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  1. #1

    Default What if Disney purchased Marvel decades ago?

    What if Disney Studios purchased Marvel Comics circa 1969-70, around the same time that Warner Bros. Studios purchased National Periodicals/DC Comics?
    What could have been the arc of development of Marvel properties for live action film, television, animation, etc.?
    What could have been the successes? The failures?
    Would the whims of corporate executives lead them to try and sell Marvel at some point, not believing in them as an IP resource?

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    Especially after the success of the 1978 Superman movie, I think that Disney would have fast-tracked the development of a film based on Spider-Man first.. or maybe Captain America?


    Would the Universal Studios attempts at developing Marvel properties have done any better under Disney? Incredible Hulk, Dr. Strange, Captain America, (and the abandoned Human Torch project)?

    I think from the 1970s forward there would have been more attempts at animated cartoon shows, based on different concepts. There likely would have been at least an attempt to develop an X-Men cartoon based on the original five members, then eventually one based on the post-1975 versions.

    The 1980s could have yielded several hit cartoon shows based on different properties- likely prioritizing the Avengers related characters. A more kid-friendly version of Daredevil could likely have come to prominence (with the seeing eye dog). Especially if there was an impetus to compete with the GI Joe and Transformers franchises, then maybe 65-episodes would have been produced on folks like the Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, etc.
    Last edited by Hypestyle; 06-06-2021 at 02:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member green_garnish's Avatar
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    We wouldn't have any Roger Corman Marvel movies. That's a good thing. There's a possibility that X-Men might have been fast tracked first, depending on the year, given their toe-dipping into darker stuff like Black Hole and Return To Oz (actually, was that Disney? )

    The success of Batman and TMNT is more likely to inspire Marvel movies, I think, if Disney had ownership.

  3. #3
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    The success of Star Wars and Superman The Movie would really have prompted Disney to start greenlighting Marvel movies probably starting first with Spider-Man and Hulk.

  4. #4

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    It occurs to me that The Black Hole was an attempt at adult science fiction that was devoid of any camp that one might expect. There could definitely have been a serious attempt at a "mature" take on some of the Marvel properties back then. Maybe Fantastic Four could have happened much earlier.
    Last edited by Hypestyle; 06-06-2021 at 05:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by green_garnish View Post
    We wouldn't have any Roger Corman Marvel movies. That's a good thing. There's a possibility that X-Men might have been fast tracked first, depending on the year, given their toe-dipping into darker stuff like Black Hole and Return To Oz (actually, was that Disney? )

    The success of Batman and TMNT is more likely to inspire Marvel movies, I think, if Disney had ownership.
    In addition to the X-Men, by 1978, there likely would have been interest in developing Power Man and Iron Fist, as well as Ms. Marvel for the screen.

  6. #6
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    I bet we would have gotten what have now but pretty much backwards in terms of order in the MCU. X-Men, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Hulk, Namor all would probably have hit well before Iron, Captain America, Thor, Avengers.

    Wolverine and Deadpool would never have been what they became. Perhaps no Deadpool, ever.

    We probably would've gotten a female hero or 2 solo movies in the 90s.

    There probably would've been a Crisis-style event in the 90s/ early 2000s in both the MCU and the comics to reset things.

    Movies would've come out 1 every 2-3 years at most till the 90s.

    We never would've seen a Blade movie.

    Power Pack would have been a HUGE thing.

    Probably no Incredibles movie(s) either as the Fantastic Four and supers in general would've been more commonplace by then. In this dream scenario, their void has been filled with the Power Pack.

    DC would be incredibly dark, all the time. Movies, Cartoons, TV, comics, etc.

    The DnA GotG would probably never exist. Same with the Gunn GotG.

    I have a hunch Disney would have several cosmic properties that were Star Wars/ Buck Rogers-esque in scope and tone. Star-Lord w/ element gun & Ship, Micronaughts, Silver Surfer, Mar-vell, & Nova come to mind.

    Inhumans might actually be a big deal.
    Last edited by BeastieRunner; 06-07-2021 at 01:03 PM.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieRunner View Post
    I bet we would have gotten what have now but pretty much backwards in terms of order in the MCU. X-Men, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Hulk, Namor all would probably have hit well before Iron, Captain America, Thor, Avengers.

    Wolverine and Deadpool would never have been what they became. Perhaps no Deadpool, ever...
    Not so sure about Sub-Mariner or Wolverine. By 1978 (when the OP postulates Disney would be trying to answer Warner's Superman film), Namor's brand was in decline, and Logan was becoming the star of Marvel's fastest rising property.

  8. #8
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Not so sure about Sub-Mariner or Wolverine. By 1978 (when the OP postulates Disney would be trying to answer Warner's Superman film), Namor's brand was in decline, and Logan was becoming the star of Marvel's fastest rising property.
    I didn't say Wolverine wouldn't have been popular, just vastly different then what he is now.

    As for Namor, that is a fair point however he was an ED mandate at the time to save (which clearly didn't work). A movie would do wonders to recoup an IP. That was my line of reasoning.

    F4 had a historic run about that time which is why I think they would've been more at the front of the line.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

  9. #9
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    The MCU as we know it, wouldnt exist

  10. #10
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    The MCU as we know it, wouldnt exist
    I have to agree with this. I have to wonder would Disney have put all of the effort into animated movies instead of live action.
    I think restorative nostalgia is the number one issue with comic book fans.
    A fine distinction between two types of Nostalgia:

    Reflective Nostalgia allows us to savor our memories but accepts that they are in the past
    Restorative Nostalgia pushes back against the here and now, keeping us stuck trying to relive our glory days.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Castle's Avatar
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    I don't want to get into, which IP would have gotten films first and all that stuff. However, there would have been a high chance that Disney would have treated marvel more like Miramax Films, if they had purchased marvel decades ago. which by light years would have been better for the series.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieRunner View Post
    I didn't say Wolverine wouldn't have been popular, just vastly different then what he is now.

    As for Namor, that is a fair point however he was an ED mandate at the time to save (which clearly didn't work). A movie would do wonders to recoup an IP. That was my line of reasoning.

    F4 had a historic run about that time which is why I think they would've been more at the front of the line.
    I could see that. I do agree with you that the reverse ordering thing would likely have happened. FF would probably have been the first properties to get a shot, they would have fit with Disney's tradition of live-action high adventure series like 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea or Treasure Island like a glove. Further, between Atlantis, Attilan, The Blue Area Of The Moon, Wakanda, and The Mole Man's Realm, the FF's various settings would have been tailor-made for rides at Disneyland/world.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    It occurs to me that The Black Hole was an attempt at adult science fiction that was devoid of any camp that one might expect. There could definitely have been a serious attempt at a "mature" take on some of the Marvel properties back then. Maybe Fantastic Four could have happened much earlier.
    Disney had a good thing going with TRON but maybe because of a low box office or they didn't know how to market the property Disney could have fast tracked dozens of sequels, spin-offs.

  14. #14
    Incredible Member luprki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace Dolex View Post
    Disney had a good thing going with TRON but maybe because of a low box office or they didn't know how to market the property Disney could have fast tracked dozens of sequels, spin-offs.
    It’s was expensive to make, but that never stopped Disney before

  15. #15
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have Raimi's first two Spider-Man movies or Into the Spider-Verse. Or Deadpool. So pass.

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