Jaw. Meet floor.
Just last month, and as early as October 2014, we reported a rumor that an agreement had been made between Sony and Marvel to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Sony denied that any deal has taken place, calling it an old rumor. Basically, Sony lied a month ago, because Marvel has just announced that Spider-Man will appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film! How cool is that?!
The deal is structured so that Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel Studios film before Sony Pictures releases a new Spider-Man film on July 28, 2017, which will be co-produced by Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and outgoing Sony co-chair Amy Pascal. Sony will still finance, distribute, and retain creative control of the Spider-Man films, but this deal also opens the possibility to integrate characters from the MCU in the Spidey films.
The ramifications of this deal are huge! It’s widely been rumored that Feige has wanted producer Avi Arad to have nothing to do with this new take on Spider-Man (many insiders have said former Marvel Studios exec Avi Arad has done nothing positive with Spidey). It certainly sounds like he got his wish, with Arad’s name being completely absent from the press release. With Pascal stepping down as Sony Pictures co-chair and now working as a producer, she’s the perfect go-between with Marvel and Sony.
I’m not sure what this does for a Sinister Six movie and the female Spider-Man spinoff, which were scheduled to be released in 2016 and 2017, respectively, followed by Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2018. I assume the whole thing has been scrapped, but we don’t know for sure just yet. Nor do we know what will happen to the latest Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield.
Spider-Man has also taken Thor: Ragnarok’s release date, moving the entire slate of Marvel films up one (per the Wall St. Journal via /Film), with Thor: Ragnarok now taking Black Panther’s release date (November 3, 2017), Black Panther taking Captain Marvel’s release date (July 6, 2018); and Captain Marvel taking Inhumans’ release date (November 2, 2018). The exception to these moves is the Avengers: Infinity War two-parter, which is still scheduled for May 2018 and May 2019 while Inhumans will now debut in theaters July 12, 2019.
So the big question is where will Spider-Man show up? I’m guessing it’s too late for Spider-Man to appear in either Avengers: Age of Ultron or Ant-Man, which leaves three possibilities. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (due May 5, 2017) is the least likely, so I’ll write that one off, which leaves Doctor Strange, due November 4, 2016 (which would be an odd premiere for the web-slinger), or — yes– Captain America: Civil War, due May 6, 2016.
I’ll wager that Spider-Man will have a significant part in Civil War, since Marvel had an idea for making him part of that film from the beginning. According to Anthony Mackie, Civil War starts shooting in April, which gives production 2 months to rewrite the screenplay and put Spider-Man back in. If the part is a small, but key role, then a new Spider-Man may not need to be cast by the time principal photography starts.
There’s also the possibility that a major agreement was struck back in January when the ‘Spider-Man as part of the MCU’ rumor resurfaced, which means they could have already been working on this for a month. The final possibility is that Spider-Man will just make a cameo in a post-credits stinger, but again, Civil War would be the place to do it.
All in all, exciting news and I can’t wait to hear more as it develops! Spider-Man will be released in theaters on July 28, 2017. Here’s the official press release:
Marvel’s Kevin Feige to Produce Next Installment of the Spider-Man Franchise with Amy Pascal
(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.
Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.
The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”
“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”
“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”
Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.