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Old 04-28-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
TheFantasticJoe
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Default Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Sony originally owned the rights to use the Kingpin, since that character is most notably associated with Spider-Man. However, Fox bought out the rights so they could use him for Daredevil. Now that Daredevil is back at Marvel, did the Kingpin rights revert back to Sony, or does Marvel have them now?

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Old 04-28-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Sony originally owned the rights to use the Kingpin, since that character is most notably associated with Spider-Man. However, Fox bought out the rights so they could use him for Daredevil. Now that Daredevil is back at Marvel, did the Kingpin rights revert back to Sony, or does Marvel have them now?
Ari Avad has stated that the character rights fell under the Spider-man contract with Sony, and were loaned to FOX for use in the Daredevil movie. Greg Weisman, however, has stated that he was unable to use the Kingpin in the Spectacular Spider-man cartoon he produced with Sony because the rights were held by FOX at the time.

Kingpin may be another one of the "shared rights" entities, joining Pietro, Wanda and the Skrulls as characters that can be used by more than one company.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Maybe Arad lied or the situation changed over the years. But if he fell under the Daredevil license, then Marvel has him now.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Ari Avad has stated that the character rights fell under the Spider-man contract with Sony, and were loaned to FOX for use in the Daredevil movie. Greg Weisman, however, has stated that he was unable to use the Kingpin in the Spectacular Spider-man cartoon he produced with Sony because the rights were held by FOX at the time.
Which is very weird, because Kingpin was used by Sony back in 2003 for the CGI Spidey cartoon. So clearly there was some sharing or joint ownership going on back then, but the true nature of the arrangement seems to be unknown.

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Or it could be the rights for movie and cartoon are separate and unrelated.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Sony's 2003 Spidey series and Spectacular Spider-Man were both cartoons, so it's clearly not just that.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

The specifics of the rights could of been renegotiated between 2003 and when Spec Spidey came out though. Since Fox was probably in the midst of getting another DD film thrown together before they lost the rights.

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Old 05-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Which is very weird, because Kingpin was used by Sony back in 2003 for the CGI Spidey cartoon. So clearly there was some sharing or joint ownership going on back then, but the true nature of the arrangement seems to be unknown.
Bigscreen and tv/dvd licenses are separate.

For example: Fox owns all the mutants for film releases, but for tv Marvel/Disney can use the X-Men if they wish to produce a cartoon series.

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Bigscreen and tv/dvd licenses are separate.

For example: Fox owns all the mutants for film releases, but for tv Marvel/Disney can use the X-Men if they wish to produce a cartoon series.
Does make me wonder if Fox and Sony own the live-action rights to their Marvel characters, because if they owned the full tv rights to X-Men and Spider-Man, they could also show up in the MCU-related Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

I've wondered about that too. I guess it depends on the specifics that are stated on the signed license contracts... I'd love to get my hands on one of those.

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Bigscreen and tv/dvd licenses are separate.

For example: Fox owns all the mutants for film releases, but for tv Marvel/Disney can use the X-Men if they wish to produce a cartoon series.
But still it seemed like Fox was planning on using the Kingpin in their DD sequel while it was still in development and if Sony owns the rights to Kingpin, why was he not present in any of the Spider-Man movies?

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

I think that means Fox didn't just borrow Kingpin from Sony, but actually bought out the rights from them. It's possible Avi just wasn't accurate in his statements.

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Does make me wonder if Fox and Sony own the live-action rights to their Marvel characters, because if they owned the full tv rights to X-Men and Spider-Man, they could also show up in the MCU-related Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
Sony and Fox own the live action rights. Marvel can only make cartoons out of them.

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Old 05-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Originally Posted by Nelson/Murdock View Post
Which is very weird, because Kingpin was used by Sony back in 2003 for the CGI Spidey cartoon. So clearly there was some sharing or joint ownership going on back then, but the true nature of the arrangement seems to be unknown.
From what I remember, they had to get permission from Fox, which is why it was the MCD version of Kingpin in the show.

And yes, the Fox reboot of Daredevil was going to have Kingpin in it. Then the film fell apart and the Daredevil rights reverted to Marvel.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

The film rights to Daredevil was licensed to 20th Century Fox Pictures, and so went the rights to Kingpin. Now, television rights are a different animal and those could have been licensed to someone else.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

I suspect, even if Marvel technically has the live action TV rights, they won't overly use them as a loophole. For one thing, it would create a mess continuity-wise that they probably don't wish to deal with, given that SHIELD is an in-continuity TV series. For another, wholesale use of X-Men in the TV show would probably give Fox a prima facie case for a law suit, on the grounds that it demonstrates bad faith and causes harm to the value of the IP they paid and contracted to use. I doubt they would actually *win* in the end, but it'd probably be enough to keep lawyers busy for years.

