After a lot of speculation and half-starts and stops, Spider-Man is swinging back to Marvel… sort of. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is teaming up with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man film, but Sony will still have a lot of control. Here’s the official statement via Marvel.com:
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.
So, wow. I suppose the first thought is, I guess this means that Spider-Man will be in Captain America: Civil War, but it’s interesting that the statement didn’t name the “Marvel film” that Spider-Man will appear in prior to the July 28, 2017 release date for the Sony/Marvel Spider-Man solo film. Tacking a Spider-Man cameo into Avengers: Age of Ultron as an after-credits scene would feel like a bit of a let down for Spidey’s first MCU appearance, would it not?
There’s also the question of whether Spider-Man is now going to make frequent appearances in the MCU and which Marvel characters could potentially crossover into Spider-Man’s world. Are we talking cameos, or is this deal going to allow these worlds to fully come together?
Also, what does this mean for Andrew Garfield? There have been whispers about replacing him prior to this deal and there are reports that he’s already out now that Spider-Man is coming to Marvel, which makes sense because there is certainly an argument to be made that this deal warrants a fresh start. The thing is, if a change is going to be made, there’s barely going to be enough time to get the rumor machine up and running since Civil War starts filming in April. And if they do make a change, are they just switching actors, or are they going to entertain a switch to Miles Morales and drop Peter Parker for awhile?
What we have right now is the birth of several big questions in the wake of a huge surprise. Not that anyone is complaining, though, because speculating about these things sure beats wondering if Marvel and Sony were ever going to get together for a deal like this.