Black Panther

February 25, 2018, 6:04 PM

I'm curious if Black Panther would be one of the Marvel characters that Universal doesn't have the rights too. Keeping in mind that Guardians of the Galaxy are joining Disney World, but Black Panther is more closely aligned with the Avengers than they are.

I'm just thinking that a Black Panther attraction at Animal Kingdom could be awesome. I'm guessing Disney's legal team is already looking into it.

Replies (6)

February 26, 2018, 4:10 PM

I'm sure they are looking into it, lol.

Bob Iger said (in response to a Wall Street Analyst).... "No. We haven't had a chance to build a ride,""Though I'm sure there are people who are working on it."

So, I'm pretty sure if there's a way they can implement this character, they will...

February 26, 2018, 4:36 PM

Universal can't get Black Panther, but this doesn't mean Disney can. Any character families from existing licensed characters are restricted from being used by Marvel, but Marvel is already restricted from using the remainder of it's portfolio east of the Mississippi. The contract locked both sides. That's why there's this debate as to how the contract can be renegotiated. The Fox acquisition can bring a lot of Fox properties to trade.

February 26, 2018, 9:17 PM

Disney and Universal can do anything that they wish to negotiate.

February 27, 2018, 1:32 AM

My guess is Disney will trade the Simpsons for full control of the Marvel theme park rights, with a 10 year deadline for Universal to close, replace, or re-theme anything with any relation to Marvel.

Edited: February 27, 2018, 7:02 AM

@Randy - Disney doesn't own The Simpsons to "trade". The Simpsons are licensed by Gracie Films to 20th Century Fox for distribution, and the theme park rights were similarly licensed by Gracie to Universal. Disney's partial acquisition of Fox does not give them the theme park license, and it would definitely not grant them ownership and may not even include the distribution rights to The Simpsons. Disney did not purchase Gracie Films, and while the distribution license for The Simpsons may transfer in the sale to Disney, the theme park right are a completely different ball of wax not associated with Fox.

Disney has indicated a desire to capitalize on the overwhelming popularity of Black Panther, and their quick moves to establish a meet and greet demonstrate their willingness to move fast. However, creating a theme park land and/or attractions takes years to develop, at which time Black Panther and the current Phase of the MCU are long-passed fads. Disney has to be extremely careful, because it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop theme park attractions, and without some level of assurance that the IP will maintain its popularity, any investment could be wasted because of the amount of time it takes to turn a suddenly popular IP into a theme park reality.

February 27, 2018, 4:43 PM

@ Russell, I agree about Disney being careful, however in terms of Marvel, I think the key for Disney is to remember the IP is not specifically tied to their current MCU phases.

Marvel characters have been popular for decades, that's not going to change so, they will be fine. in theory, as the long as the focus on the characters and not so much on the current cast portraying those roles (ahem Guardians attraction)

Yes, I'd say the current popularity of Black panther is tied specifically to the movie (and we recognize the social reasons beyond that)......but now that he's most likely a mainstream character in terms of the general audience......the character can survive beyond the current movie series...because he'll be the character of choice for a generation now. Once the (assumed) animated series are produced, etc. he won't be as tied to Chadwick Boseman as he is simply as THE popular black superhero...

If Disney focuses on the Marvel brand of characters moreso than the "hollywood" versions, they'll be fine developing attractions. Superhero popularity has proven to not be a flash in the pan.

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