Spider-Man is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Some Important Questions

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SpiderMan

UPDATED 2/10 7:30: Variety is now reporting from “sources with knowledge of the studio’s plans” that Sony will now be looking to send Spider-Man back to high school for the new standalone films. Sounds like another reboot/origin story to me. Variety says that although no actors have yet been approached, Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) and Logan Lerman (Fury) are on the list. The original story is below:

Spider-Man is returning home, not to New York, but to Marvel. The webslinger has found his way back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Marvel and Sony have struck a deal that will allow Spider-Man and Peter Parker to appear in one of Marvel’s films prior to the release of yet another stand-alone Spider-Man movie on July 28, 2017.

Essentially, as Deadline explained nicely, Sony would at risk of losing the film rights to Spider-Man should they not meet certain deadlines in creating new stories and films around the property. And with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 faring somewhat poorly at the box office, rumors began cropping up that Sony might cut their losses of what is currently their biggest franchise ever and sell the rights back to Marvel. That rumor was thought to be put to bed, but here we are.

All this raises a couple of interesting questions, and because this story is currently breaking, we’ll update as more details become clear.

What Marvel movie will Spider-Man appear in?

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Spider-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War.

The obvious word on the street is that Spider-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War, as when the film was announced, there was chatter that Spidey plays a big role in the story that would now need to be worked around. In fact, we even argued that Marvel doesn’t need Spider-Man after all and can make Civil War just fine without him. In which case, maybe Spider-Man won’t appear in Civil War at all. Badass Digest wonders if Marvel might hold him to give Doctor Strange a boost. Expect Marvel to make their plans clear on this before long.

With a new Spider-Man movie in the works, how does that affect the Marvel schedule?

Four of the Marvel titles have now been shifted back. Here’s the revised MCU schedule via EW:

May 2016: Captain America: Civil War
November 2016: Doctor Strange
July 2017: New Spider-Man
November 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
May 2018: The Avengers: Infinity Wars – Part 1 (release date unchanged)
July 2018: Black Panther
November 2018: Captain Marvel
May 2019: The Avengers: Infinity Wars – Part 2 (release date unchanged)
July 2019: Inhumans

If the new Spider-Man film is to arrive in 2017, it suggests that Spidey will turn up in one of the first two films before then, plausibly giving the new Spider-Man stand-alone a much-needed boost.

Will Andrew Garfield play Spider-Man in the Marvel movie?

The odds don’t look good. Via EW: “The announcement said Feige and Pascal will “collaborate on a new creative direction for the webslinger.” Badass Digest‘s suggestion is that the new Spider-Man stand-alone could be yet another soft-reboot for the franchise, and Civil War or Doctor Strange would be a way for Marvel and Sony to introduce the new face to the world before giving him his own movie and franchise.

Does a new Spider-Man movie mean anything for the Sinister Six spinoff?

UPDATE: WSJ is also reporting that Sinister Six will now be delayed.

It could mean one of three things. Either the Sinister Six spinoff goes on as planned, as that movie was expected to arrive in November 2016. It could mean the film is cancelled, as a new rebooted franchise might eliminate the need for a film altogether. Or it could be a bit of both, and the soft-reboot could be something along the lines of Spider-Man: The Sinister Six.

What does this deal mean for future comic book and superhero movie properties?

UPDATE: Shortly after news of Marvel and Sony’s deal broke, Collider reported a comic related story that explains that Marvel is continuing to wage a war against FOX, halting the use of X-Men characters in their comics and ending The Fantastic Four series altogether in April. It’s not a dealbreaker, and it’s not as though FOX will suddenly be out of source material to draw from, but it’ll mean that comic fans won’t have new editions to go along with the upcoming films, and that’s a subset of movie fans FOX doesn’t want to lose.

Good question. This is a fairly unique deal, and if it proves to be lucrative for both studios, i.e. appeasing fans in one realm and salvaging a franchise in another, there’s no reason to think it couldn’t happen again, and with different properties. Marvel surely still has a need for Spider-Man after one movie, but Fox owns the rights to both X-Men and The Fantastic Four. In the Old Hollywood studio system, studios rented out actors to appear in films by directors under the payroll of another studio. Maybe superheroes will find a way to cross-pollinate in a way that helps the studios and the stories being told. Face front, true believers!






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