When Marvel Comics started publishing superhero books back in the 1960’s, the goal was to depict a more believable vision of the world, specifically New York City. Whereas Superman flew over the skyline of Metropolis and Batman protected Gotham City, Spider-Man and the Avengers both fought crime in the real NYC. This of course led to the inevitable team-ups and battles (see the image to the left or Avengers Vs. X-Men on the stands today) that eventually became standard practice.
So why was Spider-Man not in the Avengers movie everyone is so happy about? The reason is that Marvel sold the rights Columbia/Sony back in the day.
Strange as it may seem, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Ghost Rider, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four are all owned by studios other than Marvel Entertainment. Even so, if Avengers made a lot of money and Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes around… why not combine them? It’s a no-brainer, right?
Word is that Spider-Man and the Avengers nearly shared the big screen… in a way.
According to reports, a meeting between Disney/Marvel and Columbia/Sony led to an agreement to hint at the shared NYC of the Marvel Universe through the inclusion of the Oscorp building in the city skyline, near Stark Tower.
Norman Osborn is of course the industrial businessman and parent to Harry Osborn, best friend to Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man). Later, Osborn was revealed to be the man under the mask worn by the Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s most dangerous foe.
But the Marc Webb film will reset the Spider-Man legacy, so Osborn be returned to the role of businessman rather than cackling supervillain as seen in the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film.
Yes, this is going to confuse many people.
In any case, Sony and Marvel are apparently just as interested in combining their franchises as fans are. This may not lead to a Spider-Man cameo in the next Avengers movie, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of it becoming a reality down the road.
This of course assumes that The Amazing Spider-Man is the hit that the studio wants it to be.
So far, it is by far the less popular of superhero movies released this Summer. Competing with the final part of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the culmination of the Marvel Comics master plan the Avengers, it’s understandable that Spider-Man, the webslinger who once attracted the attention from movie goers resulting in record-breaking attendance, has been reduced to just another superhero.