At the recent GalaxyCon, Jim Shooter was asked about Marvel's plans for Secret Wars, the series that he wrote in 1984 when editor-in-chief of Marvel, that set the tone for all Marvel events that followed, as well as debuting Spider-Man's sentient black costume, which one day would become Venom. And he talked about a phone call or two he'd had from Marvel more recently. We noted that Shooter had talked about happily signing over the rights to Secret Wars as Marvel had lost any paperwork. But, captured on video by Geekosity, Jim Shooter talked about what was really happening. in his conversation with SVP of Operations & Procurement, Publishing at Marvel Entertainment, David Bogart.
"So anyway I signed the work for hire, and I was talking to him and I said, "this means you're making a movie right?" He said "I'm not allowed to tell you that". I said "I think you just did", and he said, "well, you know you have to have a clean chain of title" and that's true. Hollywood is very risk-averse these days. It used to be, somebody make a movie and immediately someone would sue them saying, "I mentioned that idea to someone at your company at a party a million years ago" They're all want an absolutely bulletproof chain of title before they develop a movie so when I signed that, they had an absolutely bulletproof chain of title and my mother, I have a couple friends in Hollywood, that told me that they've done some development on it. Trouble is it's tricky because with all those characters some of them are obligated to other companies and there's contractual problems so whether that'll ever happen or not I don't know, but I do know they're trying, I know for a fact they're trying. He never told me, in so many words, but yeah that's what they're doing."
Secret Wars, the comic book event that saw The Beyonder kidnap a bunch of Marvel heroes and villains, and make them fight on a planet patchworked together from other worlds, was published in 1984, and more recently revived by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic as a patchwork planet made up of different parallel Earths, saved from the destruction of all reality. Either version would present Marvel Studios with a film as epic as anything they have produced before.