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“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn – who is notorious for his active social media presence – made a rather interesting announcement while fielding some questions on Twitter regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It was asked if Marvel or Fox – who own the rights to the Fantastic Four films – had the rights to the Skrulls, a prominent extra-terrestrial race in the Marvel Comics Universe.  This has been nagging on some fans, seeing as how both the Avengers and the FF could conceivably have a legitimate claim to the characters and so far neither studio has used them.

It was long thought that Fox owned the rights, since Marvel chose to use the Chitauri for the first Avengers film.  The Chitauri were little more than the Skrulls by another name, as seen in the Ultimate Marvel comic book line.  Well, today everything seems to be cleared up.

James Gunn Tweeed:

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So it seems that while Fox may own exclusive rights to certain Skrull characters – the Super Skrull probably being the most prominent – that the concept and the race itself are a shared property.  Thanks for clearing that up, James!

Fans of Marvel movies from all studios know that the idea of shared characters and concepts isn’t anything new.  The character Quicksilver – who has had a prominent presence in both Avengers and X-Men books – was used by both Fox and Marvel in the films “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” as well as “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”  Fox has not yet used Quicksilver’s sister, the Scarlet Witch, who has become a major player in the MCU so it’s possible she isn’t included in that shared character arrangement.

It will be interesting moving forward to see what other characters might end up being shared through licensing loopholes or through a deal which may or may not be struck between Fox and Marvel in the near future.  Marvel has already struck such a deal with Sony, allowing Spider-Man to appear in this year’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

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