We told you last week that Marvel and Fox were in talks to make a trade of sorts. Fox would get an extension on their Daredevil rights and Marvel would recoup certain specific character rights from the Fantastic Four universe, including Silver Surfer and Galactus. This seemed like a no brainer for both sides and was potentially step one for cross studio cooperation.
Of course when something seems to good to be true it often is. Word is now out that the talks have fallen through and Fox will lose the Daredevil rights and retain their full Fantastic Four catalog. This development is the very definition of a good news, bad news situation.
On one hand, any time Marvel Studios gets a chance to pull in the rights to one of its characters and their universe it is a good thing. It is unlikely that Matt Murdock will be fighting alongside The Avengers any time soon, but Marvel Studios is ever-expanding, and it is likely we will see a faithful Daredevil adaptation in some form or another eventually. Plus keeping Silver Surfer and Galactus with the Fantastic Four allows for the chance that a proper FF reboot can use two of their more important in-universe characters.
On the other hand, Daredevil now becomes as relevant to current Marvel Studios plans as Iron Fist and Power Man, which is to say not very important as they expand into cosmic. If the trade had gone through Galactus and Silver Surfer could have played important roles immediately in ‘phase 2’ which would have only increased the quality of those films.
So the era of cross studio cooperation has to wait yet again, eventually some studio head is going to realize that finding a way to keep the rights and share them from time to time with Marvel is only going to increase the value of that studios rights. Not to mention getting essentially a free slice of the Avengers business pie.