Just saying, if the world ends tomorrow, this is the news that caused it. Spider-Man’s cinematic presence, a $4 billion dollar franchise, is finally returning to Marvel, and will officially join the Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow and the other Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to a press release from Marvel, Spidey will star in his own Marvel-produced film in 2017, which will be co-produced by Marvel’s film head honcho Kevin Feige and Sony’s former film boss Amy Pascal. But before all that goes down, he will first make an appearance in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Can you say – CIVIL WAR?
Though it’s not been confirmed, it makes absolute sense to Marvel fans to have Spider-Man appear in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. For months after Civil War was announced to be the next Captain America sequel, fans have been saying that any movie based on the Civil War storyline would just not be complete without the presence of the webslinger.
After all, in the comic book event that it’s based on, Spider-Man represented the crux of the dilemma of having to “choose sides” between two feuding superheroes that he looked up to and deeply respected. In many ways, he was the heart and soul of the event, the ramifications of which would redefine the Marvel Universe for almost a decade. As it turns out, Marvel and Sony weren’t deaf to the fans’ calls for a better synergy between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony’s Spider-Man franchise.
During the Sony hack saga last year, it was revealed through leaked documents that a deal between Marvel and Sony had been in the works, but that “talks had broken down”. So, as you can imagine our disappointment then has turned into elation with this news.
But could there be another “civil war” brewing?
But what is most unexpected about the deal is how Sony still retains “final creative control” over the character’s film appearances. That’s right, even though Marvel is co-producing the new Spider-Man film series with Pascal, the financing, distribution and ownership of the films still belong with Sony. The deal therefore seems to be, at first glance, extremely biased towards Sony. After all, it is Sony that seemed to be stuck on the drawing board, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 not quite capturing the critical and commercial successes they’d hoped for.
Furthermore, with many concerned about the direction Sony was taking the franchise, by talking about featuring supervillains Venom and The Sinister Six in their own film. So Sony has everything to gain (and indeed, nothing to lose) by joining forces with Marvel and tapping on the wealth of stories that can now be told.
— Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte) February 10, 2015
Marvel, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have as much to gain from this deal. In many ways, they’re working for Sony. After all, no matter how much life Marvel pumps back into the Spider-Man film franchise, the final say will remain with Sony. So what does Marvel get out of the deal?
Despite all the mainstream success The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchises have won for the company, Spider-Man still remains one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes. Therefore, by taking over the producing reins, Marvel can now leverage the character’s popularity to their advantage, and further boost their already successful film universe with a new unprecedented synergy.
Yet, we’ve got to admit, this creative control tension between Sony and Marvel can’t be good for the long run. Sooner or later, one side will begin to clamour for a greater share of the pie.
In fact, the priority that Marvel is giving to Spider-Man has already been made clear. The 2017 date set for the new Spider-Man movie? It was originally slated for the sequel Thor: Ragnarok. As a result, dates for almost ALL of “Phase Three” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been adjusted. The two dates that didn’t change? The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2.
This changes the planned narrative of Phase 3 somewhat. Captain Marvel, the first Marvel movie to feature a female lead was supposed to be the last movie before Infinity War. Thanks to Spider-Man, she’s now appearing between Infinity War Parts 1 and 2. The announced Inhumans movie was supposed to be between the two parts of Infinity War, presumably serving as a way to introduce more superheroes before the climatic battle with Thanos. Instead, it has now been pushed to July 12, 2019!
That being said, expect these changes to be final. There’s no doubt that, under Marvel’s direction, Spider-Man’s new film franchise is undoubtedly going to be a box-office success. They’ll lead into more sequels, but there’s no way it’ll happen anytime before 2020.
In the meantime, be sure to follow Marvel’s newest Twitter account: @SpiderMan!
— Spider-Man (@SpiderMan) February 10, 2015