Written by: Pat & Justine
“Sony Pictures Entertainment Brings Marvel Studios Into The Amazing World Of Spider-Man. New Spider-Man Will Appear First in an Upcoming Marvel Film Within Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.” (marvel.com)
It was the stroke of midnight, February 10, 2015. A new day, a new beginning. A character loved by the masses, with a fanbase spanning over 50 years of storytelling, suddenly had been granted a future brighter than what most ever thought could be possible. The announcement heard around the world: Spider-Man was coming home.
In an era where comic book film success has reached unforeseeable heights, no studio has been capable of contesting the critical acclaim of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Where most attest Marvel’s success to fan loyalty and unrivaled attention to detail, the source material from the collective talents of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko have stood the test of time, and should be given credit. Though some argue that DC Comics’ seniority grants them superior comic book heroes, it’s Marvel’s grounded, relatable characters balancing extraordinary abilities with everyday life that gives them the upper hand.
It was a time Marvel’s ambitions to break out into the film industry vastly outweighed its financial resources. Advances in special effects technology had been progressing at a rapid rate and Spider-Man was ready for his shot at the big screen. Negotiations with Sony Pictures were struck for indefinite exclusivity rights to produce any and all of the wall-crawlers cinematic adventures. Fast forward to May 3, 2002, Sony releases Marvel’s first box office smash in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, starring Toby Maguire as Peter Parker. For the time, the film was unlike anything we’d seen before and had come to expect from a conventional super hero. Naturally, a trilogy was put forth, reaching both critical highs and lows. With the monumental success of these major motion pictures, in addition to Fox’s X-Men properties, Marvel now had the prowess, as well as the funding, to branch out and form its very own Marvel Studios.
Enter The Amazing Spider-Man, July 3, 2012. It was proven Spider-Man had still been a very profitable character for Sony, and an idea for a reboot of the franchise made for the best possible way to keep things fresh. Opinions of the first two installments of Amazing were very much mixed. While some appreciated the loyalty to the comics of the same title, others felt it may have been too drastic of a deviation. A major accomplishment of the rebooted series, was to successfully tug at the heart strings of audiences. The on-screen chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was truly organic, which easily overshadowed that of the original trilogy. Overall, the combined earnings of the movies had not met projected revenue and fan criticism received was primarily negative.
As Marvel Studios began fully coming into its own with its ever-expanding shared universe of characters, the most common question asked by fans was, “When will Spider-Man join the Avengers?” What felt most frustrating, however, was Sony seemed to be electing to prevent this from happening by green-lighting some very unusual projects. It seemed to become more about the profits for the once-thriving company than the fan service to the character. Countless requests had been made to both parties, with Sony ignoring the matter at every possible turn. Marvel, however, remained hopefully optimistic. It was only after the unfortunate Sony hacks of 2014, that an abundance of data was leaked suggesting such negotiations for a collaborative effort had been underway.
Last night, it was announced that these negotiations have come to an official agreement. Sony will continue to finance and distribute the Spider-Man films, but the character will now become a part of the MCU, with Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige working with Amy Pascal to take Spider-Man in a new creative direction, one that fits in with the already established universe.
So what does this mean for Spidey? Well, for one, Andrew Garfield will not be reprising the role. It has also been speculated by many and recently reported by The Wall Street Journal that the new Spider-Man will be making an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, which is set to hit theaters in 2016. This is ideal, seeing as how Spider-Man had such a huge role in Civil War in the comics. However, we are not yet sure where Spider-Man will be in his life when this event takes place. How long before Civil War would he have been bitten? He is also not getting another solo film until 2017, so how exactly will he fit into the story while having not yet been established in the MCU with a solo film? Naturally, these are all questions we are now dying to know.
This also raises questions of who will be cast to play Spider-Man next. If he’s being introduced as an already established superhero who has his powers, then we can assume we will be bypassing the origin/high school storyline we’ve already seen too many times before. But they could choose to cast a young actor and start his story off in his early 20’s, or they can choose to cast him a little older, starting him off in his years as a college professor. Either way, this opens a window for male actors in the 20-30 range who can take up the reigns as the beloved web-slinging hero.
All speculations aside, there’s no doubt that Marvel fans everywhere are beaming at this incredible news. For years, we’ve wanted to see Spider-Man alongside the Avengers, where he was always meant to be. Some of us thought it would never be possible, but to our surprise, Sony and Marvel have given the fans what they wanted, and all we can say is thank you. Thank you for bringing Spider-Man home.
How do you all feel about this new Sony/Marvel deal? Are you excited to see Spider-Man finally become a part of the MCU, or are you not thrilled about the loss of Andrew Garfield? Who do you think should play Spider-Man next? Let us know in the comments!