Well, it finally happened: Spider-Man is coming home – sort of. Marvel has announced that it struck a deal with Sony Pictures that will see everyone’s favourite wall-crawler finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The deal sees Spider-Man appearing in a yet-to-be-named upcoming Marvel film, with Sony continuing to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control on the Spider-Man films – the next of which is now scheduled to be released July 28, 2017. In even better news, that film will be co-produced by Marvel’s Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel.
Those who paid attention to the huge wall of future releases Marvel recently announced know that Thor: Ragnarok was originally scheduled to be released on July 28, 2017; though Marvel have just updated their schedule, which now sees Thor: Ragnarok coming out November 3, 2017 (with Black Panther being bumped to July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel to November 2, 2018 and The Inhumans to June 12, 2019.)
So what does this mean for Sony’s huge plans for Spider-Man and the character moving forward?
Well, as you may or may not know, Marvel sold off the movie rights to a lot of their characters way back before having a superhero movie meant also having one of the top grossing films of the year. That tale is a whole other can of worms, but long story short, Sony acquired the rights to Spider-Man, made the hugely successful franchise starring Tobey Maguire, and basically kickstarted the superhero movie phenomenon alongside Fox’s X-Men franchise. But a lot has changed since then, as Marvel is now the undisputed champion of comic book films, creating an unheard of film universe interwoven with dozens of characters that they still have the rights to – though something was always missing.
In the case of Spider-Man, so long as Sony kept making movies with the character then the rights wouldn’t revert back to Marvel. Many hoped that the rights would lapse (much like Fox’s rights to Daredevil, which reverted back to Marvel in 2012, who is now making a Netflix series based on the character) but Sony wasn’t just going to sit back and lose one of their biggest film assets. So five years after Spider-Man 3 was released, Sony rebooted their franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.
Trying to follow in the hugely successful footsteps of Marvel, Sony created an all new backstory for the character, gave the film darker tones and tried to build a cinematic universe around the web spinner alone. Much like Marvel, they laid the groundwork with post-credit scenes, foreshadowing and cliffhangers – and yet, it just wasn’t clicking for fans. It felt forced, and the excitement level for the announced Sinister Six and Venom spin-off films (let’s not even get into the rumoured Aunt May movie) just isn’t there the way Sony had hoped.
So after the Sony hacking scandal, it was revealed that Marvel and Sony had been in talks to try and work out a deal that would see Spider-Man appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the news was enough to get the internet buzzing about Spider-Man more than it had been in years. Of course, the deal had fallen through, but now something that before seemed impossible now had a chance.
It quickly became evident that the higher-ups at Sony wanted this deal to happen, as Spider-Man being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is really a win win for both companies, and also an excuse to print money. While it was still a pipe dream to many, Marvel and Sony clearly wanted this to happen, as this announcement proves.
What Spider-Man will the Marvel Cinematic Universe be getting?
It’s not clear whether Andrew Garfield will continue to play the character, or if Sony even plans to continue down the path it was going with the franchise. The future of films like The Sinister Six and Venom are now in question, as another Spider-Man reboot may be on the horizon. While Sony remains in control of the property, they’ll no doubt take advantage of their new partnership with Marvel in hopes to right the ship after the mishap that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
There’s also the question of which Marvel film Spider-Man will make his first appearance in.
With the deal being struck, and everything being shuffled around like it has been, it’s clear that nothing is off limits. While Marvel won’t hinder any of its story progression just to jam Spider-Man into the mix, it’s obvious that the film they’d likely want to see him in would be Captain America: Civil War, as the wall-crawler had a huge role to play in the comic book storyline. While it’d be a tight fit (with the film being released in 2016) it’d also make the most sense, as it fits perfectly in line with the newly scheduled Spider-Man film in 2017.
So what do you think about all this news?! Are you hoping that Andrew Garfield stays on as Spider-Man? Do you want Sony to throw its current storyline out the window? Is there a particular Marvel movie you’d like to see Spider-Man take part in? Sound off below!
Tags: Andrew Garfield, Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Spider-Man