How About This Spiderman Thing?

Spiderman broke the web this week.  In case you missed the news, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures did something you rarely see in Hollywood: they made a deal to work together. Shocking.

Starting in 2017, Spiderman will finally make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  For fans of Marvel’s stories, this should help answer some huge questions regarding the upcoming Civil War film arc, based on the famous 2006-2007 comic storyline. The MCU is set to kick this plotline off with Captain America 3 set for 2016.

There has been quite a bit of speculation about how this deal will work.  Here’s what we know so far: Marvel/Disney has owned the comic, television, animation, merchandise and other platform rights to the Spiderman character for a long time.  The deed to the wall-crawler’s coveted “film rights,” however, has rested with Sony Pictures. Following this agreement, Marvel may now feature Spiderman in upcoming films without owing Sony a dime on the box office returns.  In exchange, Marvel will not receive any box office returns on any of Sony’s future, stand-alone Spiderman movies.  A few months ago, the Sony Pictures hack revealed that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures had actually been trying to work out a deal like this out for some time now.

Obviously, outside of Sony’s top brass, nobody can confirm whether this hack had anything to do with this ultimate decision, but that situation combined with the non-spectacular box office returns Sony Pictures has seen on the recent Spidey flicks, maybe the writing was on the wall.

The sweetest plum from this deal for Marvel is, well, Spiderman.  The Avengers film series feels oddly incomplete without him.  The best part, arguably maybe even  a little better for Sony, is they can now tap the talents of Marvel movie extraordinaire Kevin Feige. Feige has written 10 consecutive blockbuster films for Marvel studios. Maybe he can work his magic on the Spiderman franchise, too.

MilesSpidey

Source: Marvel Comics

 

It does look as though Andrew Garfield is out as Peter Parker. Sony will be rebooting Spiderman one more time as a younger, possibly high school-aged actor. Some comic fans have suggested that, to avoid the woes of origin-story weary fans, maybe a whole “new kind of Spiderman” could join the team.  In the current comic books, Ultimate Spiderman is a young man named Miles Morales. Miles is of Black Hispanic background. His fresh new origin story is something that current comics fans are really enjoying.  It would certainly be a story that most of us haven’t heard before.

No matter what direction Marvel chooses, the MCU just got a lot more exciting.  In the meantime, Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 1. Following that, a whole slate of Avengers-related movies are on their way before the newest Spiderman arrives on July 28, 2017.  That’s plenty to keep us busy, before we learn more about the next Web-slinger.