I know Disney gets what Disney’s wants. But I thought they had a contract with Universal made up stating they weren’t allowed to put any Marvel attractions in Walt Disney World Resort because Islands of Adventures Marvel Island?
It seems Disney interprets the agreement as applying only to specific characters, the majority of which are affiliated with the original Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye).
There’s also the complex Sony agreement for Spider-man licensing for 6 movie roles specifically played by Tom Holland in the MCU. We have no idea how Tom Holland’s Spider-man fits in with Universal’s right to the character in Parks east of the Mississippi.
It seems as though Disney might be trying to create a legal case that IP created within their MCU exists outside of the licensing to Universal (ie, they are not the same characters), and as long as Disney doesn’t touch IP outside of the MCU and bases its attractions off of their own IP within the MCU (backstories, costumes, and films), they may try to begin pushing them into Parks to see if Universal wants to bring a case–who, by the way, may no longer be as concerned now that they have Harry Potter and Jurassic Park.
Right now, they appear to be operating under a gentleman’s agreement, with Disney not touching Avengers east of the Mississippi, and Universal not attempting to bring a case against Disney for Guardians and Dr. Strange.
Universal’s theme park rights are limited and never covered the Guardians. They don’t get every character and any new rides have to be approved by Marvel. That’s not to say that Universal couldn’t cause a problem as they almost sued Disney for advertising The Avengers on their monorails (an agreement was reached on that).
Unless Disney pays massive money to their biggest theme park competitor in Orlando, Universal is not giving up their rights. Disney would basically have to fund the rebuild of Marvel Superhero Island. Universal also holds distribution rights for The Hulk movies as well when he is the main feature character. They actually had to tread very carefully with Thor: Ragnarok in regards to Hulk.
There’s likely some Quid Pro Quo involved here. There has long been rumor that the Doctor Doom FearFall may be removed at some point. Universal would need Disney to approve a new attraction. Universal has been awfully nice not suing for ads and not contesting a Guardians ride at Epcot. So we could see Disney allow for a new Marvel ride at Universal as part of a gentleman’s agreement concerning this stuff.
Awesome news! I can’t hardly wait to see it in person in the near future! I love Guardians of the Galaxy!
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