So, where exactly do The Skrulls live? That's the big question of the day. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had some relatively humble beginnings, but it has blossomed into the biggest franchise in cinematic history and is re-shaping the way movie studios are thinking about producing movies. Rival studios are all trying to cobble together some sort of shared, cinematic universe. Some of them with characters Marvel sold them the rights to years ago. That being the case, things get a bit muddy from time to time when it comes to what characters Marvel can and cannot use.
Nobody outside of the Marvel Studios, Fox or Sony offices knows for sure who owns what, but we do know that some characters wind up in a bit of a grey area. Thanks to a recent Tweet from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, we now know that the Skrulls fall into that grey area. A fan asked Gunn on Twitter "why are the Kree available but the Skrulls are at Fox. Surely there are associated with each other?" Here is what he had to say.
"Some specific Skrulls are at Fox. But the Skrulls as a whole are co-owned."
Gunn probably has a very extensive, working knowledge of what characters are and are not owned by Marvel Studios at the moment. He recently wrapped filming on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and we know he is digging fairly deep into the Marvel Comics rogues gallery for that movie. He probably ran into characters that he couldn't use in the process, and that is likely why he seems to know the specifics. Gunn clarified that Fox owns particular Skrull characters, such as Super-Skrull.
For those who may not be up to date on their Marvel Comics history, the Skrull are a race of shapeshifting aliens who have been involved in many various conflicts with the heroes of the Marvel Universe at one time or another. The most notable of these instances was in the Marvel Comics event Secret Invasion, in which the Skrull slowly invaded Earth by taking over as familiar faces, creating a lot of paranoia and conflict. Given that Fox appears to own certain, key, Skrull characters, it would make it difficult for Marvel Studios to adapt the story as is, but they could make changes and keep the core of the story in tact, much like what they were able to do with Captain America: Civil War.
We know that Infinity War will close out Phase 3, but Secret Invasion is something that Marvel could look at for Phase 4, and it is good to know that it isn't totally out of the question. Not only that, but there have been whispers that Fox is somewhat open to the idea of making a deal with Marvel Studios after seeing the deal go through with Sony for Spider-Man, so that could squash a lot of potential problems if Fox ever gets serious about playing ball. We have seen the grey area with character rights clash before, with a version of Quicksilver in both the X-Men movies and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and thanks to Gunn, we know that grey area is likely to come into play again in the future.