Did you hear that? It was the sound of all the geeks on the internet breathing a collective sigh of relief. We can all put away our Team Spidey and Team Cap t-shirts because Spider-Man is finally coming home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The prodigal arachnid has returned … well sort of.
After years of “will they/won’t they” sitcom style back and forth, Sony and Disney have reached an agreement of sorts. Spider-Man will appear in an upcoming Marvel movie (all signs point to ol’ Webhead swinging his way into Captain America 3: Civil War) before continuing (or restarting?) his solo adventures at Sony but this time under the supervising wing of producer Kevin Feige the de facto guru of the MCU. What’s more, there is a good chance that one of Spidey’s Avengers pals will stop by and say hello when Sony does continue it’s Spider-Man franchise in 2017.
So what’s the catch? Well Sony will still be the one pulling the strings, (webs?) as they will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control over the Spider-Man franchise. In a perfect world, this would mean that Sony would hang back and let Feige work his Marvel magic on everyone’s favorite wall-crawler with any interference kept to a minimum. On the other hand, the worst case scenario is that Sony butts in like an overbearing pageant mom and tries to micromanage everything down to the amount of screen time Spider-Man has in direct proportion to all the other Avengers. Fingers crossed that both Sony and Marvel work together to do what serves the story and not just their own individual interests.
Fans that follow Marvel comics in addition to Marvel movies should be especially happy as Disney’s plan before the deal with Sony was to rework Spider-Man’s role in Civil War (which in the comics was substantial) to fit the Black Panther. Now that a deal has been struck, Civil War will not only be able use Spider-Man as intended but Marvel won’t have to shoehorn a character as regal as the Black Panther into a supporting role written for another character. Ultimately this deal should make it so that everyone wins: Marvel, Sony, and most importantly the fans.
One person who won’t win however is Andrew Garfield. Both Sony and Marvel were apparently unimpressed with Garfield’s performance as Spider-Man and are looking for someone new to wear the red and blue. What hasn’t been announced is whether Sony is going to continue on with it’s current Spider-Man universe or reboot the whole thing. Given how much groundwork Sony did to set up the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man 2 it wouldn’t be totally unreasonable to assume that they may want to just insert a new actor into Amazing Spider-Man 3 and continue on as if nothing happened. It worked when Warner Brothers replaced Michael Keaton with Val Kilmer in Batman Forever. It did not however work when they replaced Val Kilmer with George Clooney in Batman and Robin. The fact that many critics actually compared the last Amazing Spider-Man to Batman and Robin may actually be incentive for Sony to follow up Spidey’s appearance in Captain America 3 with a brand new Spider-Man series. It could be argued that all the excessive rebooting might burn the fans out on Spider-Man but lets not forget that Mark Ruffalo is the third Hulk and the fans love him. It really depends on how Marvel and Sony handle this new Spider-Man. Give the fans Batman Begins and they will forgive Batman and Robin ( but they won’t forget … NEVER FORGET).
If handled correctly this unprecedented act of synergy could open up cinematic doors that fans have have never dared dream of. Maybe Fox will follow suit and we might finally see an Avengers/X-men crossover. Who knows, if this works out maybe we might get the movie to end all movies : Marvel VS DC. Who wouldn’t pay to see Superman and the Hulk trading earth-shattering blows in IMAX 3D? If this Spider-Man deal works out it just might happen one day. Now If you’ll excuse me, I believe a strongly worded email needs to be sent to both Disney and Paramount so we can get Captain Kirk on the Millennium Falcon.