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 Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later

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Lawson



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PostSubject: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Mon May 06, 2013 5:41 pm

I was reading today about Marvel Studios acquiring the movie rights to the Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade. Last week, it was Daredevil. By "acquiring," I mean, the previous owners did not want them anymore, so they sold them relatively cheaply.

The big fish, however, still are swimming in other ponds. Sony has Spider-Man and Fox has the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

In his recent book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe describes how Marvel Comics threw away the movie rights to its characters a generation ago, scattering them among various studios, always for a pittance. Studio heads literally snickered at how little they paid for the rights to these famous names. Marvel Comics had no idea what it was doing. It was happy for the pittance.

I remember Stan Lee's monthly Bullpen column in the late 1970s, early 1980s -- written from Los Angeles, where he relocated to make a fortune as he tried to sell Marvel to Hollywood -- and he constantly boasted that he was on the brink of a major deal, always on the brink of a deal, 1978 was gonna be the year we got a major Spider-Man feature-film, no it was 1981 and Captain America, no it was 1983 and the Fantastic Four. You just wait, True Believers! We're days away from a major Tinseltown announcement!

Laughing

For all the years Stan spent "taking meetings" in L.A., and all the cash he got paid, it's been another team of people entirely who finally brought us some great Marvel movies. Now they've just gotta figure out how to clean up Stan's mess and bring all the characters under one roof again.
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Erick_Cruz

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Mon May 06, 2013 8:25 pm

Dont see how it was Stan's mess since he didnt farm out Spidey, X-Men and F4.
I dont think he was even involved in the Corman F4, the rubber ears Cap movie or the Ivan Drago Punisher flick.
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Chris W



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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Tue May 07, 2013 1:05 am

Stan was played by Hollywood like so many others have been in so many genres. At least he didn't stop working because of it. Other writers, artists, actors, musicians, and others take meeting with Hollywood, their productivity goes through the floor.

Interestingly, "The Avengers" was made because Marvel had sold movie rights to the X-Men and related characters, the FF, Spider-Man, but the core members of the Avengers weren't sold to anybody. Despite being mutants, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are going to be in future Avengers movies, because they weren't "X-Men" characters.

Dealing with Hollywood only makes sense once your properties are earning enough money that you can take time off from the typewriter/drawing board to put up with them. Sure, they'll fly you out to the Playboy Mansion. You won't finish any pages, but at least you get wined and dined.

A writer who wrote one of the quintessential sci-fi stories has made a good living selling the rights to Hollywood, more than he ever made from a story that has been endlessly-reprinted. [I'm blanking on the name.] As long as the movie never gets made, the rights will always revert to him and he'll sell them again to the next movie company to offer. Another comic book writer [whose name I never learned] did the same thing, and then the movie got made and bombed. He can't ever sell that story again in Hollywood, and he no longer gets the regular money that comes from people trying to make his movie.

Frankly, I think comic book companies (and writers/artists) would do well to set themselves up as pitch factories for Hollywood. They'll get money for everything and the writers and artists will get the time to work on the more important comic books. At one point, I had a half-dozen pitches that I would sell in a heartbeat, or take extra money to crank out a screenplay and let it be twisted by whoever wanted to bother with it. A serial killer who goes after telemarketers that bother you at dinner? That'll be a box-office smash no matter what anybody does to it. Give me my paycheck.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Tue May 07, 2013 10:23 am

Erick_Cruz wrote:
Dont see how it was Stan's mess since he didnt farm out Spidey, X-Men and F4.
I dont think he was even involved in the Corman F4, the rubber ears Cap movie or the Ivan Drago Punisher flick.

Others may well have contributed to the mess.

But it was Stan, as Marvel's publisher, who began negotiating with Hollywood in the 1970s and who moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to devote his time to Marvel's movie and TV deals. According to Howe's book and Stan's own memoir, Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Stan spent the 1980s taking meetings with producers and directors. We got ... what from all that? Smile
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Erick_Cruz

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Tue May 07, 2013 8:20 pm

If Perelman hadnt screwed over Marvel in the early 90's (leading to its bankruptcy) Marvel might've gotten an earlier start and only depended on studios to distribute their movies.
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up Stan Lee's mess 30 years later   Tue May 07, 2013 8:53 pm

Erick_Cruz wrote:
If Perelman hadnt screwed over Marvel in the early 90's (leading to its bankruptcy) Marvel might've gotten an earlier start and only depended on studios to distribute their movies.
Or they would still have been just as star struck and it would not have made any difference, it's not like they weren't they never had the chance and hooked up with higher caliber Hollywood like George Lucas.

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