Back when Sony bought the movie rights to Spider-Man movie, the world was a different place. The movies started strong but their success has creatively and financially diminished over time while Marvel has enjoyed a steady string of hits (even with a talking raccoon). So it should come as no big surprise that Sony would see the benefit in handing the character back to Marvel.
But feel free to join me in punching the sky.
Official press release:
Marvel’s Kevin Feige to Produce Next Installment of the Spider-Man Franchise with Amy Pascal
(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – 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.
The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”
“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”
“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”
Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.
One of the unfortunate casualties of this deal is Andrew Garfield, an actor who breathed new life into Spider-Man. It’s probably down to two things; Garfield burned his bridges with Sony by openly criticizing their handling of the second movie and co-producing a moving with Disney/Marvel is probably a minefield of legalities so a new contract/actor is likely a necessity. Whatever the reason, the identity of the next Spider-Man is a big deal… and an opportunity to shake things up (yes… it could be the Miles Morales Spider-Man, especially if Brian Michael Bendis is involved in any way).
The rumor that Spider-Man could be one of the Avengers in Infinity War part one is very likely, but I think Marvel and Sony need to move fast to keep the interest of fans.
The big question is when Spider-Man will debut on screen. There is a strong possibility that the web-slinger could appear in the third Captain America movie, Civil War. However, that movie is likely at such a late stage that any appearance would be minimal (unless Spidey has been part of that movie all along). Perhaps a post-credit scene?
Another downside to this announcement is that we are getting a ‘younger’ Spider-Man all over again.
It’s like Groundhog Day as an action fantasy told over several movies! Spider-Man’s life is a non-stop living nightmare in which he goes back to high school over and over, watches his uncle die, gets the snot kicked out of him by crazy monsters and mad men and falls in love only to see those close to him die.