Marvel Studios proudly announced Monday that a partnership has been struck with Sony Pictures Entertainment, “bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.”
This news comes after months of rumors concerning the future property rights of the web slinger. Discontent with Sony’s direction for the Spider-Man franchise had been brewing for some time, with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 last summer acting somewhat as a catalyst. Representing a financial low as well as a fan low, the film showed just how much Sony was dropping the ball with the franchise.
Sony responded to the lackluster reaction of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by announcing a spin-off movie about the Sinister Six, which fans quickly pointed out that no one asked for to begin with (meanwhile Marvel Studios was announcing their 9 movie phase 3 lineup to massive approval).
Shortly after that, fans allowed themselves to get truly excited when the Sony hacking scandal resulted in emails being released concerning talks of a Spider-Man cross-over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as reported by the Wall Street Journal. And then, nothing. The emails were brushed off as rumor, the Internet went quiet, and fans regretted allowing themselves to get so excited.
That all changed last night. Judging by the announcement from Marvel Studios’ website, those leaked Sony emails were not only legitimate, but were the seeds for a growing reality; Spider-Man is back in the hands of Marvel Studios! Well, sort of. The news specifically states that this is a cooperated effort between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios to feature Spider-Man in the MCU. Sony will still keep the rights, financial and creative, of any Spider-Man films in the foreseeable future.
What matters most of all here is that Spider-Man will finally have a place in the MCU, where he unquestionably belongs. The announcement of Captain America: Civil War, a film adaption of Marvel Comic’s Civil War, left readers everywhere wishing that Spider-Man could play his part in the battle on the big screen. And it really looks like fans might get their wish.
Marvel Studios announced that Sony will be releasing an MCU-related Spider-Man movie on July 28, 2017 (co-produced by Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and Amy Pascal, head of Sony Pictures Entertainment). But before that release, the web head will appear in another upcoming Marvel Studios movie. Going by Marvel’s most updated release schedule, this narrows the options down to Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (believe it or not, this really is the short list). Through process of elimination we can rule out Age of Ultron and Ant-Man as they are basically completed and coming out this summer. The options are narrowed down once again via association (Spider-Man has very little interactions with Doctor Strange and even fewer with the Guardians of the Galaxy) and we are left with the most likely option: Captain America: Civil War.
Theorizing which MCU movie Spider-Man will make his debut in is just the tip of the iceberg. Marvel Studios is going to have its work cut out for it balancing the very confusing issue of Spider-Man being unknown to the characters in the MCU while being completely known and familiar for audiences, although not in the context of the MCU.
This wonderful news brings an equal amount of wonderful questions. Only time will tell just how Spider-Man will interact with heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America — as Spidey plays a big role in the Civil War of the comics. As for other characters, the arrival of Spider-Man to the MCU seems to already be having an effect on many heroes, specifically in the form of release dates. The co-produced Spider-Man movie by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal (who, by the way, were responsible for the birth of the Spider-Man movie franchise back in 2002) has been given a release date of July 28, 2017, taking the place of Thor: Ragnarok.
For now, this is affecting the release dates of four Marvel Studios titles, according to Marvel.com. Thor: Ragnarok will be pushed back to November 3, 2017. The year after that, Black Panther will hit theaters on July 6, 2018, followed closely by Captain Marvel on November 2, 2018. Finally, Marvel’s Inhumans will debut in theaters July 12, 2019. It’s interesting to note that the rest of Marvel’s phase 3 lineup remains unchanged, particularly Avengers: Infinity War Part II is keeping its release date, making Inhumans the final film in the current phase 3 plan. This seems to indicate then that the Inhumans, a super-powered royal family who famously holds residence on the moon, will not take part in the Infinity War after all. There, finally, a question answered!
While it is easy to look at this news analytically and form question after question of what this all means, it’s best to take a moment, breathe, and let the reality of the situation wash over you: Spider-Man is taking his place in the MCU. The joy fans everywhere are undoubtedly feeling right now can be best exemplified by Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige:
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.
Truer words have never been spoken.