Originally Posted by Snair
Sony has no control over movie rights. Marvel sold off rights to different companies before they got bought by Disney so their characters would be more popular with big screen exposure and because they didn't have the money to make the movies themselves at the time. Now Disney is trying to get back the characters just in case they ever want to make a movie on them.
Now the only rights they don't own are X Men, Spiderman, and Fantastic Four and the only way they can get the rights back is when the time period expires. But in the rights contracts, as long as the studios have the movie into production, they still have control over the rights. So Sony and Fox can hold onto those franchises as long as they have movies in production.