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It's hard to imagine a time where Marvel wasn't raking in millions, if not billions of dollars in box office revenue from its movies.
But in the mid-2000s, times were so tough, that the company had to sell the rights of some of their biggest characters to different movie studios.
The likes of X-Men, Fantastic Four and Daredevil went to 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures got Ghost Rider and Spider-Man and New Line Cinema nabbed Blade.
But the struggling comic book publisher found its feet when it pushed the Iron Man movie franchise and continued to go from strength to strength from there.
As a result of its increasing success, legendary comic book writer Stan Lee says Marvel wants to get the rights to those classic characters back. After all, he was the man who created Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, the X-Men and many others.
While appearing at the Wizard World Nashville, Mr Lee said: "Sooner or later, they're going to get the rights back to all our characters. They're working on it, and they're still making X-Men movies and stuff.
"Don't worry about it. You'll get more Marvel superheroes than you'll have time to look at in the next few years."
The news delighted some fans on social media.
It's only a matter of time until #Marvel gets the rights back for X-Men & Fantastic Four... 'Nuff Said!
Art by #ArthurAdams. #StanLeeBox pic.twitter.com/6w16qIVUcI
- The Stan Lee Box (@stanleebox) September 14, 2017
I miss when Spider-Man was allowed to grow into an adult. I miss when the X-Men and Fantastic Four were actually part of Marvel.
- Tom () (@SYMBlOSlS) September 10, 2017
The first development of that promise was the new Peter Parker movie Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was created under the Marvel Universe, but distributed by Sony Pictures. But it'll be tough to wrangle X-Men from Fox following the booming success of the Wolverine movies and Deadpool.
Daredevil and Blade have returned under the Marvel banner for TV shows, with the former receiving a decent level of praise for bringing Matt Murdock to life in a longer format.
It will be interesting to see how Marvel would relaunch the Fantastic Four franchise after the last remake of the group bombed at the box office.
It cost $155 million to make and only reaped $168 million, with Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus reading: "Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humour, joy, or colourful thrills that made it great."
Stan Lee didn't give an estimate on when fans could expect to see some of their most beloved titled back under the Marvel umbrella, so we'll just have to sit and wait.
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