Neil Gaiman’s creation Angela has travelled an interesting road since she first appeared in 1993, a path that included her debut in Image , getting caught in lengthy legal battle, Gaiman winning full rights to the character, to her appearing in the pages of various forthcoming Marvel Comics’ books. Could the next step in her journey be an appearance on the big screen under the personage of Karen Gillian?
The Scottish newspaper, Scottish Daily Mail, is saying that Angela is the villain Gillian will be playing in Guardians of the Galaxy. That article is reprinted in its entirety below.
Angela was created by Gaiman and Todd McFarlane in the pages of Spawn #9 as an angel who hunted “Hellspawn” such as the title character. McFarlane regularly used the character in the title, and built a mythology around her. However, the relationship between Gaiman and McFarlane deteriorated over disputed rights of ownership to the British character Marvelman, and Gaiman sued McFarlane over royalties for Angela and other characters created in that issue, winning a sizable judgment. Last year, as part of a settlement in that regard, Gaiman was given full ownership of the character.
Marvel Comics helped Gaiman out financially during the legal proceedings, and, as such, appears to have won the right to publish Angela in their comics. The character is rumored to make her Marvel debut in the Age of Ultron miniseries currently being published and has officially been confirmed to appear in the August issue of Guardians of the Galaxy in a story co-written by Gaiman and the title’s regular writer, Brian Michael Bendis.
The fact that Angela is appearing in the comic book that inspires the movie and the fact that Gillian has the same flaming read hair as the character seems to be the only things that makes this rumor plausible. However, one big stumbling block I see is the fact that the character is owned by Neil Gaiman. Unless there was a backdoor deal where Gaiman sold Angela to Marvel, he still holds 100% of the rights to the character. While this wouldn’t stop Marvel from licensing the character for their comic books, I don’t really see Disney wanting to sign away any part of the licensing and merchandising profits for any character in the film to a third-party .
As Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Coolstated, this and all other casting questions will soon be answered, as the film will have to start production soon to meet it’s August 2014 release date.