Since Disney+ recently announced a selection of the Sony-owned Marvel movies (including all three “Spiderman” movie series and films like “Venom”) being confirmed for Disney+ in various regions, including Europe and parts of Asia, I want to discuss the possibility of other live-action Marvel movies and series which weren’t initially produced by Disney and if we could ever see those titles appear on Disney+.

There Are Several Hulk FIlms and Series Which Aren’t Available:

The Incredible Hulk is one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe. However, both the Hulk films nor the live-action TV series are distributed by NBCUniversal, which is why they aren’t available on Disney+ in most countries.

However, not this doesn’t mean that they can’t be in the future, as there are a few countries around the world ( Spain, Japan and France), that have the 2008 film, “The Incredibles Hulk”.  

Howard The Duck Lives In Universal Picture’s Vault:

The film which Marvel decided they would start their film empire with, “Howard The Duck”, is a 1986 film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Strangely, the “Howard The Duck” film was produced by Marvel and Lucasfilm and distributed by Universal Pictures.

“Howard The Duck” is seen as one of the worst Marvel-branded movies ever made. However, it’s a piece of Marvel’s film history and belongs on Disney+ for better or for worse.

Daredevil and Elektra Are MIA In Several Countries:

Despite acquiring most of the assets of 21st Century Fox in 2019, some of the Marvel films they acquired are still yet to pop up on Disney+ in several countries. The 2003 “Daredevil” movie and its spinoff “Elektra” are two such examples that, despite being available in select territories like the UK, they are still absent in countries like the US.

In the regions, “Daredevil” and “Elektra” do stream on Disney+; however, they are not under the Marvel Legacy Movies row and don’t appear under the Marvel banner, but under the Star banner.

Blade Is About To Make A Comeback, But His Original Trilogy Isn’t Available To Stream On Disney+:

Back in the 90s, Marvel came out swinging when it teamed up with New Line Cinema to develop a film based on the half-man, half-vampire hero “Blade”. “Blade” was a financial success and spawned two sequels. However, an MCU reboot of the character is in development, but unfortunately, the original “Blade” trilogy is absent from the Marvel Disney+ catalogue.

A couple of years after the original “Blade” trilogy came to a close, New Line Cinema was purchased by Warner Bros, so whilst Disney seems to have gotten the film rights to the “Blade” character back, they may need to cough up some cash to get the original “Blade” trilogy back.

The Ghost Rider Movies Could Come To Disney+ Any Day Now:

With Disney clearly making a deal with Sony to stream “Spiderman” and its related films on Disney+ in several major territories, it’s no stretch of the imagination that Disney might try to get Sony to give them their two “Ghost Rider” films. The first “Ghost Rider” film hit screens in 2007 and starred Nicholas Cage, its sequel “Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance” was released a couple of years later and had Cage reprise his role as Johhny Blaze.

If Disney doesn’t try and get the “Ghost Rider” movies onto Disney+, it would be a bizarre decision, especially since they now have a deal with Sony and the marketing that Disney+ is the “home of Marvel”.

The Punisher Movies Need To Come Home:

Back in 2004, “The Punisher” first hit screens, as a co-production between Lionsgate, Marvel and Sony Pictures. The film came out and failed to really make much of a splash. In 2008 Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and the newly formed Marvel Studios oversaw a reboot titled “The Punisher: Warzone” the reboot flopped and only made $10 million dollars on a budget of $35 million dollars. There is also the 1989 film titled “The Punisher”, which was distributed by Artisan Entertainment in the US (now owned by Lionsgate) and New World Pictures (now owned by Disney through 20th Century Studios) outside the US.

Now getting this film back might be more difficult due to the involvement of Lionsgate, but with Sony Pictures holding international rights to these two films, it is possible for these missing Marvel movies to appear on Disney+ in countries like the UK and Canada. The 1989 film is probably unavailable due to licensing agreements made back in the 80s.

The X-Men Movies Are All Over The Place:

The “X-Men” film franchise helped popularise the superhero film genre in the early 2000s. Many films like “The New Mutants” are missing in some regions like the UK due to pre-existing licensing agreements. These sorts of deals affect a large majority of the films in this franchise in the US, including “X-Men Origins Wolverine” and “The Wolverine” have been removed from the Disney+ and readded due to pre-existing licensing agreements.

Luckily for, subscribers in countries like the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have a majority of the films in the “X-Men” franchise available to stream. The US should eventually get them all too.

The Fantastic Four Films Are Only Partially Available:

Currently, as of writing this, there have been four films based on “The Fantastic Four”, and none have been “Fantastic”. The first film was in 1994, which was developed by New World Pictures and was never released legally. Following this, over a decade later, we got a reboot and a sequel subtitled “Rise Of The Silver Surfer” two years later. In 2015 we got the most recent reboot of Marvel’s first family, and it was also titled “Fantastic Four”.

