Marvel has launched a writers program, planning to hire five screenwriters a year to pen scripts for characters the company wants to develop into films. Given how much money the company made from Iron Man, this is a smart move. However, after the poor performance of this spring’s DC Comics adaptation Watchmen, we wonder how much of an appetite there is for lesser-known comic book properties Marvel’s new writers will presumably be developing. (Marvel’s library contains more than 5,000 superheroes and villains.)
The program will be similar to Disney’s writers program, in which 12 scribes develop films for the studio and TV shows for ABC, the Disney Channel and ABC Family. Marvel’s writers will do everything from flesh out plot points for movies already in developments or develop projects for characters they’d like to make films about. The scribes will receive a salary that could double Disney’s $50,000 a year pay, Variety reports.
But, the terms of Marvel’s deal are slightly more onerous, a source tells Nikki Finke:
“Before the writers are even allowed to come in and meet, they must sign a non-disclosure agreement and a 70-page, non-negotiable contract. Among other things, the contract gives Marvel ownership over everything the writers create during the one year term of [the] deal, plus a first look and last refusal to any and all projects the writers have previously written or will write for 24 months in the future.”
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