Remember when Marvel Studios was one of the independent movie studios who signed a separate interim deal with the WGA? It turns out there was quite a bit of urgency behind this, as the strike has created a big gap for Marvel’s planned filmed ventures. ICv2 puts the pieces together from yesterday’s investor conference call and earnings announcement:
In a conference call with stock analysts Marvel Studio’s David Maisel indicated that, because of the strike, the company was scrambling to get one film debut in 2009 (and indicated that if that happened, it would likely be in late 2009). Marvel lists four films in development, Ant Man, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers, but Maisel gave no indication which one of those projects might be the one that Marvel plans to release in 2009 — look for an announcement in the fairly near future, because given the time necessary for special effects work, a new Marvel Studio project would need to get underway by this spring or early summer in order to make a 2009 date. There will be one Marvel-based film debuting in the summer of 2009, but it will be X-Men Origins: Wolverine from Fox, which is slated for a May 1st release, not a Marvel Studios’ film.
Since Marvel’s future earnings are in large part based on the movies they produce, this is a big deal and perhaps part of the reason their stock declined yesterday despite the huge rise in profits they announced. A transcript of the investor’s call is available here.