Over the past few months, fans have questioned why Marvel Studios opted to use Gargantos in place of Shuma-Gorath, despite the character’s sharing a likeness. As it turns out, there’s a very good reason behind the change to the one-eyed creature and it involves rights to the name.
It appears that the rights to Shuma-Gorath are tied up, making it difficult for Marvel Studios to use them. As it turns out, the rights to the Shuma-Gorath name belong to Heroic Signatures, a subsidiary of Funcom. The name first debuted in Kull the Conqueror by Robert E. Howard. Like with Conan, Heroic Signatures retains the rights to the name, explaining the change for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Oddly enough, however, it appears Marvel Studios never even reached out to ask about potentially using the name. Instead, the studio decided to change it to seemingly avoid any rights issues.
The folks over at Comicbook.com were able to talk to Heroic Signatures president Fred Malmberg regarding the character changes for the film. Like fans, Malmberg seems just as surprised behind the decision. “We have a great relationship with Marvel and have worked together to solve many snags over the years, but who can answer this hypothetical?”
Malmberg, however, isn’t ruling out future plans for Shuma-Gorath. “As for our future plans for the character, that is not something we can reveal at the moment.”