What You Need To Know About The Marvel-Sony Spider-Man Team Up

As was shouted from the rooftops, Spider-Man is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But fans are getting a little more excited than the deal might otherwise merit. Here’s what you need to know:

Finally! Marvel is making Spider-Man mov-

Let me stop you right there, my friend. Marvel isn’t making anything. According to Marvel’s press release:

Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Wait, didn’t they see The Amazing Spider-Man 2?

Probably! The most important changes here aren’t in who owns Spidey’s film rights, but who’s ensuring the rubber meets the road. If you know anything about movie studios, the part of the press release you should celebrate is that the movie will be “co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal.”

Meh, they’re producers. So what?

In the many, many postmortems of what went wrong with the Spider-Man franchise, one name keeps turning up: Avi Arad, the producer and man largely in charge of the franchise. To be fair to Arad, he doesn’t get enough credit from nerds. He, along with Isaac Perlmutter, saved Marvel from disaster in the ’90s and laid the groundwork for the company’s current success. But Arad is a wee bit bitter over how little credit he got for the Marvel Studios deal, and he’s been trying to one-up them ever since.

Whether Arad actually is responsible for all the franchise’s bad ideas, or is just getting scapegoated, is an excellent question. But the buck stops with him on the Spidey movies, and they haven’t been selling tickets the way they’re supposed to.

So if they’re not making Spidey movies, what does Marvel get out of the deal?

It gets to sell more toys. Let’s not forget that Spidey is the single most profitable superhero. Putting Spidey in Marvel movies is a good way to move even more units of Spider-Jammies. And if the movie tanks… not their problem! They’re not on the financial hook!

Will we see another reboot?

The press release refers to “the new Spider-Man” appearing in a Marvel movie before getting his own film in 2017, and that Marvel and Sony “will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web-slinger,” so I’d say that’s all but confirmed.

Will we start seeing Spidey villains in Agents of SHIELD?

Oh, we can dream. Come on, Marvel! Let’s have 45 minutes of juvenile comedy about the Shocker!