Who is watching the Watchers? Or rather, who owns the film rights?
The answer may surprise you. Marvel Studios and Fox share film rights to the Watchers, according to Kevin Feige.
In an iFilm interview, Feige explains how this arrangement works. While there’s no deal with Fox, they do have an understanding of how things work.
“There’s joint custody with a number of things,” he says. “There are certain characters that they have, but races that we share. If that makes sense?”
Since the Watchers’ first appearance is in Fantastic Four, it would seem they belong to Fox as part of the film package. Yet it appears Marvel is open to using them if they choose to do so.
This bears similarities to the Skrull situation. Both Marvel and Fox share the Skrull race, but the latter owns the rights to Super-Skrull. Indeed, Marvel did toy with using the Skrulls in The Avengers, but they chose to go with the Chitauri.
Where Uatu stands in all this is not known. Since he’s close to the F4, he might belong to Fox. It is possible he could appear on the big screen in the future.
In a Collider interview, the question of whether or not Lee is Uatu comes up. “Well, I wouldn’t say you saw Uatu,” says Feige. “I would say that you saw some Watchers.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now playing.