Disney owns the distribution to all four of the “Fantastic Four” films ever produced, but strangely all four films do not appear on Disney+ in one single country. The 2005, 2007 and 2015 movies appear on Disney+ in select regions; however, in some countries like the UK, not all three films are available. The 1994 adaption has never been released legally, so Disney is missing out on a considerable way to get sceptical people to jump on the Disney+ bandwagon by adding this “lost” Marvel movie from the 90s onto the service.

The First Captain America Movie Was A Straight-To-Video Film From 1990:

When you hear the phrase, “The first Captain America film”, your mind most probably jumps straight to the 2011 film starring Chris Evans titled, “Captain America The First Avenger”, well there was a “Captain America” film released twenty-one years prior to the Chris Evans film. The film was titled “Captain America”, and it was a straight-to-video film that was released on VHS by Sony Pictures in the US and 20/20 Vision in the UK.

This film was made on a budget of $3 million dollars and isn’t very good. Disney should buy back this film just so Marvel fans can see how far they’ve come since this movie and see how much they’ve evolved as a brand.

Dr Strange Made His First Film Premiere In 1978:

“Dr Strange” has become a popular superhero in recent years, mostly thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch’s excellent portrayal, however the first “Dr Strange” movie was made in 1978 as a made-for-TV movie for CBS by Universal Television. The original plan was if the “Dr Strange” movie were a hit Universal Television would work on recreating their success with the “Incredible Hulk” IP.

NBCUniversal still owns this film to this day, and Disney could utilise this lesser-known film to help Marvel fans uncover the studio’s history.

David Hasselhoff Was Nick Fury In 1998:

A decade before Samuel L Jackson graced the screens as “Nick Fury” in 2008’s “Iron Man”, we had David Hasselhoff play the beloved agent of shield back in the 90s. What’s strange about this film is Disney actually owns it. It is possible this film isn’t available on Disney+ due to licensing agreements where the filmmakers would earn a royalty every time the movie aired. If Disney could make this film available to its massive audience, then it would be cool to see who “Nick Fury” was before Samuel L Jackson.

Spiderman Has A Strange History In Films and Live-Action TV:

With Sony making a deal with Disney to license the “Spiderman” and related films (including “Venom”) to Disney+. There have been many live-action “Spiderman” series along with movies. There was “Spidey Super Stories”, which was produced by The Children’s Television Workshop. Then there was the 1977 series “The Amazing Spiderman”, which was produced by what is now known as Sony Pictures Television. Toei and Marvel made the final “Spiderman” live-action series in the 1970s. With Sony signing a deal with Disney to license some content, including all “Spiderman” movies, it would be logical for Disney to try and get “The Amazing Spiderman” TV series available on Disney+ globally.

Making all these legacy “Spiderman” productions, whether they be movies or series, could help more kids discover “Spiderman”.


Final Thoughts:

Disney+ has spent a large amount of its promotion since its launch, advertising Disney+ as “The home of Marvel”, however, it’s unfortunate that Disney+ still doesn’t stream more of the Non-MCU films and series. Disney+ is a must-subscribe for superhero fans, but if Disney was able to acquire the rights to all the old movies and series mentioned in this piece as well as restore them to be streamable through Disney+ across the globe. Disney+ is “The home of Marvel”, so not streaming all the films in the Marvel Legacy Movie back catalogue is a little disappointing.

 

What Do You Think? Should Disney+ Add More Non-MCU Marvel Movies?

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Ethan Holloway

Ethan is an autistic, type one diabetic, Disney fan who grew up with properties like Iron Man, The Lion King, Aladdin and Toy Story. Ethan wants to someday get his own books/films/TV shows made to inspire those with disabilities to be themselves, but for now, Ethan covers his opinions on Disney, their content and how Disney+ can improve.

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3 Comments

  1. Alex June 20, 2022

    This is a simple calculus. Disney paid 1.023B to end the licensing deal with Netflix early for various properties ranging from Defenders to AoS to American Crime and Horror Story to The BFG and so on. Well over 20K hours of premium content, probably 25K+. Wall Street did not mind that at all. IMO Disney paid Sony to acquire the legacy Spider movies in a rights transfer. It's probably part of the new Marvel Studios - Sony deal for new Spider-Man movies. Disney will pay Sony hundreds of millions and get some things in return. They probably acquired TIH from Universal also seeing as it's out in Japan. I don't think it's in Disney's best interest to license these things as much as it is to completely own them. They can license and lose things like Jumanji or Jurassic Park or whatever. Once they get the Marvel things in house, especially the big ones, losing them would cause quite an uproar. 1B+ would get a transfer of rights to all of the above + The Lionsgate animated movies + The Spider-Man tv shows (i.e. Spectacular) + The Incredible Hulk TV shows. This wouldn't add as many hours of content as the Netflix deal (25K+) but would get all of Marvel in house.

  2. Marc June 22, 2022

    Other than Hulk (at least IH), and Spiderman, the rest of the items they don't "own" is omitable. They don't need to post everything ever produced based on Marvel characters. Blade and Punisher (Dolph and Thomas versions) would be nice too, but definitely omitable as well.

  3. Alex July 26, 2022

    There is another missing non MCU flim namor