I’m sure by now you’ve heard the amazing news that we’re getting a brand new Spider-man that will not only have his own films but will also appear in at least one Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. So naturally there’s a ton of stuff to discuss.
It’s no secret that Sony Pictures has been in dire straits these past few months. The hacks back in November, that released not only movie plans but also mountains of personal info, put the studio back to square 1 and we’ve been waiting to hear what their steps would be going forward. It’s important to remember that in actual fact Sony had been having problems for about a year, with speculation that the company as a whole was seeing significant decreases in revenues. So we can understand that for the Pictures division a money-making property such as Spider-man becomes even more valuable.
So why do Sony Pictures own the movie rights to Spider-man in the first place? Well, some years ago Marvel was in a bad way financially and in order to save the company from bankruptcy the film rights for some big characters were sold. As you’ll probably be aware these included: Spider-man and his world, i.e. the side characters and villains, moving to Sony, The X-Men and Fantastic Four moving to 20th Century Fox, and a few others. Marvel Studios division is a subsidiary of Disney in case you weren’t aware. Now it’s been an area of intense speculation among the fans since seeing the first comic-book movie team-up film Avengers: Assemble back in 2012, plus the general trend we’re seeing in the movie-going audience wanting to see these films, that we may see some crossovers between the studios. However in the excitement of imagining seeing The Avengers take on the X-Men for example, we forget that there are so many variables for the studios to figure out, such as who has creative control. Say in a situation where Wolverine is set to appear in an Avengers film, who has control over what the character says and does in the movie? How do you rank that character’s powers against the others, who in the MOVIES belong to a different Universe? Would 20th Century Fox, who would of course still have the rights to the character for the films, make the decisions for the character, or is it Marvel who’d have the say in that situation, or would it be a 50/50 split? What happens with the revenues of the film? Is that 50/50 as well? These are just a few of the conundrums facing studios in that situation. To be honest, an inter-studio crossover is something that was ruled off the list of possibilities…
As Sony Pictures are in such a bad way, and with Co-Chairman, and over-seer of the Spider-man franchise, Amy Pascal stepping down to a producer roll, the studio really wants to make the best possible moves they can to salvage their most treasured property. So the team have decided that bringing in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) President and Godfather Kevin Feige, responsible for Marvel‘s $8.3 billion box office gross in just six years, wouldn’t be a bad idea as a producer for upcoming Spider-man films and, in addition, place the brand new take on the beloved character in an MCU movie prior to his own solo debut. This solo film is scheduled for release in July 2017 which means Peter Parker would appear in an MCU film within the next two years. In fact we can quite confidently narrow down where he would fit in, with Marvel having asked Sony to use the character in the past, it’s almost a given that Spidey will be in Captain America: Civil War, the first film of Marvel‘s phase 3, set for May 6th 2016 plus how vital the character is in the original comic-book story arch. Spider-man‘s world now tying in with the MCU now means that Marvel has to play around with its line-up a little, you can check the new schedule at the bottom of the article.
So up until it’s announced, the talk of the town will be all about who’s gonna step into the suit to fill the gap left by Andrew Garfield, sorry buddy it wasn’t your fault The Amazing Spider-man 2 wasn’t great. The names floating around right now include: Logan Lerman (Fury), Taron Edgerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and I’ve even heard Zac Efron‘s (Neighbours) name mentioned, which wouldn’t be a popular choice (among fans), but nevertheless, the guy is certainly improving on the acting front so I don’t think it would be all bad. Lerman was Sony’s second choice after Garfield for the last wave of Spider-man films so he seems like the front runner at the moment. This would make a lot of sense as both studios have agreed to keep the character younger, high school student age, which echos the core incarnation in the Marvel comics.
That’s what we know so far, but with such a fast turn around we can expect to hear who Sony/Marvel cast as our friendly neighborhood Superhero very soon. For Sony this move is key in regaining interest with their depiction of the icon, and clearly the studio wants to retain their web-slinging fan favourite as he, done in the right way, can make them the money they so desperately need.
Altered Marvel/Disney Slate:
Thor: Ragnarok November 3, 2017, Black Panther July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel November 2, 2018, Inhumans July 12, 2019.