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Marvel Becomes Entertaining, Not Just Enterprising

"uh...guys? I'm still available..."
Avi Arad has finally gotten his way. After years of Arad pushing Marvel to be more than just a comic book company and seeing it as a property goldmine to rival Disney, the Hollywood Reporter announced that Marvel is now Marvel Entertainment.

Big deal, you say. A name change from Marvel Enterprises. It is a big deal. With the name change comes the final step from putting together movie deals to being a full-fledged production company.

Earlier this year, Marvel had announced an alliance with Paramount Pictures under its new leadership of Brad Grey. (Another reason DC's Watchmen project was put into turnaround by Paramount?) Now the rumored terms are clear: Marvel will develop and produce films based on their properties, while Paramount will market and distribute. If the deal sounds familiar, that's because it echoes the one Lucasfilm has with 20th Century Fox. The lion's share of the glory and the money (and perhaps blame) gets to stay with Marvel.

Some major properties, of course, remain tied up with other studios. You might argue, in fact, that all the really big guns are out -- X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and even the Silver Surfer are currently untouchable.

Lest you think Marvel Entertainment will be spinning its wheels turning straw into fools' gold, remember that for every Man-Thing, there's a Blade. Arad himself has publicly admitted that the recent Sci Fi channel film failed because Marvel didn't pay enough attention to it. That's all about to change.

Announced for development (some from a previous development deal with Artisan/Lion's Gate):

Captain America


Nick Fury (George Clooney has been said to be interested, as is Samuel L. Jackson)

Black Panther (Wesley Snipes' production company has been working on this one)


Cloak and Dagger

Dr. Strange

Hawkeye (reports of his death are grossly exaggerated)

Power Pack (once considered for television)


The first film project has a target of Summer 2008, but Arad has not specified which it will be.

Derek McCaw

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