To the casual superhero fan, it has been confusing why the Marvel movies have been operating in separate universes. To quickly summarize, until last week Disney owned the rights to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (The Avengers, Agents of Shield, and Guardians of the Galaxy); Sony owned the rights to Spider-Man; and Fox owned the rights to the X-men and Fantastic Four. But now we are living in a completely new world; Marvel and Sony have officially come together to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Dreams really do come true. Wow let’s just hope we can see Wolverine join the Avengers in the near future. Is that being too greedy? I don’t think so — and neither does Hugh Jackman, who said he wanted to play Wolverine until he died.
What does this deal mean for the companies and franchises though? In the big picture it means that Sony will continue to own, finance and distribute all Spider-Man movies, but Spider-Man will officially be a part of the Avengers team, popping up throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s unpack that: Sony is now rebooting Spider-Man for the third time in the last 20 years, sorry Andrew Garfield.
It’s very sad to see Andrew leave the role of Peter Parker as he was, in my humble opinion, the best Spiderman yet on the big screen. Garfield represented the cocky, sarcastic and fun Peter Parker that Tobey Maguire failed to deliver; his performance was without a doubt the best part of the Amazing Spider-Man films. Sony and Marvel will be recasting Peter Parker as a much younger high school iteration for the new movies. (Sorry Donald Glover!)
[caption id=”attachment_2632” align=”alignleft” width=”640”] Spiderman (Photo provided by [cipher] )[/caption]This new Spider-Man will first appear in Captain America: Civil War, which is going to introduce a story line that pits the Avengers against each other. In the movie, Iron Man and Captain America will be fighting each other over the superhero registration act (a bill forcing all superhero’s to reveal their secret identity). In this story, Spider-Man is the first hero to step forward and reveal his identity to the world. By making this deal, Marvel gets Spider-Man for the movie and will have him for future Avengers movies.
While Marvel has Spider-Man jumping in and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony will be rebooting him. Marvel will borrow the new actor of Spider-Man and incorporate him into the Avengers movies and Sony will continue to develop new Spider-Man individual movies. The status of the Spider-Man universe (Sinster Six, Aunt May movie, Female Heroin movie) is all up in the air right now but Sony will be creating new individual Spider-Man movies for years to come.
Marvel will maintain full control over its universe and use Spider-Man in its properties when it wants to, and Sony will maintain full control over the individual Spider-Man movies; with that being said, Kevin Feige (one of the men behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe) will be working closely with Sony in order to develop the Spider-Man films.
So in the end, Marvel and Sony will still make separate movies, they will just be in the same universe and Kevin Feige will work with Sony to make sure that their Spider-Man movies aren’t creating any plot holes. Spider-Man will be rebooted once again, and his first appearance will be in Captain America: Civil War with his own solo movie to be released in 2017.
But wait, there’s more! Rumors are flying from building to building that this new Spiderman may be the African American-Latino Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Miles Morales is a very popular iteration of Spider-Man in the comics portrayed as a very young African American Spider-Man. If Sony/Marvel take this route it would be disorienting for many causal fans to see an African American Spider-Man, but Miles Morales is a great character and it would be awesome to have another strong African American hero.
It makes sense that they would want to distance themselves from Peter Parker after having just released The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Miles Morales does this while also being a fan favorite. (Donald Glover, welcome to the mix!)
So its official, Spider-Man is joining the Avengers and the Marvel Universe. It is sad to see Garfield hang up the suit before his time, and it is frustrating to have Spider-Man rebooted for the third time in 15 years. Those issues aside, the Amazing Spider-Man movies struggled with their villains and overarching plot, and Marvel has a near perfect track record as of late. It’s hard not to be happy to see Spider-Man alongside Captain America and Iron Man, and this is sure to signal great things on the horizon for your friendly neighborhood web-slinger.
Elliott Altland (@ea_gamesnvrdie) is a staff writer for The High Screen. He attends SUNY Oswego.