When Disney purchased Marvel Comics back in 2009, fans began salivating at the thought of– let’s face it– the best animation company in the world, getting its white, four-fingered gloves on the all-star roster of The House of Ideas. But news was slow in coming and when an announcement was finally made about what the first joint project would be, some were stunned that it was going to be an adaptation of ‘Big Hero 6,’ a Japanese team that at times included established characters Sunfire, Silver Samurai and Sunfire’s sister Sunpyre. Those bigger name characters were eventually eliminated in favor of the original characters, Hiro Hamada, Baymax, Honey Lemon, Go-Go Tomago, Wasabi No Ginger and Fred (a.k.a. Fredzilla), who will be the characters featured in the movie (in a more multicultural manner).
The animated movie is due in theaters in November and most assumed that Marvel would naturally attempt to cash in on this by publishing a new adaptation, original comic or at least reprinting their previous appearances in trades.
No sign of ‘Big Hero 6’ anywhere in Marvel’s November solicitations and in fact, Marvel stated that they had no plans to utilize the characters in any of its comics anytime soon. Their last appearance in a Marvel comic was in 2012, when rumblings were starting to emerge that they would be the focus of the first Disney/Marvel animated movie. This guest-appearance was presumably in order to drum up awareness of the property, which has never really been a massive hit.
What changed? It appears that it was a business decision on Marvel’s part. Keep in mind that Marvel is owned by Disney, and the version of ‘Big Hero 6’ in the movie is radically redesigned from the comic version. In other words, Disney would take a chunk of anything Marvel produced that tied into the movie– a larger chunk than Marvel would get.
Or as Marvel’s executive editor Tom Brevoot put it:
“If you had two things, and on one you earned 100% of the revenues from the efforts that you put into making it, and the other you earned a much smaller percentage for the same amount of time and effort, you’d be more likely to concentrate more heavily on the first, wouldn’t you?”
Hmmm… is there trouble brewing in the Happiest Place on Earth?
There will be some print tie-ins to the movie. Random House will turn out a line of children’s books (which honestly makes more sense than comic books, which most kids don’t even read) and Japanese publisher Kodansha, which has previously worked with Disney, has already been publishing a manga based on Baymax.
Are you bummed that Marvel won’t be publishing comics based on ‘Big Hero 6’?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter