After what seems like years of confusion - including Kevin Feige's most recent assertion that the situation was "complicated" - it seems like a clear picture of Namor The Sub-Mariner's rights has finally emerged. And it's potentially good news for anyone who wants to see Marvel's first mutant in the MCU.
Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada appeared on Kevin Smith's Fat Man On Batman podcast to say that Marvel Studios now has the rights back for the character. Smith asked Quesada, "...The same people that own Iron Man, own the Sub-Mariner?" To which he replied, "I can't speak for studios... As far as I know, yeah we do. Its not at Fox, its not at Sony...Yeah."
Inevitably when he was asked if there was a possibility of Namor appearing in the MCU, he was less forthcoming:
"I cannot confirm or deny, sir."
You can hear Quesada's comments just after the 40 minute mark below...
Previously, it was thought that Namor's rights were either still tied up at Universal or at Fox, since he's a mutant and would thus be bundled together with the X-Men (and also the Fantastic Four, who he's had ties with in the comics). But if he's back at Marvel, those issues are presumably not more.
Would you like to see Namor in the MCU? The Civil War writers certainly do, as they recently called Namor one of the two fantasy bookings they'd bring into the MCU if it were up to them (the other, delightfully, was Marvel Zombies).
Maybe it's now time we saw Marvel compete directly with DC's Aquaman for the rights to control the sub-aquatic box office?