starring Wesley Snipes. The last “Blade” movie, “Blade: Trinity” was made in 2004 and was considered a flop by many critics. Ghost Rider was featured in two different Fox films, “Ghost Rider” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, both starring Nicholas Cage.
Feige stated that we shouldn’t expect to see these characters in films any time soon. With Marvel films planned all the way into phase 3 there’s little room to add in more movies. The latest movie announced was “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” which is projected for a 2017 release and there are probably more movies planned that have yet to be announced. These characters could appear in other media however, with Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and the Defenders being featured in their own Netflix series it’s not hard to imagine that Blade, the Punisher, and Ghost Rider could get a similar treatment or be featured in other media outside the movies.
This change comes as great news for fans of these characters because Fox was most likely not going to feature these characters in new movies any time soon. This shifting of rights also allows these characters to interact with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and could result in some interesting team-ups and cross-overs.