Spider-Man is coming back to Marvel.
Marvel Studios announced late Monday night that they have agreed to a deal with Sony Pictures to use the Spider-Man character for its shared Cinematic Universe.
Spider-Man has been licensed to Sony Pictures years before the comic book company got into the film-making business, which began with 2008’s Iron Man. As early as the 1990’s, Marvel sold the distribution rights of its characters so that certain studios could use them. Studios such as 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures (Sony), Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, and New Line Cinema had the rights to certain characters, making the possibility of a shared universe nearly impossible. Marvel has since reclaimed most of their comic book properties, excluding Spider-Man (Columbia/Sony), X-Men (Fox), and Fantastic Four (Fox).
When Marvel made the announcement of Captain America: Civil War (2016), fans speculated how the studio could make a Civil War adaption without Spider-Man, a key component in the comic story line. The speculation only intensified last fall when Sony was hacked and e-mails revealed that Marvel was in negotiations about obtaining Spider-Man.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the deal allows Spider-Man to be featured an an upcoming MCU film. Although neither studio revealed which movie, it’ll most likely be Captain America: Civil War. Once Spider-Man does his MCU appearance, Sony will release a stand-alone Spider-Man film on July 28, 2017. According to the report, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will help produce the film along with former Sony Pictures Chairperson Amy Pascal.
The news of a “stand alone film” suggests that Andrew Garfield is likely out as Spider-Man and that the Amazing Spider-Man franchise is finished.
There’s a possibility that Garfield could be re-cast for the MCU and the stand alone films, but the odds are we’re looking to have a new Spider-Man actor for the third time in 13 years. Variety confirms that Marvel is officially re-casting the role as the studio wishes Spidey to be placed back in High School.
Edit (10:52 PM): Deadline reports that the announcement of a stand alone Spider-Man film has shuffled Marvel Studios’ release lineup. Thor: Ragnarok, originally scheduled to be released on July 28, 2017, will now be pushed back to November 3, 2017. Thor’s movement now occupies the slot slated for the Black Panther movie, which means Black Panther will be pushed back eight months to July 6, 2018. However, July 6, 2018 was slated for Captain Marvel, so that has been rescheduled for release on November 2, 2018. But that date was slated for the release of The Inhumans, which will now be released on July 12, 2019.
Here’s the official press release from Marvel:
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.
Are you excited that Spider-Man is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Who would you cast as the web slinger? Let us know in the comments.