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Didn't Fox already cause a stink with some mutant tv show a few years back?

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Old 05-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

Ah, right, I had forgotten about Mutant X. Granted, that's a more clear cut case than I was really pondering ( seriously, it totally was an X-Men clone intended to bypass the rights issue ), but clearly Fox considered their rights to encompass live action TV.

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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Ah, right, I had forgotten about Mutant X. Granted, that's a more clear cut case than I was really pondering ( seriously, it totally was an X-Men clone intended to bypass the rights issue ), but clearly Fox considered their rights to encompass live action TV.
Yeah, that's a great point and a great clue as to who owns the live action rights to these licensed characters. Though at the time, I think Fox also owned the animation rights. I still would like to know who owns what in terms of live action TV rights. A Hugh Jackman or Andrew Garfield cameo on the SHIELD show would be awesome, albeit admittedly unlikely.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

You know, I feel like Ben Urich and Kingpin should really fall under that legal moral zone where both studios can use them, as is the case with the Maximoffs and (probably) Viper, since both of those characters just as much a part of Spidey's mythos as they are Daredevil's.

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Yeah, that's a great point and a great clue as to who owns the live action rights to these licensed characters. Though at the time, I think Fox also owned the animation rights. I still would like to know who owns what in terms of live action TV rights. A Hugh Jackman or Andrew Garfield cameo on the SHIELD show would be awesome, albeit admittedly unlikely.
I know for a fact Sony owns all live-action rights to Spider-Man, including TV. It was in an article about the Sony/Marvel deal when it first happened that I came across a few weeks back. It would be a pain to look up but I could probably find it.

EDIT: And here it is:

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/mar...iness/fi-13115

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Columbia's parent, Sony Pictures Entertainment, also won the rights to produce sequels to the initial picture and a live-action television series. Sony and Marvel Enterprises also said they would establish a 50-50 joint venture to license Spider-Man-related merchandise, including toys, games and apparel, that could generate billions of dollars in revenues.


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Old 05-13-2013, 12:27 PM   #21
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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You know, I feel like Ben Urich and Kingpin should really fall under that legal moral zone where both studios can use them, as is the case with the Maximoffs and (probably) Viper, since both of those characters just as much a part of Spidey's mythos as they are Daredevil's.


I know for a fact Sony owns all live-action rights to Spider-Man, including TV. It was in an article about the Sony/Marvel deal when it first happened that I came across a few weeks back. It would be a pain to look up but I could probably find it.

EDIT: And here it is:

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/mar...iness/fi-13115
Thanks for that article--it's pretty interesting. What confuses the subject for me, however, is the following from Spec Spidey producer Greg Weisman when Sony gave up the TV rights to Marvel:
www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=836
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"Last Thursday (8/27/09), Vic Cook and I were informed that in exchange for some concession vis-a-vis the live action Spider-Man features, Sony returned the television rights (including the animated television rights) for Spider-Man to Marvel."
Whether "live action Spider-Man features" means the live action movies only or also live action television is unclear, but when Weisman says "Sony returned the television rights (including the animated television rights)," it sounds like it could have meant the live action television rights as well. Later in a followup IGN article, it's made clear that "Weisman noted he had "no clue" as to what Sony gained regarding Spider-Man's film rights that they didn't already have that led them to give up the TV rights to the character."

Ever since Sony gave up TV rights to the character, I have been wondering this question about live action vs. animated TV.

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Old 05-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #22
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

I'm assuming it's just the animation rights.

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:24 AM   #23
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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I'm assuming it's just the animation rights.
But that's just an assumption. There is no indication either way of how that deal went down. There has been no action by Marvel or by Sony towards any live action TV version of Spider-Man or Spider-Man related characters, so to me there's just not enough information.

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:43 AM   #24
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

The only way I see one happening is if they give the film series a break anyway, which I doubt will happen anytime soon.

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #25
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Default Re: Who owns the rights to the Kingpin?

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The only way I see one happening is if they give the film series a break anyway, which I doubt will happen anytime soon.
Well, the way I read the original question is whether Marvel has the TV rights to these characters, not whether a Spider-Man TV show will happen anytime soon (it won't). The answer to the original question would have immediate implications for possible appearances in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show, a potential Daredevil show, or any other Marvel-produced TV venture.

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