Russo Brothers On Character Rights For ‘Avengers: Infinity War’


While Marvel recently made a deal with Sony to bring Spider-Man into their films, there are still many characters that Marvel does not have the rights to. The X-Men and Fantastic Four still belong to Fox, while Namor and standalone Hulk rights belong to Universal Studios. As a result of Marvel not having the rights to all of its characters, the Russo Brothers need to make changes to Avengers: Infinity War, such as Mephisto not being able to appear.

In an interview with Screen Crush, the Russo’s were asked whether they would use “existing characters as analogs for very important characters you don’t own the rights to?”

Joe Russo: “Yes. You can take the core mythology and apply it to different characters.”

Anthony Russo: “We don’t feel obligated to do that. We would rather see a new version of a story than a literal interpretation of a story that already existed. That’s part of the fun of it for us. So we lean that way with things. But we always want to take what’s fun and creatively exciting from the books. It’s cherry picking for our own narrative needs.”

From their comments it sounds very much like they will be using a similar approach as they did for Captain America: Civil War, using the core concepts of the comic book story-lines while changing various ideas to more accurately reflect the cinematic universe up to this point.

The newest Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters May 6th.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing.


Leon Brill

Leon Brill

Leon Brill is a staff writer for Heroic Hollywood, superhero/comic enthusiast, gamer, and film lover.

  • AlphaBlu

    Why can’t Mephisto appear?

    • Jake Bucsko

      No clue…Sony used him in Ghost Rider, and Ghost Rider now belongs to Marvel again…but Mephisto’s first appearance was in Silver Surfer which means he might be owned by Fox?

      • Lorenzo Ladogana

        Actually, Sony never actually used Mephisto in the Ghost Rider movies. They used Mephistopheles/Satan, the actual Devil himself.
        Mephisto’s rights most likely are still with Fox.

        • Jake Bucsko

          Mephisto’s wiki page lists his two film appearances in the Ghost Rider movies. In the first one Blackheart was in it too, and he’s established as Mephisto’s son, like in the comics. Same character.

          • Lorenzo Ladogana

            Not exactly. The character is listed as “Mephistopheles” in the first GR and “Roarke” in the second.
            Mephistopheles is just one of the many interpretations of the Devil, Mephisto is inspired and heavily implied to be him (but not legally the same character).

  • Boogie

    Loki takes Mephisto’s role. Problem solved.

  • Boogie

    Heck, Loki would be better instead of Mephisto anyway since Mephisto hasn’t been introduced in the MCU. Loki has and would play a very similar role as being in Thanos’ ear and trying to get the gauntlet for himself. It’s a no brainer.

    Also, I like booty.

  • Worldmind

    Red Skull in Mephisto’s place?

  • Archfiend_Baramos

    The Hulk rights don’t really prevent them from making Hulk films or putting him in things. If they make a standalone Hulk film, Universal has the right to distribute it. If they choose not to, then others may.

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