Originally Posted by jericho Uzimaki
Correction to the correction, movie studios only have the rights to the character's image as portrayed in their movies.
For example, 20th Century Fox has the rights of Wolverine as played by Hugh Jackman with the X-Men dark outfit. But Marvel Studios can hire another actor, give Wolverine his gold & blue outfit and 20th Century Fox can't lay a finger on it because it's not their Wolverine.
A great example of this is the Punisher, who had a 1989 release by New World Pictures and in 2004 release by Lionsgate Entertainment without any contention because it was played by very distinct actors with very distinct outfits.