Mamo #393: The Death of Captain Jack Sparrow (Has Been Greatly Exaggerated)

Mamo!

Mamo takes apart the narrative of the modern celebrity by way of Johnny “Mortdecai” Depp, who probably doesn’t give a flying fuck what any of you are thinking, saying, or doing – nor should he.

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Kurt
Guest

In all fairness, THE TOURIST was a pretty big hit outside of North America. It made $275M worldwide on a budget of $100M. Not a grand slam, but a solid double.

Ditto on PIRATES4 which under-performed in North America, but kicked ass to the tune of $1B worldwide.

Heck, THE LONE RANGER even cleared $260M Worldwide. Clearly the world loves Johnny Depp’s work a lot more than America. I’m sure France will push MORTDECAI into the black.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Now I imagine that someone like Johnny Depp probably does just look for roles that he will enjoy rather than what will be popular. However, at the same time it’s really quite hard to figure out what will make a connection with millions of people around the world and which will fail. We try to figure out which movies will be successful each summer and most of us are all over the place. Our guesses are formed after most movies have already been filmed and we have seen pieces of the marketing campaign and how people might react. Actors have only a script to go off of, perhaps a few discussions with the director or producer and if they are really lucky perhaps they can look at some of the concept art. Even when a movie might be good or it might be bad, part of it has nothing to do with how well the team who worked on the project did, but how well the studio can sell their movie to the public. So perhaps Johnny Deep is trying to pick movies that he thinks people likes, who knows? However, he is likely better off picking projects he likes and just hope that sooner or later that one of them connects and proves to be a success.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Also to answer Matthew Price’s question, it’s Marvel who owns the copyright to Captain Marvel. DC cannot legally make a movie, or even a comic and call it Captain Marvel. From what I understand, DC has already dumped the name Captain Marvel completely with the New 52 and now the character is only known as Shazam!

How did this happen? Captain Marvel was originally published by Fawcett Comics starting out in 1939. It was so popular that at a time it was outselling Superman and all sorts of Captain Marvel spin-offs happened expanding the Marvel family universe. The top selling Captain Marvel comic sold over 14 million copies in 1944!! Anyways, DC Comics wasn’t happy how close Captain Marvel was to Superman and sued them. The lawsuit lasted a very long and expensive 12 years, with both sides winning various battles. Anyways, in the 1950’s the superhero comic book market was tanking. It wouldn’t be until the 1960’s that it would pick up again with the silver age of comics. Fawcett Comics decided superhero comics were over and to just get out of the industry. So rather fight DC Comics over a character that they no longer believed was worth anything, so they settled with DC out of court for $400,000. Fawcett stopped publishing any Captain Marvel-related characters, laid off all of their comic book staff and sold the rights to their remaining superhero characters to Charlton Comics. Fawcett still continued to publish books & magazines, it was just out of the comic book market.

So no one was using name for over a decade when Stan Lee and Gene Colan used it for a character they were working on in 1967. So Marvel Comics trademarked the name Captain Marvel and has kept the name. They killed off that version of the character back in the 1980’s with Marvel Comics first original graphic novels. However, a series of different characters have used that name over the years.

Meanwhile back with DC Comics, they ended up licensing the original Captain Marvel from Fawcett Publishing in 1972. Originally DC Comics were planning to call the comic “Shazam: The Original Captain Marvel” but got a cease and desist letter from Marvel Comics. In 1991 DC Comics bought the character out right from Fawcett Publishing.

This doesn’t even get into the crazy legal craziness that is Marvelman, the comic character that a UK company created after they couldn’t publish Captain Marvel comics anymore when Fawcett stopped publishing them. There has literally been whole books written about the details of that case. Although it has finally been sorted out and Marvel Comics owns the rights to the character.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Slight correction, Marvel owns the trademark on Captain Marvel. DC could call their Captain Marvel whatever they wanted within the pages of their books. Just not on the covers.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Yup, sorry if I didn’t make that clear. DC is within their rights to call him Captain Marvel, but it looks like they dumped the name anyways with the New 52. As it is the general public seems to recognize him more as Shazam than Captain Marvel.

Also Marvel has apparently kept a Captain Marvel comic in print over the years, even if it’s just a small mini-series, despite the fact at certain times over the years that the sales have been quite low, in part to keep the trademark from returning Fawcett and now DC.

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