Duncan MacLeod wrote:
Yes and no. I believe that there's a codicil in the contracts about if the characters aren't used in 'x' number of years the rights revert back to Marvel.
At least that's the way it was back when Roger Corman made his FF movie. It was never intended for release. It was just so the studio could retain the screen rights.
Nor sure if the X-men movies are like that, but they might be.
Yes, that's how the rights work, but the characters come in a bundle basically. Fox renews the X-Men rights every time they make an X-Men movie, and they would lose the rights if they failed to to do so within the number of years stipulated by the contract. But when the rights renew they do so for the whole package of characters. They don't have to say, "Oh, we need to have character X put in a cameo appearance or else we'll lose the rights to that particular character." Fox still controls the film rights to Mole Man, for example, as part of the Fantastic Four rights even though they haven't put him on screen yet. The same goes for any number of Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Daredevil characters.