Fans have been asking for this for years, and it seems our collective wish has finally been granted: Marvel and Sony announced a deal Monday wherein the two massive studios have agreed to work together on the future of the highly popular Spider-Man film franchise.
The new deal is unprecedented, as everyone’s favorite web slinger will first appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and then he will move his friendly ass over to a new neighborhood where Sony will release the first in their next series of Spider-Man films on July 28, 2017.
Our first question would be: In which MCU film will he appear? The obvious presumption would be Captain America: Civil War, which hits theaters on May 6, 2016. I’m entirely on-board with that; Civil War needs the added weight of a heavy-hitting hero such as Spider-Man, in order to truly sell the massive scale of that storyline. If, for some reason, it’s not Civil War, the only other films would be Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016) or Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017). Yeah, it has to be Civil War. Then, following the MCU film appearance, Sony’s release will be co-produced by Kevin Feige (that’s to let everyone know Sony has the “final say”, but Marvel is all up in that).
The second question: Will it be Andrew Garfield? The answer to that question would be “No.” They are moving in an entirely new “creative direction”, which basically means “We’re going to let Marvel fix this for us.” I don’t mean to throw too much shade on Sony because they did have two excellent Spider-Man films in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2; then they had a very good reboot with The Amazing Spider-Man. They have clearly been struggling, however, with how to handle the global franchise (Should we do Sinister Six? Should we do Venom?), and that hasn’t been made any easier by just how freaking successful Marvel has been with their films. With that in mind, Sony is practicing that old adage that holds so true, so often: If you can’t beat’em; join’em.
The third, and least obvious, question: Will it be Peter Parker? Conventional wisdom says “Yes.” Peter Parker is a known commodity, and all parties likely want to deal in known commodities when this amount of money is on the line, especially with such a monumental deal being struck. However, I’ve been saying Marvel should use Miles Morales forever, and I don’t think it’s too crazy to imagine this deal just may do that. For the uninitiated, Peter Parker is the original secret identity of Spider-Man. In the recent past, Miles Morales has been introduced as an alternate identity behind the mask; Morales has served as the web slinger in several titles, including All-New Ultimates. Peter Parker is an iconic hero; one who would definitely bring that much-needed weight to Civil War I was talking about, but he’s also kind of old-hat, right now. Audiences have seen his origin play out on screen twice in the past 15 years. If the super-team of Marvel and Sony really want to go in a new creative direction and surprise people, maybe Miles Morales is the way to go. What’s Donald Glover up to these days?
More details are sure to come about in the coming days, months, and years, but the immediate takeaway from this deal is that we should all be extremely happy that, at least on paper, quality and enjoyment won out over business differences and Hollywood competition. Don’t get me wrong, though; both Sony and Marvel stand to make a massive amount of money on this, but let’s just pretend they actually did it because it was what’s best for the product and for the fans. Spider-Man is in the MCU, guys!